Meet Our Mycophiles

We are extremely fortunate to work with some of the friendliest fungal enthusiasts around.

Chris Swinson

CFO - Chief Fungal Officer

A State of Michigan Certified Mushroom Expert, Owner, Manager and quite a fun, kind soul. Chris conducts classes, sells at markets, produces, harvests, and a whole host of other day to day tasks.

Ever curious and rarely conventional, Chris' lifelong interest in science and nature equipped him with the skills to pursue a passion which at the time had few resources for the average person.

Though an introvert through and through, Chris has learned to love working the markets as much as he does a good afternoon alone harvesting in our beautifully situated, partially subterranean, greenhouses.

You can find Chris every Saturday, all year long, at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids, unless he's off visiting other markets. He also attends many Sunday markets in East Lansing with his partner Jess.

"I would work every market, and answer every question if I could. I love sharing what we do and what fungi do for us." - Chris

Chris' favorite fungus: The one he's currently eating, also chicken of the woods (Laetiporous Cinncinnatus, Laetiporous sulphureus)

Jess Phillips

Jess is a native of the Upper Peninsula and moved to Grand Rapids in Spring of 2020 to pursue her newfound love with a particular local mushroom farmer. Formerly mushroom naïve, Jess has quickly developed a deep love for the eating, sharing, and taking care of our little fungal friends.

An incredibly kind, caring, and tireless individual, Jess' presence has transformed our little business and arrived at just the right time to help orchestrate our transition from a fledgling farm to a community resource for all things mushrooms.

Jess performs any and all tasks around the farm and warehouse, from washing laundry and packing orders to fielding calls, creating spreadsheets, and graphic design. A self-taught business owner who's not afraid of hard work.

With a heart of gold and a contagious positivity, you'd be lucky to have Jess as your local mushroom vendor, and if you attend the Meridian Farmers Market in Okemos on Saturdays, you are! 

Find her there every Saturday at the marketplace near Meridian mall. As well as many Sundays at the East Lansing Farmer Market.

Alissa Whitlock

Chris' older sister Alissa, her husband Ken, and two daughters moved to Michigan in  January 2020 and her addition has been tremendously helpful in developing Mycophile's into a viable business.

Just when we really needed a hand, big sis was there to give her time and energy. With a wonderful work ethic and a flair for style and organization, her assistance has been invaluable, working with her is effortless and we're so thankful to spend our time with her.

Alissa works at both our greenhouse and distribution facility, as well as the Holland Farmers Market every Saturday all year and every Wednesday from May-December.

Mack Phillips
Mack, Jess' brother, is new to the Grand Rapids area as well, and we're extremely thankful for him. Mack is always willing to do what needs to get done and his attitude is never less than pleasant. Mack fills in at markets but does most of his work behind the scenes, driving deliveries, purchasing and hauling materials, harvesting at the farm, and much more. Attentive to detail and extremely easy to work with, Mack helps in ways that only family can ( or would ).

Additional (And Invaluable) Mycophiles

Jake Benjamin

Jake, who's been with us since Spring of 2021, is somewhat of a mushroom farmer himself; a passion that led him to seek us out. He has been an excellent fit. Always flexible and friendly, Jake is an excellent resource for learning about how to grow and cook mushrooms. We're happy to have him be the face of our business at the Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing and the market at The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, as well as the many additional markets and special events that Jake works  for us.

Francis Merring

Thank God for Francis, he along with Jake, have been excellent market staff. It's not easy to find helpful, intelligent, thorough, and friendly mycophiles who are interested in working just a few days a week. It's because of help like his that we've been able to become organized, streamlined, and actually make enough money to do more than just get by. Interested in foraging and our local environment, Francis is a great source of interesting information. You can find him at the Rockford Farmer Market and the East Lansing Farmers Market, as well as others.
Thank You Francis!