Meet Our Mycophiles
We're extremely fortunate to work with some of the friendliest fungal enthusiasts around.
"Having long been fascinated by fungi, my interest in growing them was fueled by a visit to Detroit's Eastern Market about a decade ago. After happening upon the mushroom vendor, I soon found myself the new owner of a curious pet; a living, breathing, mass of mushroom mycelium silently chomping away at it's bag of mysterious substrate. Neither plant nor animal, this curious creature, I was assured, would soon bare even more curious fruit, Hypsizygus ulmarius, the elm oyster, if given proper care.
Thus began a love story, and a life story, that continues to unfold in a fascinating and incredibly fortuitous fashion. Whatever brought you here, I want to thank you for sharing in our story, for your support, and for you love of the natural world and the most delicious and underappreciated kingdom of life: Fungi."
- Chris Swinson Owner & Operator
Primary Mycophile's Staff
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 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.
Kim has been with us since the beginning and her loyalty, thoroughness, and generous attitude has proven invaluable over the years.
The wife of one of Mycophile's two founders, Kim has long been the face of Mycophile's Garden at the farmers market in Muskegon where she resides with her husband, Aaron, and 4 young children.
In addition to working the Muskegon market every Saturday, all year long, Kim helps us pack orders, produce mushrooms, and clean at our production and distribution facility.
We were thankful for her trusting flexibility back in 2014 when Aaron announced that he and Chris would be building a prototype mushroom farm in their basement, and we're just as thankful for her now!