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Chasing a Delicious Dream

Fungus Farm Colorado: Gourmet Mushrooms, Grown Locally

“Don’t quit your day job” used to be a sound piece of advice. But some people have that extra something that make them a prime candidate for chasing their passion.

Austen Brinker graduated with a degree from CU Boulder in Finance and Management and was working in the corporate world as a project manager, when he did a personal inventory and realized that he was not passionate about his work. He had been dabbling in comedy and had started to see some success. Brinker came by the entrepreneurial spirit honestly, having watched his parents start and run their own companies. So, he decided to quit his day job in order to pursue comedy full time in December 2019.

COVID changed the entertainment scene shortly after and, not one to sit still, Brinker fell back on a hobby that started in college.


He invested in a grow tent and some lights and set up in a 20x20 storage unit to make growing mushrooms a part-time job. Growing Gourmet Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets became one of Brinker’s favorite books that he still references to this day. He had two restaurants onboard shortly after he started and found he had already outgrown his setup. In March 2021, he decided to make it his full-time gig and signed a lease on a 1,600-square-foot warehouse. Fungus Farm Colorado is now growing about 100 pounds of mushrooms a week.

With a 20-30 day grow cycle, mushrooms make a great meat substitute in addition to being a fantastic side with a unique, umami flavor. Brinker’s inventory includes lion’s mane, pioppino, shiitake, chestnut, trumpet and multiple forms of oyster mushrooms. He recently obtained an extractor and has placed lion’s mane tincture on the menu, as well.  

Nutrient Rich

Mushrooms are nutrient rich and can help naturally add things like selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin, potassium and zinc to your diet. Some varieties may boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve gut health and even aid in protecting the brain.

Brinker still performs standup comedy and has a gig coming up at the end of July in Colorado Springs. At any given show, Brinker brings his product to sell as merch afterward. Additionally, those wanting to add gourmet mushrooms to their at-home repertoire can either order online for pick up or delivery or find Brinker and Fungus Farm Colorado at many of the farmer’s markets around town. Monument Hill, Black Forest, Woodland Park and Backyard Market downtown are all markets that he intends to attend regularly.

Facebook + Instagram: @fungusfarmcolorado