Mushroom-Kit Makers Expand to Huge West Oakland Warehouse

Imagine growing a mushroom from used coffee grounds. Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora did just that as Cal undergrads in 2009, experimenting with the procedure in their fraternity house kitchen, and it worked well enough to inspire them to launch a company. Two years later, Back to the Roots’ business selling organic oyster mushroom-growing kits to home consumers is growing quickly, and thanks to a $50,000 grant from MillerCoors, it recently moved from its cramped Emeryville quarters to a 10,000 square-foot warehouse on Adeline Street in West Oakland.

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