Founder Discovered His Passion When He Learned Mushrooms “Can Save the World”

Mālama Mushrooms is part of Mana Up’s seventh cohort.
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Photo: courtesy of Mālama Mushrooms

Mālama Mushrooms sells “superfood” mushroom products ranging from powder mixes, coffee, and extracts that can be blended with food and drinks.

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Benjamin Lillibridge, Founder and CEO of Mālama Mushrooms

Founder and CEO Benjamin Lillibridge says he was inspired to start the business when he heard a TED Talk on “6 ways mushrooms can save the world.”

“I wanted to be a professional mushroom guy, but nobody was hiring for that so I knew I had to create the job myself,” he says.

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Photo: courtesy of Mālama Mushrooms

Lillibridge says the Kona-based company uses Hawai‘i-based mushrooms as much as possible, and sources other high quality USDA mushrooms from around the country. They use some cacao & coffee from Kona, but only a small percentage, according to Lilibridge. However, they do sell a 100% Kona coffee product with Lion’s Mane.

The company donates 5% of profits to a nonprofit that Lillibridge helped create called the Hawaii Fungi Project, which is dedicated to studying, mapping and preserving Hawai‘i’s mushrooms.

 

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