Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms Logo

Evergreen: Behind The Label With Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms

April 11, 2024

Introduce yourself

Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms was founded in 2011 by Mark Cribbin & Dr Lucy Deegan, Mark is a food scientist whilst Lucy is a microbiologist.

What inspired you to join the natural health sector?

We founded our business initially to grow and supply Irish gourmet and wild mushroom to the restaurant sector successfully supplying a vast array (14 varieties) to restaurants that actually valued provenance of their ingredients,  having complete control of the production process of these unique products,  we further applied our scientific backgrounds to produce unique food products utilising our mushrooms, our business further evolved extracting medicinal compounds from some of the medicinal mushrooms we grow such as Reishi and Lions Mane. 

Where did you get the idea for your brand?

The brand “Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms” the name of our business and the logo, I suppose  is just a true a reflection of what we do and where live, we live up the side of Sliabh Riadh, a mountain in the Ballyhoura Mountain Range and we grow mushrooms and pick wild mushrooms here, the logo itself is based on an image drawn by Lucy which is the view we have from our front door of the sun setting in the mountains behind us.

What makes your brand unique?

What makes us unique? An interesting question in my opinion in many cases “brands” are just that developed to sell promote a product that might have been produced anywhere but intrinsically what makes us different, we actually grow, pick, process, pack & promote everything we sell, don’t utilise contract manufacturers unlike many other “brands”, there is no vast marketing agency behind us, everything we produce and sell has physically passed through our hands.

What are your company’s core values?

Our core values from day 1 has remained the core values even after a decade of  business “Provenance” & “Quality”.

How do you support your community?

We run wild mushroom foraging courses throughout the year in the forests around us, teaching people how to successfully and safely pick wild mushrooms.

What has been the most rewarding part of your brands journey?

Most rewarding part of our business I suppose is receiving feedback from consumers telling you who much they enjoy or have benefited from a product we produce, it’s a very nice genuine feeling to get from a customer

It's been a bizarre journey the most bizarre rewarding part perhaps was doing tastings in Harrods of London to the millionaires of the world. From a selfish viewpoint I suppose we have no problem getting reservations in most of the Michelin Star Restaurant’s in Ireland.

What is your favourite product from your brand?

Couldn’t comment… that would be like saying who is your favourite child.

Tell us about something that has shaped your brand?

Early on in the business we received the awards of Food Producer of Year from both Eurotoques (the Chefs representative body) and Food Writers Guild (Irish Food Journalists), it was very heartening to see the recognition and value placed on what we doing. We have also received 3 3 Star Products ratings from the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste awards in the UK, less than 0.6% of entrant’s receive this rating, to receive this award for 3 products certainly opened doors for us supplying Bluechip customers in the UK.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I’m afraid that’s up to mushrooms not us, we are merely “indentured mushroom servants”.