Tucker Pforzheimer of M.V. Mycological

Tucker Pforzheimer —MV Times

Martha’s Vineyard will move its incredible shiitake mushroom business to bigger pastures in Dutchess County, N.Y., this fall, where it can reach a broader audience and continue to grow. Truman French and Tucker Pforzheimer met in college, where they took a fungi class and dreamed big — as in big shiitake mushrooms. MVM started in 2015, and now we can watch them grow from afar. Somehow I think this is not the last we will see of those delicious, meaty, nutrient-filled shiitakes.

We’re sure leaving the Vineyard is bittersweet. How has starting a mushroom business from scratch prepared you to bring your company to a bigger, more diverse market?

Tucker Pforzheimer: In farming, as in much else, geography is destiny. By moving to the mainland, we seek to further ours and evolve MVM to better serve its mission: more mushrooms for more people. Land, logs, and streamlined logistics await, but we leave behind (for now) a treasured community that believed in our strange dream from the get-go, and entrusted to us a piece of its diet for seven summers. Thank you to the chefs, cooks, and grocers for lending credence to our conviction that log-grown shiitake belonged on your plates and shelves. Thank you to Julie, Pat, Mark, Patty, and Mark, Claudia, and Lew for inviting MVM into your backyards, spare rooms, and shed fridges. Thank you to Wise Owl Farm for taking us under your wing and accepting the mud that came with it. Thank you to the West Tisbury Farmers Market for preserving the viability of small businesses in their most vulnerable phase. Thanks to all of you who reached for our product again and again since 2015, told your friends, and chose MVM over or alongside the cornucopia of local produce with which we are blessed on Martha’s Vineyard. And, lest I leave with the impression that produce arrives like manna from heaven, thank you to Jack, Ross, and Truman for stimulating the production of around 20 TONS of mushrooms. We’ll be sending more back from the other side of the Sound in 2024, with love for the place that granted us a second act.