- ABOUT US -
For nearly a decade, Gentleman Forager and Forest to Fork have been building a strong, recognized, and respected brand in the mushroom industry. Our mission is to grow the best mushrooms in the world and to revolutionize the way mushrooms are integrated into consumers lifestyles.
- ABOUT OUR PRODUCTS -
Forest to Fork provides premium wild and specialty food products for wholesale and retail sales. From wild foraged mushrooms and plants, to our own locally cultivated exotic mushrooms, specialty greens and micro greens, we provide sustainable and healthy food products to restaurants and innovative chefs of all levels. We also offer classes, weekend events, guided outings and wild food dinners.
“Wild and Local” and “Farm to Table” are the fastest and most impactful food and trends today. LOHAS – Life of Health and Sustainability – is used to promote a wide array of products, with one of the most individually meaningful being healthy eating. Forest to Fork is the nations leader in this movement that celebrates health and happiness...we like to throw a healthy dose of fun, food, music and laughter too!
- ABOUT "Gentleman Forager" -
Behind Forest to Fork is the "Gentleman Forager", Mike Kempenich. With more than 40 years of foraging experience, Mike’s background also includes:
Cloning and cultivation of wild mushrooms
Instructor for the University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin Extension’s Wild Mushroom Certification classes
Contributing content writer and photographer for The Minnesota Harvester Handbook
Member of the Wild Mushroom Advisory Committee – Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Health
Member of the Minnesota and North American Mycological Societies
We feel it is our direct responsibility to ensure that everything we sell is a true wild product, harvested in a sustainable manner or, that it is grown without the use of pesticides and chemical agents in the event it must be farmed.
Our foraged products from the forests are harvested by pickers who are skilled at both proper identification and sustainable harvesting practices. We believe strongly in every person’s obligation to be an outstanding steward of our woods and waters in order to ensure that legacy is enjoyed by future generations.
- OUR STORY -
Forest To Fork started with one enthusiastic entrepreneur working alone to cultivate and sell his own clone of wild oyster mushrooms to high-end restaurants. After Mike Kempenich sold his first tub of fresh, specialty mushrooms to a very happy chef, who was eager for more, he fruitfully grew the business over the next ten years. His first humble, mushroom growing operation was a converted one-car garage. His customers multiplied fast and he soon moved to a 3,500-square-foot warehouse putting out 1,000 pounds of cultivated specialty mushrooms per week. At that same time, Mike harvested and sold wild-foraged mushrooms found in the vast forests of Minnesota.
Mike then developed trusted relationships with many wild-foragers and cultivators around the nation to amass a large network of expert suppliers to help feed his growing list of customers. He eventually created an additional customer base and greatly expanded his company’s brand by offering wild mushroom guiding services, mushroom identification courses and hosting large foodie-related events with a focus on wild and unique foods. Later, he owned and operated a storefront complete with a large, 15-foot, glass, LED-lighted mushroom growing chamber that became a local and national attraction at a popular food market.
Today, along with continuing to provide many of those same services, Forest To Fork manages a 30,000 square-foot mushroom growing operation. The company cultivates many species of specialty mushrooms and harvests wild-foraged mushrooms—as well as other related products—sold to restaurants, grocery stores, direct-to-consumer and more. All the while, Mike and his company have been dedicated to propagating top-quality specialty products; delivering excellent customer service; practicing sustainable and organic production techniques; and supporting commercial mushroom foragers, farmers and cultivators.
Forest To Fork will forever strive to further expand these successful endeavors as the leading specialty mushroom company in the nation.