Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maeva Costedoat, Founder of MushUp, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
From a habit to a ritual, coffee is our most consistent routine. So why not drink more than just coffee? This adventure began with two women entrepreneurs wanting to bring a better offer of coffee in an already very competitive market.
MushUp was created in 2018 by developing a unique technique of incorporating concentrated extracts of medicinal mushrooms directly into roasted coffee beans for two reasons:
1- To benefit from the amazing power of mushrooms integrated into your daily routine, stimulating the immune system, cognitive functions, and/or physical capacities.
2 - To enjoy the benefits of a healthier coffee without the drawbacks of caffeine (no spasmodic effect, trembling, caffeine crash, and palpitation).
In addition, this winning combination reduces the natural acidity of the coffee while enhancing the original flavors of the bean.
Our most important challenge is to respect our love for the great taste and freshness of high-quality coffee while retaining perfect control of each mushroom's particular recommended dosage so that every bean is enhanced with the same and optimal amount of adaptogens & functional properties.
MushUp symbolizes an invigorating lifestyle built on producing the highest quality medicinal mushroom coffees through local collaborations, organic-only ingredients, and an obsession with implementing environmentally friendly green processes. MushUp your routine today!
Tell us about yourself
I started this company about 3-4 years ago. The motivation behind the idea of creating a company came from wanting to change the way I lived. I was experiencing a lot of anxiety, which reflected on my skin and hair. I was in a state where I was looking for new challenges, wanting to offer something different, in my image, in all its diversity, and in integrating environmental values.
I have a master's degree in sustainable development, and I have contributed to the development of various companies and organizations, whether in the field of urban agriculture or in the restoration industry. Came a time when I needed new challenges; I wanted to change the way I lived with healthier habits…so I went on a backpacking trip to Colombia to look for inspiration with a friend. That's on a horse ride through the coffee plantations in Columbia that I fell in love with the plant & berries; the cultivators shared their passion with so much generosity. That's when I decided to start a socially responsible business in the coffee industry. Of course, I was well aware of the great competitiveness of the market but also its issues.
Back in Montreal, I organized the seed festival, where I met with a mycologist who introduced me to the complementarity between coffee and medicinal fungus. I spent months in research, doing an internship in medicinal plants and mushrooms, and learning how to manage my anxiety with adaptogens and better habits. Meanwhile, I was tasting every product on the market. I could only find instant mushroom powders, instant coffee, or pre-ground filter coffee. I couldn't fit it into my routine. The taste wasn't there. Coming from a strong coffee culture and working as a barista in London years ago, I couldn't pull myself into integrating poor-quality coffee into one of the most important parts of my daily routine.
After months of research and development, I came up with a solution, developing a unique technique to create a versatile, functional coffee that integrates the positive mental and physical impacts of this fungus. A tasteful coffee that could be infused in various ways (espresso-filter-Chemex…). Now, each of our blends provides a different health benefit. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished and are offering. MushUp isn't just a job or a business; it's a lifestyle, a healthier one!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To be able to maintain my principles and values through the development of the company. In particular, in environmental innovation. To be able to work with local collaborators while maintaining control over the high quality of the products I offer.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is not to choose the easy way. It's always harder to be challenged, but that's what's making a difference in this business world. Everyone can do it easily, but being challenged sets you to greater results and comes with a lot of pride.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stick your ground on your values.
- Always remember your initial motivations for starting a business and remind yourself every day.
- Challenge yourself at every small to a big decision.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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