Good for Nothing

Help reduce waste generated from coffee by turning it into Mushrooms

Founded by brothers Alex and Robbie in January 2012. Now 4 of us doing everything fromcollecting coffee on a bike, to processing and growing mushrooms!

We’re all in it for the love of the mushies and the genuinely innovative and environmental business we’re working on.

What we do

Grow fantastic oyster mushrooms in coffee grounds! The Grocer called us "One of the five most innovative enterprises using food waste"


We love the idea of upcycling a waste coffee to delicious mushrooms.

Like us, the mushrooms love the coffee and grow beautifully in this typically-discarded resource.

  • Ethical Coffee is booming, but little consideration for the grounds after use
  • Over 70 million cups of coffee are drunk every day in the UK.
  • We reduce waste by upcycling the grounds – even better than recycle!
  • In addition to waste reduction, the process of growing mushrooms on coffee grounds averts greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Each Kitchen Garden uses the waste coffee from one hundred espressos so we’re playing a part in reducing these emissions
  • Hope we inspire others to value resources and upcycle other ‘waste’ products too.
  • Bring to life the process of growing food, to enthuse the next generation

What we’ve achieved so far

  • September 2011: Decided to give it a go – lots of trial and error
  • December 2011: successfully grew and ate our first mushrooms
  • January 2012: decided to build a ‘proper’ fruiting chamber’
  • April 2012: ‘Launched’ Espresso Mushroom Company at Brighton Food Festival
  • June 2012: Launched our Kitchen Gardens at EcoTech Show
  • November 2012: going well, but still a long way from being financially viable

To maximise our environmental impact need to increase our scale – driven by demand

The Brief - Part 1

The gift of Mushrooms all year round not just Christmas.

Insight: Most people won’t buy themselves a Kitchen Garden but willbuy them as gifts for friend with children, foodie friends etc, asthey’re different, exciting and environmental.

We’ve had lots of demand this Christmas which started in October –driven by a tiny recommendation in a magazine!

Output: How can we sell Kitchen Gardens all year round – focused onoccasions; birthdays, Valentine’s day, Easter, Mothers Day, FathersDay, Halloween etc

The Brief - Part 2 - Word of Mouth

Insight: The innovation of upcycling coffee into grow your own kits is exciting and can act as a catalyst for others to change the way they view waste / resource => It doesn’t need to look alternative – it can be stylish and attractive.

When you’re growing a Kitchen Garden at home, it becomes a conversation point where everyone who comes into your house will be curious. You will obsess about watering it, photographing it’s progress and even tweeting it!

Output: How can we channel the experience from Kitchen Gardeners to enthuse others?

The Brief - Part 3 - Community

Insight: We are inherently environmental through the nature of what we do. We are self-funded and all work part time to pay the bills.

We want to be more involved in the local community to get kids more into growing their own (not just mushrooms! Everything), viewing waste differently and even loving cooking fresh food from scratch, but to date we’ve had to focus on the basics of day to day operations

Output: Can we design a Kids / School ‘program’ that uses our knowledge to the benefit of local children.

How could that be financed (to cover costs, not make profit)?

How can I help?

You can make a start on this challenge simply by contributing ideas, or get stuck right in and share your work with the community here. Login or join the movement to get started!