Table Talk: OB’s Max Goransson of Golden Mushroom Co. In His Own Words

by on January 14, 2022 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

by Sal Mineo (@snackdiego)

Hello again, OB.  As faithful readers of Table Talk, I’m sure you all remember what we are about here – getting personal with those in our community keeping us well-fed and quenched.  Our local food celebrities but before they get huge and have a publicist.  Sometimes it’s the restaurant owner; but sometimes it’s the guy, behind the guy, behind the guy.

This is my neighbor, Max. I first met him one average OB day as I rode up the alley to the back entrance of our place, and came upon Max and his friend Talia taking some glamour shots using our fence as a backdrop (it has a cool viney thing growing on it – influencers, come check it out).

The subjects of the photographs were these utterly stunning mushrooms, which even in OB you just don’t see every day.  Naturally, I said something brilliant like “what’s that?”, we got to chitter chatter and that’s when I learned I have a neighbor that cultivates these absolute specimens in his grow room right across the alley.  So, now I have a mushroom guy.  Yes they are still called “photographs” even if you are using a phone (I checked).

Let’s get into some table talk with Max Goransson of Golden Mushroom Co, who with his business partner Adam brings you mushrooms that almost look too good to cook and eat, every week at the OB Farmers Market.  You can see what I’m jabbering about on Instagram (@goldenmushroomco) or their website . Check them out and support your neighbors.

Here’s Max, in his own words.

How’d you get to where you are today – owning a mushroom cultivation business in OB?

I moved to San Diego from Baltimore MD in 2018, four years ago! I was working in the service industry as a bartender/server. When COVID shut everything down last year, my buddy Adam and I put our heads together on growing mushrooms. We started in our houses separately, nerding out on things here and there. After a lot of successful runs on different species of mushrooms, we decided to start building out some rooms and providing mushrooms for the neighborhood.

Tell us about starting up the Golden Mushroom, when did it start, was it smooth sailing  or were there some challenges?

Oh man, good question. Mushrooms can be temperamental (especially when you are beginning), and pinpointing why they’re being temperamental is challenging. It’s hard to demand a natural process to do specific things at specific times. We have our flow now, but finding it took time!

Shelf life is also pretty short for mushrooms. You need to have them timed right for events/markets/orders.

Why did you choose OB as the community for your business?  Do you sell your mushrooms and kits elsewhere?  Has being in the farmers market plugged you in with other food businesses, and has that helped you?

My partner Adam and I both love OB. I’ve lived here for a while now. It’s home base for us!

We’re running about three markets per week, and sell to a few restaurants in town.

The markets have definitely plugged us in to a lot of different people. From chefs to private dinner hosts, it’s been the best place to connect.

What do you love about mushrooms and growing them?  What are some of your favorite mushrooms, and how do you like to prepare them?

The entire process as a whole is a beautiful thing to experience. I would say understanding the full life cycle, mocking environments to the needs of each species, and observing mycelial growth is what I love about growing. Also having multiple kinds readily available to cook at home is a major plus.

My favorite kinds! Hmm, I would have to say Chanterelles. My mom lives in Alabama, and her property is full of Chanterelles every year. I’ll go out and collect a bunch, then head back to her house and cook for the family.

I saute them by themselves for a while. In a separate pan, I make a sauce. I usually make a garlic wine sauce or something good to pour over. I get creative every time! Good Finishing Salt is key!

Can you share anything about yourself, outside of the business – anything else you enjoy doing or are passionate about?

Music! Surfing! Camping! Going outside! Loving my friends and family!

Anything soul filling.

What are your top three favorite places or things to eat in San Diego?

Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy, Eggplant Sub from Poma’s in OB, and Pho at Point Loma and Grill on Midway.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shrum January 14, 2022 at 5:34 pm

very cool, always grab a 5 or 10$ bunch at the farmers market


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: