Urban Mushrooms is a social enterprise operated by YMCA Newcastle. We grow specialty oyster mushrooms on used coffee grounds that are collected from coffee shops around Newcastle City Centre as a way to combat youth unemployment. We then sell our fantastic quality mushrooms back to the restaurants. Coffee is big business with around 55 million cups drank per day in the UK, that's 350,000 cups daily in Newcastle alone! All this creates a lot of waste, with over 500,000 tons of coffee grounds making its way to landfill every year. Urban Mushrooms was set up to tackle youth unemployment through the cultivation of speciality Oyster mushrooms using clean coffee waste. Our mushrooms are grown on used coffee grounds that we collect by foot from our Coffee Partners around the City Centre. Coffee Partners are restaurants and coffee shops that help our social enterprise by supplying us with their used coffee grounds. So far we have enlisted the help of Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Vicolo and Flat Caps Coffee onto our Coffee Partner scheme, to name a few. Once back at our urban farm the coffee grounds are cleaned by our team of young people, mixed with mushroom spawn, then left to grow in perfect conditions for the next few weeks before being carefully harvested.
More than mushrooms… together we are growing jobs. We have a social and environmental mission to offer opportunities to young people with barriers to employment as well as reduce coffee to landfill, we also just happen to grow the best quality oyster mushrooms.