Wyreside Mushrooms

Lancaster, United Kingdom

It’s always nice to see a passionate personal interest turn into a profitable business and a wholesome lifestyle. Paul and Hayley collected their award for the Micro Business of the Year category in November of 2023, and yet, their customers harvested their first mushrooms only a year prior. The business started in March of 2022, providing a tasty, healthy, and fun ingredient to people in Lancaster and Morecambe. 

Oyster mushrooms growing indoors

Paul has 20 years of experience growing mushrooms. When the lockdown ignited creativity, their kitchen filled with beautiful specimens of blue-grey Oysters and Lion’s Mane. Both Paul and Hayley are vegan, and mushrooms are a great protein-rich addition to their diet. The Lion’s Mane has all the umami flavours and a crispy texture with a soft middle when prepared as a steak on a hot pan. Once the pandemic madness was over, the taste of mushrooms lingered, prompting the creation of Wyreside Mushrooms to supply the local community. While working other full-time jobs, Paul and Hayley built and equipped the farm and started small-scale production. 

Mushrooms differ significantly from plants, but the modern beauty of controlled-environment agriculture presents substantial financial opportunities in almost any space. Hayley mentions that it’s one of the coolest, most challenging, and most rewarding jobs. Things can sometimes go wrong, but with those challenges comes experience. Paul’s favourite aspect is connecting with like-minded people fascinated by mushrooms. 

Oyster mushrooms on display


Their business focuses on benefiting the northwest coast by the river Wyre, which is the origin of their name. Hayley and Paul make face-to-face deliveries to Whole Foods shops and support the local food project Food Futures by providing cooking demonstrations of Oyster mushrooms to allow people to try the novelty ingredient. They like to connect with their customers and typically sell out within their small delivery radius.

Sustainability and earth care are critical. To minimise waste, they started a WhatsApp group where surplus or unsold mushrooms are sold at reduced prices and ready for pickup straight from the farm. The waste products of mushroom cultivation are donated to a local organic farm to add to the soil biome. 

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.