We were lucky to catch up with Michael Schatte recently and have shared our conversation below.
Michael, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to go back in time and hear the story of how you came up with the name of your brand?
When I was thinking about naming my business, I didn’t seem to like anything I picked. Nothing really worke or it just sounded bland. It took a few months to finally land on what it is today.
My business started as a side project that required me to work late at night. At that time I had a full time job and 3 kids to look after. Working late at night seemed to be the only way I could get things done without distraction. Then late one night after finishing some lab work, I looked at my watch and it had just hit midnight. It was like a light went off in my head. That’s it! Midnight Mushroom Co was born.
The name is a testament to the many late nights I’ve dedicated to getting this business off the ground. Starting a business and keeping it going is very hard. The name reminds me of where I came from and to always keep pushing forward through the pain and sleepless nights. It’s all worth it in the end when customers tell me how happy they are with our products.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
We provide mushroom growing supplies and kits to customers all over the US. Making the cultivation of mushrooms easier is what we strive for. When cultivating mushrooms there are several steps that must be accomplished before you can get a mushroom. We help with offering shortcuts in the process so that our customers can grow them quicker.
Our Mini Mushroom Farm Kits offer you the ability to have grow a delicious gourmet mushrooms in just 7 days after receiving it. If you’re interested in growing mushrooms every month, we offer a subscription service. Each month you receive a kit for a random gourmet mushroom. The kit may include Blue Oyster, Italian Oyster, Lions Mane, Golden Oyster, Pink Oyster, Chestnut, Enoki and many more.
We also offer more advanced supplies like Agar Plates, Slant Tubes, Pre-sterilized grain, wood and manure based substrate.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
When starting the business, we grew and sold gourmet mushrooms to local restaurants. Once COVID hit, it wiped out about 85% of our business. This is because restaurants had to pivot and start using less expensive ingredients to stay afloat. This caused us to pause and reevaluate our business model. We then started to focus on selling supplies and kits instead of fresh mushrooms. Once that portion of the business started to take off we completely stopped growing mushrooms. Now that we’re selling to a national market it’s help grow our business 10 fold.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
Creating a strong relationship with our customers is extremely important to the reputation of our business. We’ve made it a point to respond to emails and phone calls a quickly as possible. I know this seems like a simple thing but I personally know that not hearing back from a company for days can be frustrating. That’s why our customer service is extremely important to us.