Feb 27, 2023 - Business

'Shroom coffee is Boulder's hot new natural food startup

Peak State CEO and co-founder Danny Walsh, center, accepts his award. Photo: Courtesy of Naturally Boulder/Julie Zagars

Boulder crowned its hottest new natural food trend: Mushroom coffee.

What to know: Peak State Coffee won the 18th annual Naturally Boulder pitch contest — Colorado's unofficial "Shark Tank" for natural foods — taking the judge's and people's choice awards.

  • The company infuses functional mushrooms into organic, whole coffee beans through a patented process that adds health benefits to people's daily routines.
  • "You're getting something else out of your morning coffee," co-founder and CEO Danny Walsh told John.

Why it matters: True to its image, Boulder is a global cradle for natural food brands, and the competition has a record of launching startups to bigger fame.

  • The 2021 Naturally Boulder winner, Frescos Naturales, went on to land a deal on ABC's "Shark Tank."

Details: Peak State launched in April 2020, and its founders hesitated amid the pandemic. "Then we realized that everyone's at home now and everyone wants immune support," Walsh told us.

  • The company — with three employees and eight part-time sales reps — started by selling direct to consumers through its website and farmers markets, building sales to $300,000 last year — double 2021 totals.
  • "Boulder is just one of the best ecosystems in the world for building a brand like this," Walsh says.

What's next: With the pitch-contest prize package, Walsh is looking to launch its first marketing campaign and move into its initial retail stores. "We are trying to be a brand doing it right and we are trying to be great rather than big," he says.

Of note: Vegan multivitamin maker Terraseed and kombucha maker Hooch Booch finished second and third, respectively.


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