HOOBA URBAN, a Community Interest Company created in partnership with Darlington based Myco Foods Ltd, has launched in the North East.

Hooba Urban CIC has been created by Myco Foods director John Shepherd and Jamie Sadler of Food Nation. The Community Interest Company will provide young people on YMCA training programmes and prisoners within open prison environments to become involved in urban farming, recycling, food waste reduction, agriculture, sales and community involvement; expanding their skill set and greatly increasing their employability.

Participants in the scheme will:

  • Collect used coffee grounds from local cafes, restaurants and hotels
  • Using the coffee grounds, create the optimum environment to grow their specified strain of oyster mushroom
  • Harvest the mushrooms at four and seven week intervals

John Shepherd said, “It was always our vision to use our own growing skills to put something back into the community, and so Hooba Urban was born. We are passionate about reducing the amount of food that is wasted year on year in the UK and coffee grounds create the perfect environment to grow our tasty mushrooms.”

Myco foods will then purchase the mushroom stems and assist with onward sales of the caps – either fresh to local eateries or dried through the website. After the second harvest, the residual coffee grounds can then be sold as a soil enhancer, making the whole process sustainable and reducing the enormous problem of food waste in the UK.

Jamie Sadler will directly train participants in how to prepare and use oyster mushrooms and Hooba products as well as giving basic cooking skills as part of an introduction to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Jamie will also demonstrate how their work and skill have resulted in an end product for themselves and ultimately, for consumers.

Within the prison environment, Myco Foods Ltd will provide the growing containers, together with full training and ongoing instruction and advice to ensure maximum yield and quality at all times.

Hooba sausages and burgers are not just about great taste – the team are on a mission; to do their bit to help reduce global meat production and at the same time improve the health of the nation by producing tasty food that contains less meat, or even no meat at all. With the world’s population increasing and concerns over environmentally sound and sustainable sources of protein, Hooba provides a great and ecologically friendly alternative to meat which will make you wish #MeatFreeMonday lasted all week.

Hooba products are available to order now at www.hoobafoods.com/shop/. Join the ‘Hoobalution’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and spread the #hoobalove.