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Tiger Mushroom Farms: A Young Entrepreneur Dreams of Building a National Brand

Katie Sorokas Katie Sorokas Tiger Mushroom Farms: A Young Entrepreneur Dreams of Building a National BrandTe'Lario Watkins II started Tiger Mushroom Farms when he was seven years old. Photo provided.
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Te’Lario Watkins II has dreams of growing Tiger Mushroom Farms, his local mushroom farm based in Columbus, into a national brand. He is currently looking for a warehouse to house an expansion so he can provide fresh and dried mushrooms and products to more people and businesses in Central Ohio and across the country.

This young farmer has big plans to continue his legacy of being a recipient of the Mayor’s 20 Under 20 award in 2018. And there is no doubt Watkins has what it takes to make Tiger Mushroom Farms a national success given that he founded his company as a Tiger Scout (the name of Watkins’ farm is actually inspired by a project in Tiger Scouts). Time is on Watkins’ side as he builds his business, community, and customer base, which he balances out with school.

Read more about how Tiger Mushroom Farms got started on The Metropreneur

Currently, Watkins’ mushrooms and products are available both online and at the Worthington Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 AM – 12 PM. His personal favorite are the fresh shiitake mushrooms. A variety of fresh and dried local mushrooms are for sale along with seasoning blends made with dried mushroom powder, mini mushroom farm kits, and Te’Lario’s Amazing Mushroom Farm. It’s the story about Watkins’ journey as a young child working on a project for Tiger Scouts who became a successful entrepreneur and farmer along the way.

Watkins’ family has a history of gardening and growing produce, but he does not come from a family of mushroom farmers.

“My great-great-grandfather grew sugarcane, pecans, and other tropical produce in Florida. . . . My family has grown produce in our backyard,” he says.

Luckily for Columbus, Watkins took his legacy of green thumbs and grew Tiger Mushroom Farms right here.

“Columbus is the best,” Watkins shared when he talked about what makes his farm’s location special. “The highlight of my experiences is meeting new people and making new friends.”

When he’s not selling his mushrooms and products at the Worthington Farmers Market, Watkins is connecting with local restaurants and businesses to provide some of the “farm” in local, farm-to-table dishes.

Sassafras Bakery in Worthington has used our shiitake in their galettes and Chapman’s Eat Market recently used our shiitake mushrooms in their Juneteenth Celebration menu.”

Watkins may be young, but he is building his dream with Tiger Mushroom Farms in Columbus. And about that warehouse? Watkins said, “Contact me if you know someone!”

For more information on where to find and buy Tiger Mushroom Farms products, visit tigermushroomfarms.com.

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