Coffee Shop are all around in the Philippines this days and you might be wondering with all the coffee they are making there are lots of used coffee ground that are put into the garbage. Here is a great business idea from the U.S. utilizing the discarded coffee grounds from Bloomberg BusinessWeek. A University of California, Berkeley business students Nikhil Arora and Alex Velez perked up when a business ethics professor mentioned a sustainable business opportunity: using nutrient-rich discarded coffee grounds to grow mushrooms.
Hooked on the idea of “creating a business out of waste streams,” Arora says, the pair tested the idea in a fraternity kitchen in early 2009. When their mushrooms sprouted a month later, they started BTTR (pronounced Better) Ventures, and by the time they graduated that May, they had a $5,000 grant from Berkeley and interest from such customers as Whole Foods and Berkeley chef Alice Waters.
BTTR Ventures collects 8,000 pounds of coffee grounds each week that shops such as Peet’s Coffee would otherwise discard. When they’re done growing mushrooms, Arora, 23, and Velez, 22, donate the compost to local schools and community gardens.
In addition to selling the mushrooms they grow in their 2,500-square foot warehouse, they sell starter kits to let consumers grow their own mushrooms. The home kits now move at a rate of about 200 a week in local Whole Foods, with additional sales online, and make up half of BTTR Ventures’ business.
Photo by Kristen Loken.