How many business owners get a chance to discuss fiscal policy with the President of the United States at the White House? Not many. Nikhil Arora and Alex Velez had the opportunity in November of 2012, along with eleven other business owners. But how did they get to the level of success that merits an invitation to a tête-a-tête in the Roosevelt Room?
Back in 2009, Nikhil and Alex decided to forego lucrative careers in investment banking and consulting to become full-time, urban mushroom farmers. Classmates at UC Berkeley, the two were enchanted by the ability to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds.
“We fell in love with this ‘waste-to-food’ model our last semester,” recalled Nikhil. “We started off with some test buckets in Alex's fraternity kitchen closet and a $5,000 grant from our Chancellor.”
Today that Oakland-based business is known as Back to the Roots and employs 15 employees. “Our vision is to connect families to food through fun and... Read More