Sublicious Farms, located in Oakland Park, Florida is at first glance simply an organic compost and gourmet mushroom farm. But upon further review, it's easy to see that they offer so much more. They specialize in growing and selling perfected compost and delicious blue oyster mushrooms and soon, yellow and pink oyster mushrooms to local Fort Lauderdale restaurants and individual customers. But beyond that, they offer a place of community for musicians and artists. A place where creativity is evident everywhere, from the works of art located throughout the warehouse, to the painted expressions found on the walls and on the floor, and finally to the music that flows out of the studio almost daily. The passion of this business is felt throughout, from the team of people that run the farm, to the positive energy that permeates throughout the warehouse and out into the community and finally to the end product - high end organic compost and mushrooms that look like blossoming flowers.
Scott Lyons, founder of Sublicious Compost, which later became Sublicious Farms, is the mastermind behind the concept. Growing up, Scott always had a love for food, cooking and especially for mushrooms. He would incorporate mushrooms into many of the recipes that he created in the kitchen. In addition, he loved music. Incorporating the two seemed like a natural fit.
While attending the University of Florida, he decided to start growing his own mushrooms. He would purchase compost online but he continually had issues with the products he would receive. Either the compost was contaminated or worse yet, he would not even receive what he had ordered. He had the idea to start creating his own compost. Through research, trial and error, he came up with a much better product than he was able to purchase online. In addition, his compost was organic.
By the time he graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 with his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in hand, he was successfully selling his organic compost online.
His reputation continued to 'grow', and people began to buy his compost in bulk. Scott realized that there was a market not only for organic compost, but for mushrooms as well. He started a greenhouse in his backyard and started growing organic mushrooms that he would eventually sell to local restaurants and markets. He was well received and the list of clients began to grow. In 2011, when his business outgrew his backyard, he grabbed an investor, rented a warehouse in Oakland Park and officially began his business - Sublicious Compost.
In my exclusive interview with Scott, he told me why he got the business going in the first place. He said, he created Sublicious Compost as a way to fund his first love of creating and playing music (he's a piano and guitar player) and to build networks among musicians. His appreciation of art soon incorporated local artists into the mix as well. Check out the video in this article for an impromptu performance by Scott.
Taking this networking concept a step further, Scott frequently hosts events at the Farm - music fests, networking shows, jam sessions and more. I recently attended the Farm and Art Networking show that Scott and his team put together which enabled local farmers, artists, restaurant owners, and individuals from the community to come together, eat a delicious spread of food created by Culinary Rocker Chef Johnny Ciao, El Guanaco owners/chefs Christina and Judy and local chef Eric Schneider. All produce and meats were provided by local organic farmers and fishermen. Spices were supplied by one of South Florida's premiere retail spice outlets, The Spice Quarter in Fort Lauderdale. In addition, the local artists displayed their art throughout the warehouse, for people to view, buy and lavish over. Music was played by several talented musicians throughout the night.
Another event coming up on March 8th, will feature the Culinary Rocker Chef Johnny Ciao. He will be hosting one of his famous Blues Buffets at Sublicious Farms. He will be incorporating Sublicious Farms blue oyster mushrooms into his recipes adding an additional flare to his already flavorful meals. Music will also be on the menu including Johnny on the harmonica and several other local musicians to jam the night away. An event not to be missed. Those interested can purchase tickets for the event on the Sublicious website. Tickets are $35 per person.
The efforts of Scott's team should not go unnoticed. While I was at Sublicious, I briefly spoke to two of the team members - Ryan Stango, a young, eclectic guy who focuses on graphics, web design, email campaigns, SEO, and social media for Sublicious, is always at the computer doing what he does best. When he's not at his computer, you just might see him performing his fire tossing show at the Farm. I also talked to Luke Rohenaz, IT technology guru. He came from an Internet Technology consulting background working with law firms. He decided to branch out on his own, as a freelancer. He met Scott in 2012 and decided to come and work at Sublicious Farms in an IT capacity. Luke told me that he loves the freedom of expression he has at Sublicious and being able to choose what to do that's for the good of all involved. Also the goal is to seek out people that are in alignment with the mindset of the group at Sublicious and who are passionate about life. Luke is focusing on projects such as projection mapping, audio for their studio, and video to enhance the experience of those who come to Sublicious Farms. There are many other team members that are just as passionate and hard working that round out this successful endeavor.
Final thoughts - for those who are interested in growing organic mushrooms at home, Sublicious Farms offers kits that can be purchased on-site or online. Easy to use for the novice or the expert, and allows the grower to create organic mushrooms that are delicious and flavorful, every time.
I asked Scott what advice he would give to other young business owners - he said, make sure you do what you love, stick with it, and be passionate. Oh, and that nothing good comes easy.
Check out this great establishment, these hard workers, and their fantastic mushrooms, music, art and positive energy. They are located at 4030 NE 6th Avenue, Oakland Park, Florida 33334. Call them at 954-261-3314. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website - http://www.subliciousfarms.com.