Welcome back to the video and blog series MycoAgrarians: a year in the life of a mushroom farm start-up. If this is the first you’re hearing of this series, check out our introductory video and blog post

In this post, I am going to be outlining everything that Phil and I did to initially set up our brand. We would like to disclaim that neither of us are experts on starting a business. Our goal here is to document everything we do in our first year as a mushroom company. This INCLUDES the successes and the failures. Our hope is that this series will make starting a mushroom farm, or any small business for that matter, more accessible. There is a lot involved in creating a business, but we want to show you that it’s not about being perfect right off the bat; the important part is taking action, no matter what you’re starting with!


The first branding decision we made was to choose a name. This involved going back and forth for several weeks saying names out loud to one another. There were MANY flops, let me tell you!

We settled on Fungal Affairs when we were testing out taglines… I had the idea for a tagline “it’s a fungal affair!”, but Phil thought that would be a great name for the business. We let it sit with us for a couple of days and got some feedback from family and friends. We wanted to make sure there weren’t any negative associations with the name. Everyone loved the name, so we decided to go for it!


Last year I took an online Business Bootcamp with the not-for-profit Young Agrarians. The course was focused on building a business plan for a farm. Each module went through a section of the business plan and one of the first modules that we did was on branding. Our homework for this section was to complete a worksheet answering a number of questions related to building a brand

  1. If our brand was a person, what kind of person would they be?
  2. What kind of mood do we want our brand to convey? 
  3. Where are we positioned in the market?  
  4. What are our core values?  
  5. What visuals come to mind when we think about our brand?  
  6. Who is our customer and what is their problem?  
  7. What is our solution?  
  8. What is unique about what we are offering?  

Phil and I made ourselves some reishi hot chocolate, sat in front of our wood stove in our tiny home, and had a blast answering these questions together. Besides being an enjoyable activity, this brainstorming made it very easy for us to complete a number of other tasks that we needed to do in order to initially set up our brand.


Next, we created a vision and mission statement. The vision statement describes how you see your business 5-10 years from now and your mission statement describes what you strive for daily with your company.

Vision – Fungal Affairs seeks to sustain annual growth in order to acquire a facility to fruit mushrooms at a larger scale, create more jobs locally, expand our product and service offerings, and take part in the movement to rejuvenate rural towns. 

Mission – Fungal Affairs aims to connect people with the healing powers of mushrooms by working in partnership with members of our community.


After completing the vision and mission statements, we created a value proposition and tagline. The value proposition is the who, what, where of your business in a nutshell. It’s that one-liner that you say to the person in the elevator when they ask you what you do! The tagline is that little extra message or key info that isn’t in the name of your business.   

Value proposition – Fungal Affairs is your local, small-scale, specialty mushroom producer serving Lac St. Anne County and surrounding area.  

Tagline – It takes a village to grow mushrooms


We don’t have a website yet, but we wanted to make sure that the domain name was reserved for when we do build one. All we did for this was purchase a domain name from GoDaddy for $40 a year.  

We also wanted the domain name for our email address. We set up a Microsoft 365 business account and were able to create the email jillandphil@fungalaffairs.ca rather than fungalaffairs@outlook.com because we had purchased the domain name.  

We also made sure that @fungalaffairs was available on Instagram because we plan on doing the majority of our marketing through Instagram and wanted it to be easy for our customers to find us on this platform.


The last thing we did to initially set up our brand was to create our logo. We searched the internet for inspiration. We saved color palettes that we liked, logos of other companies that we liked, imagery that we felt represented our brand, fonts we liked, and so on. We also saved some of our own pictures that encompassed our vibe. For example, Phil has an orange vintage Volkswagen van, which helped to inspire the 70s vibe of our brand.  

This exercise turned out to be tremendously useful. When we reached out to an artist on Fiverr to create our logo, we sent him a collage of ideas that we had put together from our internet brainstorming session. Because of this, the first draft of our logo that he produced was pretty much bang-on.  

One tip we have is to make sure that the logo package of the artist that you go with includes source files like JPEG, PNG, and PDF files, logo transparency so you can use your logo on top of another image, a printable version, a 3D mockup because it makes your logo look more realistic, a vector file so you can change the size of your logo without losing the quality, a social media kit so that your logo is consistent across your social media, and a stationary design to be used on business cards and letterheads.


So our basic branding set-up, for the time being, includes a name, vision and mission statement, value proposition and tagline, domain name and email, an Instagram handle, and a logo. We think this initial work will make life easier in the future when we go to write our business plan to secure funding, when we design our website, and when we market our product.  

Having that clear and consistent brand will help to keep communication with our customers simple. Predetermined colors, fonts, imagery, and tone will make it easy to put together Instagram posts, emails, newsletters, and advertisements. Having a feeling behind our brand will help to attract customers to our product. After all, it is important to us that our customers feel like they are a part of a community when they purchase mushrooms from us. Finally, we feel that our brand will be a continual reminder to us of who we are, why we exist, and what we want to contribute to our community. Our brand will serve as our guiding light. 

If you enjoyed this content, make sure to follow both Fungal Affairs and Fungi Akuafo on Instagram, like the Fungi Akuafo page on Facebook, and subscribe to the Fungi Akuafo YouTube channel for more content to come!

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