Where did you mushroom journey begin?
I have been using mushroom supplements for as long as I can remember, my parents would encourage me to taken them whenever I was feeling under the weather. I also used to cook a lot of mushrooms in the restaurants I worked in and was in awe of their unique nature.
What is your mushroom spirit animal and why?
I would say I am a Maitake. Earthy, playful, versatile, medicinal ... delicious. I find maitake mushrooms wondrous and I really love cooking and eating them. They are also known as the 'dancing mushroom' and I do love to dance, so why not :)
Quote that you live by?
“Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor, and Change. - Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't waste your time trying to figure it out. - Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure - Change: Know that nothing ever stays the same.”
Tell us one of your favorite facts that captivated you with the fungi world.
Mushrooms spores can survive the vacuum and radiation of space!
What is your favorite mushroom pun or funny joke?
What is a mushrooms favorite thing to bring camping? S’pores.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Boulder, Colorado where I developed an affinity for plant-based nutrition, sustainability and alternative wellness approaches from an early age. I first began working in local restaurants at the age of 14 and fell in love. It led me to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University. After working as a restaurant consultant and in private equity (focused on the Organic food space), I decided to compete on Anthony Bourdains, ABC’s primetime cooking competition series, The Taste where I won. I then began consulting on projects and was named Visiting Executive Chef of Bon Appetit magazine. I then re imagined The Little Beet restaurants as Director of Culinary and Innovation. Then plant people was born, drawing upon my upbringing and former experience . My business partner and I shared similar experiences of using herbs, mushrooms and hemp to treat our spinal traumas and saw an incredible opportunity to build something that helps both people and the planet.
What is your brand's story?
It was on a hike that Gabe Kennedy and Hudson Gaines-Ross discovered a shared life experience - both had undergone conventional surgeries after traumatic spinal injuries. As is common, both had been prescribed traditional pharmaceuticals that left them feeling dissociated, irritable and generally unwell. Disillusioned, they turned away from conventional Western medicine and found healing and wholeness on a plant-based path to recovery, lifted by the power in cannabis along with eastern and western herbs. Amazed and inspired to share nature’s brilliance, the two founded Plant People.
For Gabe, a trained chef, this was an evolution in his embrace of alternative medicine (from a household of healers, his parents are acupuncturists and herbalists) and for Hudson, this would be his second plant-based venture. Inspired, the two now understood that to heal their communities was infinitely possible and an utterly necessary mission. Plant People is a philosophy. Alongside its high quality and innovative products, the company exists to empower people in making alternative and altogether more positive choices when it comes to healing the body and mind.
In sourcing the best plant genetics, extraction methods and delivery systems, Plant People became a reality. With the help of alternative medicine doctors and scientists, we tirelessly experiment with herbs and botanicals, discovery and sharing powerful, effective and innovative formulas.