AUBURN — After Andrew Dostie and his uncle, Pat Bolduc, lost their jobs in the pandemic, Dostie turned to YouTube and found himself drawn to hours and hours of videos of people growing mushrooms.

The more he thought about it, he decided they could grow mushrooms, too.

When Dostie pitched the idea, Bolduc was in.

“It just kind of blossomed from there,” Dostie said.

D&B Family Mushroom Farm opens Saturday.

The pair have turned a former beauty salon at 21 Second St. into a retail store and indoor farm with four growing rooms, for now.

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Dostie had worked at a bakery for two years and Bolduc at a sign company for nearly 30 years.

“The thought of urban gardening appealed to me, actually,” Bolduc said. As they’ve planted and geared up, “I’ve been white-knuckling it the whole time. It’s very exciting right now; kind of scary-exciting.”

They’re growing two types of oyster mushrooms and lion’s mane mushrooms to start.

Lion’s mane is popular as a meat substitute, Dostie said, with “the texture of lobster and crab meat, almost, once it’s cooked, and it also has a lot of medicinal benefits to it.”

The oyster mushrooms, which grow in several colors, are popular in high-end restaurants, he said.

“But they go great on burgers, too,” Bolduc added. “They’re a real pretty looking mushroom so they have good curb appeal, too, on your plate.”

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The store will sell fresh and dehydrated mushrooms, along with micro-greens and herbs grown on site, plus a variety of baked goods and mushroom-friendly soups and stews packaged to-go.

They plan weekend hours to start, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dostie said he’ll put his baking background into offering fresh breads, dinner rolls, cookies and other creations.

“They kind of go hand and hand: Andrew’s going to be making a roasted mushroom cream cheese spread that goes great on a bagel, so why not supply the bagels, too,” Bolduc said.


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