As I speak with a 13th generation farmer, I realize that he has an idealistic appreciation for healthy food. Tero Isokauppila, President of Four Sigmatic, devotes his time and energy to his innovative company that focuses on the nutritional benefits of-yep, mushrooms.
With an innate interest in nutrition, Isokauppila began exploring edible mushrooms on the ground during his travels because mushrooms grow in all sorts of climates, even Antarctica.
He is now taking it upon himself to get to the root of the health problems that plague too many individuals. He explains, "I've been working in this industry for a while and in this particular case I wanted to help people be healthier. I thought, What are things that can make the biggest impact? I came to these three things: digestive, hormonal, and immunity."
With these three things in mind, he is working with Four Sigma Foods to expand a line of drinkable concoctions to address these issues. For instance, Mushroom Coffee and Instant Chaga are high in antioxidants and offer nutrition from mushroom extracts. Additionally, Lion's Mane is great for the brain, nerves and immune system.
The flavors of these products are quite spot-on. The instant mushroom coffee tastes like a normally brewed cup of coffee, and the Instant Chaga and Lion's Mane are sweet and robust on their own or add a unique dimension to tea or coffee.
Aside from the health benefits, you can feel good about buying from Four Sigmatic. When you buy any Superfood Mushroom box, the profit goes towards a mushroom kit worth over $1,500 for a cancer patient.
Curious about his plans for growth, I ask, "What are your goals for the next year?" He tells me, "Be happy and help people. We moved our headquarters to the United States, so we are growing at a comfortable pace. It comes back to us enjoying what we do, and wanting to help people."
And liking what you do goes a long way; Four Sigma Foods is sold in 25 countries and has been featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine, Elle, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times and more. Mushroom product development isn't the most obvious career path that comes to mind when you look at a young, blonde European like Isokauppila. But he is creating a legacy in his own right by following in his family's footsteps, nurturing his entrepreneurial spirit and striving to make people healthier, one mushroom at a time.