Who is Gentleman Forager?

Welcome to Gentleman Forager, where flavors tell stories of adventure, discovery, and innovation. At the helm is Mike Kempenich, also known as the Gentleman Forager. Mike’s journey toward Gentleman Forager was a step toward aligning his work with a more purpose-driven life. His deep dive into the fungal kingdom wasn’t just about understanding mushrooms; instead, it was about exploring the intricate web of life that forests embody.

By immersing himself in the world of fungi, Mike aimed to find his place within this complex ecosystem. Consequently, his work reflects a commitment to nature and a desire to share this connection with others. Ultimately, Gentleman Forager is about more than mushrooms—it’s about embracing the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

Mike Kempenich, AKA Gentleman Forager picking black trumpet mushrooms
Both chanterelles and chicken of the woods mushrooms in the woods

Commercial Exotic Mushroom Cultivation

Mike’s journey into the fungal world began with cultivating specialty mushrooms, which laid the groundwork for a deep and immersive exploration into the realms of wild foods. Because of his expertise and passion, he has become a leading wholesale distributor of wild mushrooms and other wild food products. In fact, he has been supplying restaurants and enthusiasts with nature’s unique offerings for nearly 15 years.

Additionally, Mike has shared his knowledge by teaching wild mushroom identification classes at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. He continues to share his expertise through his classes and forays, guiding others into the captivating world of wild mushrooms.

Two cans of Headwater functional mushroom beverage

Innovative Mushroom Food and Beverages

Lately, there's been a shift toward creating food and beverage products that combine the allure of the wild with the convenience of the familiar. Consequently, Gentleman Forager is developing foods and beverages infused with functional mushrooms and plant elements, reflecting Mike's purpose-driven ethos. Furthermore, this initiative isn't just about creating healthy, flavorful products. Instead, it's about incorporating the extraordinary gifts of the wild into daily life. By doing this, Gentleman Forager aims to make wellness and a connection to nature more accessible to everyone.
Gentleman Forager teaching a class

Committed to Mushroom Education

Gentleman Forager is deeply committed to mushroom education. Throughout the year, Mike, the driving force behind the initiative, leads a variety of activities. These include foraging and identification classes, speaking engagements, and unique events. Consequently, these gatherings are not just educational; they're also a celebration of nature's bounty. Moreover, these events offer hands-on experiences, fostering a community of like-minded individuals. As a result, attendees gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. In addition, the events help promote the value of connecting with nature. Ultimately, Gentleman Forager's focus on education and community engagement serves to strengthen our relationship with the environment.
wild morels, ramps and fiddleheads

The First Wild Food Grocer in America

Gentleman Forager takes pride in being the first wild food grocer in America, with its innovative venture, 'Forest to Fork.' This pioneering concept was established by Mike, the driving force behind the idea. It wasn't just a typical store; instead, it was an experience like no other. For instance, when customers entered, they were greeted by a 15-foot tall glass chamber filled with various mushroom varieties. This unique feature wasn't just for show; it provided a glimpse into the fascinating world of mushrooms. As a result, customers didn't just shop—they embarked on a journey of discovery, witnessing firsthand the magic of mushrooms as they grew. This groundbreaking concept underscores Gentleman Forager's commitment to innovation and creating memorable experiences for customers. It's not merely a place to buy wild foods; rather, it's a space where nature and commerce intersect in a truly remarkable way.
Mike kempenich, AKA The Gentleman Forager speaking in the outdoors

Become part of our mushroom community

From a humble beginning as a mushroom cultivator to a thought leader in the wild food industry, Mike’s journey has been driven by a passion for nature, an unyielding curiosity, and a desire to share the wonder of the wild with others. Gentleman Forager isn’t just a company; it’s a testament to where curiosity, passion, and hard work can lead. Join us in celebrating the wild, the wonderful, and the deliciously unknown.

Let’s Learn and Have Fun Together

Get in touch so we can start your journey!