THE TEAM behind Stroud-based Slad Valley Mushrooms are looking forward to a first-time appearance at a food and drink festival in a picturesque Welsh town. 

A ‘lockdown love affair’ of an idea that began when film industry worker Rafe Williams returned to his hometown during the pandemic, the company has gone from strength to strength.

Joined by life-long friend and now business partner Oscar Clutterbuck-Jones, both are looking forward to bringing their marvellous mushrooms to a whole new audience.

Speaking about the company’s beginnings, Oscar said: “I’m a Cardiff boy originally and got to know Rafe through some fantastic family holidays caravanning in the Gower.

"I went off to university in Manchester and had finished my degree in geography, ready to look for the right job when Covid hit and everything changed for us all.

“Rafe was working in London in the film industry but as work dried up came home and looking for something new, started to experiment with growing gourmet mushrooms, literally in his garage in Slad Road.

“He asked me to come on board about six months later and in a matter of months, we were moving out of Rafe’s garage space into a huge warehouse in Gloucester, large enough for two full-time grow rooms; we now have four and it’s been an incredible journey so far.

“We’re regulars at our local farmers' market in Stroud which is always great and others such as Riverside in Cardiff but Cowbridge will be our biggest festival to date and we’re really excited about it.”

At first selling just Grey Oyster Mushrooms, Slad Valley’s repertoire now includes Yellow Oysters, Lion’s Mane, Speckled Chestnuts and an array of other store cupboard products made using dried mushrooms.

Depending on the time of year, they can produce up to 200kilos a week, with the next venture planned to be an expansion into the world of medicinal mushrooms.

Slad Valley Mushrooms team are looking forward to a first-time appearance at this year’s foodie favourite, the Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival which will take place across the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend (May 26 and May 27.)