About Us

A little about us - we're David "Cougar" Eberhardt and Shannon Barrett, two people passionate about the planet, travel, and mushrooms. Together, we make up Phenomenal Fungi. Our Mission is to stay healthy and to share our enthusiasm for mushrooms with as many people as possible. We believe that mushrooms can help undo much of the damage done to our planet. We also believe they can undo some of the damage we've done to ourselves. Mushrooms are sustainable, restorative and supportive and they taste pretty darn good too!

Cougar in GuatemalaDavid, aka Cougar, is the Founder of Phenomenal Fungi and the Chief Science Officer. He is the heart of this company and in charge of all things mushroom! His favorite place is out in nature and he loves nothing better than to spend time in the woods, hunting for mushrooms. A 30-year herbalist, Cougar focuses on natural health solutions and reconnecting to our original medicines. A friend introduced him to Reishi and maitake about 15 years ago. Then, the mushrooms were more readily available as teas. There were tinctures on the market, but they were somewhat expensive. He continued to read about and cook with mushrooms for the next several years. At some point, he found Paul Stamets’s book “Cultivator” and he was hooked.

Things really took off when we moved to Asheville. Here, Cougar found a large active mycological community, including foragers and cultivators. He became a member of NAMA, the North American Mycological Association, and the local Asheville mushroom club. Not long after moving to Asheville, Cougar was fortunate to attend a weekend cultivation seminar with Peter McCoy of Radical Mycology. The next year he traveled to Washington state and studied with Paul Stamets where he fine-tuned his cultivation and lab skills. More recently he’s worked with Tradd Cotter.

Cougar takes care of the scientific side of things, preparing and monitoring cultures, making tinctures and growing mushrooms. He designed and built his own flow hood, which is pretty nifty! He loves nothing better than to talk about those unusual fungi you find. His current passion is Cordyceps.

Shannon in KathmanduShannon comprises the C-Suite of the company. You'll find her managing the website, handling orders and designing cool t-shirts. Shannon spends less time in the woods and more in front of the computer, keeping up with the latest mushroom research. She's the one writing most of the blog posts. She's also been known to find a yummy recipe that Cougar will undoubtedly improve.

In addition to mushrooms, we care a lot about the planet. We strive to use local waste streams, such as coffee grounds and spent barley and malt from the beer industry. We are always researching new growing material. 

We also believe in providing the best quality product. Our mushroom tinctures are made from the fruit bodies, the actual mushrooms, instead of just mycelium. We want you to get the most benefit from these phenomenal fungi. Most of our cultures are sourced from actual clones, the wild fruit bodies. We also capture spore prints to preserve genetics. We strive to maintain our cultures as close to the wild source. Most of our cultures are within seven generations of their wild origin.

Thank you for letting us share our passion with you. Now go enjoy some mushrooms!