Meet exotic mushroom farming couple of Rich Life Farm and Fungi

NEW RICHMOND, Ohio – The thing that Emalee and Pete Richman love the most in this world is one another. But mushrooms are a close second.

This couple uprooted their lives in March 2020 to pursue these two great passions. They quit their jobs, moved from North Carolina to New Richmond, Ohio, and started a gourmet mushroom farm together: Rich Life Farm and Fungi.

They had been mushroom hobbyists for years, but this endeavor was only partially thanks to their fascination with fungi. It was grounded in their desire to spend time together. 

Before, Emalee worked night shifts at a nonprofit while Pete worked in horticulture during the day. They felt like they were always missing each other.

“We’ve been having this dream for a while, of wanting to work with each other,” Emalee said. “We were sick of giving the best of ourselves to other companies and other people. We want to give it to ourselves and each other.”

Pete and Emalee Richman own Rich Life Farm and Fungi, a 10 acre farm in New Richmond. They started growing gourmet mushrooms in May 2020 and selling in March of 2021. You can find them at Findlay Market on Saturdays and Hyde Park Farmer's Market on Sundays. They'll also be at the Madeira Market every other Thursday. They also supply to several restaurants in the area.

Emalee and Pete knew they wanted to make a change.

It meant spending months transforming a pole barn into a growing lab. It meant growing batch after batch without selling to pass inspections. It meant sacrificing their previous lives and careers.

In March 2021, Rich Life was approved to sell its exotic mushrooms by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Pete and Emalee now spend their days together raising mushrooms, selling them at seven markets and supplying eight restaurants.

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