After receiving his B.A. degree in 1973 from the University of Oregon, David attempted to change his career path and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison to pursue a business career. He earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, a MBA degree in finance and a MS degree in Real Estate by early 1977.
In 1976 while taking a trip to Southern California to visit his brother, David met his long term partner, Malcolm Clark and embarked on a journey of mushroom cultivation. Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. (GMI) began to produce Shiitake mushrooms in 1977 at the time when people were afraid to say the word “Shiitake”. Somehow there was confusion of saying “Shiitake” with a long vowel or short vowel. Today, GMI is cultivating more than 7 varieties of specialty mushrooms and over 30 species of mushroom health foods.
In the beginning, from 1977 to 1990, Malcolm operated the farm and David worked for some major companies in San Francisco. David worked in real estate investments at Equitable Life, Union Bank and at the Merrill Lynch Commercial Real Estate group.
In 1990, David took off his tie and suit and joined Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. full time, merging his biology background and his business training. David focused initially on a line of mushroom based health food products and the business aspect of GMI. GMI worked with many top chefs in the country. Today, the company supplies specialty mushrooms to more than two third of the states.
Malcolm retired in 2007 and David continued to operate the farm with a team of dedicated members of the company.
In 2014, David sat on a panel on the Mushroom and Health Summit in Washington D.C. sponsored by the Mushroom Counsel, the NIH, FDA and a few universities. The proceedings of the conference was published in 2014 in the Journal of Nutrition. In 2014, David spoke in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the Food 3000 conference where he spoke about the role of mushroom cultivation in sustainable agriculture when he coined the name “myco-cultural revolution”. He presented his talk at the Sonoma Mycological Society in January this year.
GMI has grown from weekly harvest of 200 lbs. per week in the first few years of operation to over 25,000 lbs. per week today. GMI has just acquired a new facility in Scottville, Michigan and will double production to over 40,000 lbs. per week by the end of 2015.