Why we created Wunderground.
Coffee is our creativity. Wanting to make it wunderful inspired us. We sourced beans we feel great about, grown on smallholder farms by farmers we believe in. We roasted exactly a bagazillion beans to find the perfect balance to pair with our adaptogenic mushrooms and taste incredible. We’ve already gone on and on about our mushrooms and could go on and on some more. So yeah, we sell coffee. Really good coffee. But we prefer to think our actual product is helping people be creative.
We created Wunderground to help everyone find a pathway for creative expression. We were inspired by the back of a cereal box. Games, puzzles, journeys, they all got the brain going. Wunderground is here because we (physically) outgrew (for the most part) sugary cereals, but not the need to get our synapses firing in the morning. Wunderground is a cereal box for grownups. Wunder doesn’t happen until we are just comfortable enough to test our comfort levels. Once someone carves out a ritual for wunder to grow- a safe but curiosity-inducing headspace, wunder kicks in. That’s why we’re here.
So we took our coffee, poured it into a package that represents a blank canvas for creativity. Our designs inspire wunder. Our logo creates a stage. And we’re getting it ready for your performance.
Lion’s Mane is our shaggy pet. One of the more handsome devils, its true calling is boosting your brain power up to overdrive. Lion’s Mane is loved for its role in supporting memory, mental clarity and overall focus. It’s also who we lean on if we’re down in the dumps or otherwise need a friendly kick in the pants. Can people really get motivated by a mushroom? We certainly think so. Back in the day, it was reserved for royalty and cherished for its cognitive power by Buddhist monks who raved about its ability to help them focus during meditation. Well, raved about in their writings, anyway. When it’s time to turn off, Lion’s Mane is there to help with healthy sleep cycles. It’s less scientific names include Monkey’s Head, Bearded Tooth, the Pom-Pom Mushroom and King of the Mushroom Jungle. We might have made that last one up.
We love Chaga because we appreciate its take on life. It’s the party-starter, supporting physical endurance, reduced fatigue and helping healthy digestion. Chaga is the spirit animal of our immune system because of its richness of beta-glucans. Today’s history lesson: Chaga’s been used since the 16th Century, traditionally as a remedy for stomach ailments. Chaga is referred to as “black gold,” or “the gold of the forest” because they are known as one of the most potent natural medicines. They are found growing on birch trees in northern forests, sometimes as much as thirty feet off the ground. Which, of course, makes for a tricky harvest. Fun little fact for the next time you’re spouting mushroom trivia: Ötzi the Iceman, that mummy found in the Austrian Alps believed to have lived between 3400 to 3100 BCE, had Chaga in his pouch.
This little character has a handful of superpowers. It’s one of the most studied mushrooms for rest, balance and relaxation. For those wanting to get a little technical, Reishi contains more than 400 bioactive compounds, including triterpenoids and polysaccharides, among other local favorites. It’s considered to be an immunobooster, and carries the nickname Mushroom of Immortality. A bit of history- they’ve been used in China and Japan to support wellness for over 2,000 years. In Chinese culture, regular Reishi consumption is encouraged by medical practitioners. Also, they were crazy difficult to find in the wild. Only growing in remote mountainous areas further added to its prized status. Reishi was really only available to the wealthy elite and Chinese emperors. Consider yourself crowned.
Cordyceps is the fancy pants of our mushroom family. They can be found in high elevations in Tibet, China, India and Nepal, and has been called “himilayan gold” as it’s the most expensive mushroom in the world. It’s earned that value both for its scarcity and its ability to help the body adapt to stress. It’s one of the more powerful adaptogens, so Cordyceps creates balance in the body. It’s a potent antioxidant, and boasts anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Athletes love it, most notably in the 1993 Chinese national games in Beijing, where multiple Chinese runners broke track and field records. Their coach claimed their success was due to a tonic of Cordyceps and turtle blood. We’re fresh out of turtle blood, so putting this little steam engine in a cup of coffee is our preferred method of magic.
A note from Jody Hall - Founder of Wunderground
Everything I’ve created or put passionate energy toward has been driven around one single idea: Inspire profound human connection. I try to do so by creating a people-first culture that builds trust and collaboration. Most of us are starving for this environment. I learned that early in my career while helping to grow a tiny coffee company in Seattle into a revered global brand. I've applied it to every company I’ve built since.
Wunderground is the culmination of everything I’m passionate about. We’re taking the most enjoyed and ritualistic beverage in the world, making it better, and making it to make you feel better. We’re making it better by adding incredibly efficacious adaptogens in the form of medicinal mushrooms. We’re making it better by working with smallholder coffee farmers directly, and putting 75% of the premium price back into their pockets. We’re making it better by creating a company of the future--one that gives ownership to every one of our team members because we rise together.
We’re focused on not just a great collection of creations and revenue for our stakeholders, but also for our impact on people and planet. As a lesbian business owner that has been a pioneer and led the narrative in each of my prior companies, I’m especially keen to the decline in our mental health over the past decade, exacerbated this year by the fear and isolation from Covid-19. Our coffees really help us combat the new escalated normal of stress and anxiety. Regular consumption helps remove the cloud that overwhelms us and brings clarity to our day. I’m excited to hear how people feel after drinking Wunderground. I'm excited to continue to build a company that inspires wunder, a feeling we have when we're grounded and present. On top of that, I’m dedicated to being a vocal and unapologetic supporter of mental health. We all could use a little help from time to time. My passion around Wunderground being a part of the solution is what drives me every day.