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Celebrating the Fungi-Fueled Journey of Shaggy Jack's

In the heart of the Sunshine Coast lies a community haven that sprouted from a passion for mushrooms and a dedication to the spirit of the Sunshine Coast. Shaggy Jack's, now a thriving grocery store specializing in mushroom delicacies, has a tale as rich and diverse as the fungi it celebrates. Let's delve into the fascinating journey behind this beloved local business.

We met with Andrea of Shaggy Jack’s to ask her some questions and learn more about the story of how this small business got its start.

What sparked the creation of Shaggy Jack’s?

Shaggy Jack's roots trace back to 2018, when my husband Jody, launched a mushroom identification course named Shaggy Jack’s Wild Mushroom Foraging for Beginners. The name “Shaggy Jack” was inspired by his appearance and is a portmanteau of the mushroom species named Shaggy Parasol, Shaggy Mane, and Slippery Jack. The success of the course propelled us to explore further business ventures. With the support of Community Futures we eventually acquired a small grocery store in 2023 where we could connect with customers year round.

How did you move from markets to getting your own storefront?

In 2019, Jody and I started promoting Shaggy Jack’s Wild Mushroom Foraging for Beginners at farmer’s markets on the Sunshine Coast, adding mushroom specialty products to bolster our table. We were active in several Sunshine Coast farmer’s markets until 2022. It was a great way to connect directly with our community and get the word out about our business.

What made you choose the Sunshine Coast to start this business?

The decision to start our business on the Sunshine Coast was an organic one, we’re rooted in the community here and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else!

What does a typical day look like for you at the shop?

I wear many hats, from overseeing day-to-day operations to ensuring a seamless customer experience.

How did Community Futures support your business?

The journey of Shaggy Jack's wouldn't have been possible without the support of organizations like Community Futures. Their initial loan provided the crucial stepping stone for Jody and I to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. They also supported us in the acquisition of another Community Futures funded business which was very a ‘full-circle moment’ for everyone involved! Additionally, the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program offered invaluable support.

What are your future aspirations?

 Looking ahead, I envision a future where Shaggy Jack's achieves independent financial stability, enhances our marketing strategies, and expands its mushroom education initiatives into the digital realm. 

Words of Wisdom for Entrepreneurs: 

The most valuable lesson I can share is to be prepared to pivot. Flexibility and adaptability are key in navigating the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship. The needs of the community in which you are operating may not totally align with your initial vision. If you are dedicated to entrepreneurship, you have to be willing to rapidly shift your position in order to succeed in a challenging marketplace. I never would have expected to run a grocery store! But here I am, enjoying myself, learning something new every day, and doing my best to meet the demands.

Must-Have Mushroom:

It’s late winter, so there is not much selection in wild mushrooms, but I enjoy cultivated varieties from Walker Creek Farm, especially the Chestnut, a mushroom that manages to be both tender and firm, with a pronounced “mushroom” flavour.

Can you share three other local businesses you admire? 

I appreciate so many of the Sunshine Coast’s small businesses, I could list them all! I try to support small and local in the majority of my shopping, but I especially admire and enjoy working with Walker Creek Farm, for their high-quality cultivated gourmet mushrooms; Grounded Acres for their dedication to sustainable, organic farming practices and tremendous variety of produce; and Heart and Sol Coastal Farm for their unique offerings and family-friendly ethos. We’re a community here, and the love and support from fellow businesses on the Sunshine Coast has allowed Shaggy Jack’s to make it where it is today.

   The story of Shaggy Jack's embodies the essence of entrepreneurship, resilience, and community spirit. From humble beginnings to becoming a beacon of culinary innovation on the Sunshine Coast, Andrea's journey is a testament to the transformative power of passion and perseverance. As Shaggy Jack's continues to flourish, it serves as an inspiration to entrepreneurs and mushroom enthusiasts alike, proving that with dedication and a dash of creativity, anything is possible.

Her story might inspire you to start something of your own! If you have an idea or business plan, reach out to our team - we would love to work with you. Contact us at


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