Behind the Brand
Moku was founded by Matt Feldman. From a young age, Matt was extremely passionate about sustainability; he learned about the massive carbon footprint of the meat industry and transitioned to a vegan diet in 2017. Once he became vegan, Matt quickly discovered that there was a severe lack of nutrient-dense and vegan-friendly savory snack options on the supermarket shelves, most of which contained the same few brands of chips and popcorn. Seeking more diversity in his options, Matt began to experiment with mushrooms outside of his full-time tech job. He worked out of his kitchen in San Francisco, dehydrating mushrooms to make “jerky” and handing them out to friends. Upon researching the industry further, Matt discovered that there was a white space in the fast-growing jerky category and decided to create a vegan-friendly version.
With no culinary background, Matt knew that he needed to enlist the help of experts in scaling his kitchen recipe. He also knew that if he wanted to win over both vegan and non-vegan consumers, he needed to create a product that very closely emulated the taste and texture of real meat. To accumulate the money required to hire outside help, Matt surrendered his lease and lived on friends’ couches for eight months. Ultimately, he teamed up with Thomas Bowman, former product development head at Just, and Ali Bouzari, a Michelin-star chef, to bring his vision to life. The team ran into several challenges along the way (such as achieving the right jerky texture and properly marinating the mushrooms), but after a year of development and over 100 iterations, they finally landed on a formulation they were happy with. After launching to immense interest and success, Moku has continued on its mission to encourage consumers to take mindful steps towards a healthier future, one mushroom at a time.