ABOUT THE BIRCH BOYS
The Birch Boys was founded by Garrett Kopp, a student at Clarkson University studying Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Garrett grew up in Tupper Lake, a small community in the heart of Northern New York’s Adirondack Mountains. In Tupper Lake, day-to-day life is very intertwined with the outdoors. Historically-speaking, the economy was built on logging (even the local high school mascot is a lumberjack!). The community is packed with loggers, foresters, and everyday outdoorsmen-and-women, and all forms of outdoor recreation are embraced.
Garrett first attempted lifestyle entrepreneurship through a YouTube channel about his outdoor adventures at age 13. He would post videos about his life as a survivalist, hunter, fisherman, and forager. His videos were about wild edible plants, making fire by rubbing sticks together, building shelters, and overnight wilderness adventures. He also became New York State's first Department of Agriculture and Markets certified mushroom identification expert.
So you ask, why Chaga? Garrett was introduced (accidentally) to Chaga through his grandma. Her newfound obsession, discovered on a recent foraging trip, became Garrett's fascination, after learning about its extensive medicinal benefits and indigenous history. That marked the beginning of their Chaga hunting adventures, and Garrett set out to make Chaga a household name.
Chaga can take up to seven years to grow, and few Chaga mushrooms will ever develop spores. This is why responsible harvesting practices are critical to the long term sustainability of Chaga's role in forests. Garrett is careful to leave 15% of the Chaga he harvests behind on the tree to ensure that it will regrow.
In Fall of 2017, Clarkson University allowed Garrett to take a semester off to develop his own company, The Birch Boys. At the end of the day, his dream is to leave a Chaga footprint on the health food industry.