If you can sell your mushrooms or mushroom products directly to an end user, you will naturally receive a better price than if you sell to a wholesaler. Direct marketing of mushrooms at local farmers' markets, to restaurants, or in supermarkets is possible in many locations. When competing in local markets, excellent service, top quality, and consistent supply, rather than the lowest price, might win the sale, particularly with gourmet chefs. Some chefs specialize in locally grown foods and may be interested for that reason. Others are willing to pay for fresh, premium produce. In any case, establishing a relationship with the buyer and reliably delivering a quality product are essential for this type of marketing.
Local grocery stores are another potential buyer of fresh mushrooms. However, an Arkansas grower found that local grocery chains were interested in her shiitake mushrooms only if she could assure them of a year-round supply. She decided that she had to add indoor production in order to meet this requirement. Natural foods stores are a market that may be more tolerant of seasonal supply. Any chef or grocer will require assurances of both quality and regular supply before switching from established wholesale sources.