Entrepreneurs create Truffle farm in Pittsboro as business keeps growing: 'Diversifying the plate'

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, March 14, 2024
Booming Pittsboro business starts Truffle farm
Truffletopia's business is booming especially after its appearance on a national shopping network.

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two North Carolina entrepreneurs are busy packing up goods and mailing them to customers.

The Pittsboro-based company is reaping the benefits of having local products seen on the national stage.

Truffletopia's business is booming and has been since they were able to sell their goods on a shopping network show. Hundreds of orders poured in during and after the airing and some items even sold out.

"We're going to keep getting orders as time goes because they're going to re-air it," said Truffletopia Co-Owner Josh Esnard.


Esnard, who competed on ABC's Shark Tank in 2017, and his business partner Tony Huey are currently working with European landowners to grow truffles, but they're bringing production to their own backyard.

The pair are now growing truffles on a 30-acre farm in Pittsboro and say North Carolina's landscape is perfect.

"Clay soil (here) is the type of soil they have over in Europe around the Mediterranean," said Huey.

A North Carolina A&T biologist has found a way to get truffles rooted around trees indigenous to North Carolina instead of having to import them.

"He's the first scientist to get them to grow on a local tree. So we're using Loblolly Pine trees," said Huey.

They're growing white truffles, which are wonderfully robust and extremely expensive.

"We're looking in upwards of "700 to over $1,000 a pound," said Huey.

And who's in charge of finding those pricey mushrooms and lending a helping hand? A Bernese Mountain-Poodle mix named Coco.

Coco: The Truffle Sniffing Dog in NC

She's learning how to sniff out truffles and is making strides with that training.

Both owners hope by growing the delicacy here in the United States, they can keep the price point lower. It'll allow more people can access the product and experiment with the possibilities.

"I'm from the Caribbean. Tony has a background (of) Japanese and Chinese. My wife is Irish. Why can't we put it in those kinds of foods?" said Esnard. "We're diversifying the plate."

Unfortunately, we won't be able to taste those white truffles just yet. They're going to be ready for harvest next spring.

Truffle Farm in Pittsboro, North Carolina

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