Smashing stuff is fun.
Years of running your own business can build up a lot of
rage frustration at times.. So, why not take this out on a few deserving walls with a sledgehammer?!
A highlight of our industrial unit renovation, for sure.
Lots of you have been wondering how our project is going.. it’s been tough but we are finally getting there. Every day of our 4 week shop closure was spent working on the unit and the business as a whole. This week we have finally been in a position to start moving most of our equipment and stock over and we’re trying to create as little downtime as possible in our operations so that you guys shouldn’t experience any delays to regular dispatch times. But, the week is still young, so if we are delayed by a day or two on getting orders out – this is why and please be patient with us.
We intend to build multiple rooms and have a full second floor spanning almost the entire area of the unit, but for now we are basically treating the place as one very large room and an office area.
The main challenge with the unit has been the scale of dirt build-up for more than two decades. Yep, you read that right – two decades! It was a garage before we moved in, so imagine the worst and triple it..
This photo was taken whilst the ceiling was being cleaned.. look at that side-by-side difference!
Now that we have more space, we have also invested in two massive autoclaves with a 580L capacity each. So at any single time we can be sterilising way more than a volumetric tonne!! Touchscreening it all the way too.. Badass if you ask us 😀
The engineers are due out this week to help us understand how to use them and to program the onboard computers to suit our sterilisation requirements.
Here is a quick before and after of the place – we’re sure you’re all dying to see after us going on about it..
Not 100% finished, but what a difference.
We have set up an Instagram profile again to share some more photos of the renovation and the business progression.
You can find us by searching for @cylomylo in your Instagram app – or click here
A big apology is owed to the folks who have been waiting a while for an email reply.. We completely hold our hands up to this – we never kept on top of them properly and they have piled up to become the Everest of emails. During our shop closure, we had planned on replying to emails every few days but the work involved in the unit has been so much more than we ever anticipated and time just completely runs away from us every single day. Pissed off people are the flavour of the month right now, and rightfully so. But please know that we haven’t been sitting on our butts neglecting our business – the majority of our waking life has been dedicated to our new unit, making sure that we are in there as soon as possible to operate from a much more efficient environment.. which means better service for our customers too.
We have been dedicating time to catching up on emails this week and aim to have a reply sent to every one this week. Very, very soon we will be set up in our new work space and our service as a whole will return to the normal 5 star standard that we are known for.
A lot of you have also been getting in touch to offer some words of support during this incredibly stressful time and we cannot thank you enough for that, it genuinely means so much to us.
Keep an eye on the Instagram page for more photo updates and we will also update this News page as often as we can!
Our new farm aka industrial unit + shop closure dates, etc..
An overview of what’s been happening the past few months, exciting things ahead for us and the reason why we have to close the shop to accepting new orders for a few weeks – starting on Sunday 28th June until Tuesday 28th July.
You may remember we went on an innovation break on 14th March (9 days before the UK went on lockdown).. During this time, we were already booked up to go to Mycelia’s ‘Group training on substrate and mushroom production’ course in Belgium.
We were rather excited about this 5 day training course (understatement) but Covid-19 got in the way for us and we couldn’t risk travelling and having borders being shut on us. Yeah, deflating..
We were meant to be reopening again on 27th March, but we realised we couldn’t manage to stick to that opening date because we were having trouble sourcing much of our needed supplies / stock (..we all know about the toilet paper fiasco!).
Instead of making promises to open the site up a week later just to let you all down again, we decided to come back on the 28th April.
Opening day (28th April)
Whenever we reopen after being closed, we are always busy but the magnitude and scale of this was very different and far from ordinary.. minute after minute there was an order from the USA, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, etc.. It just wouldn’t stop. Mylocybe was being flooded with orders to the point we had to eventually put restrictions in place for how many kits people could buy.
It seemed a LOT of people chose to hang on and wait for us to reopen rather than going elsewhere, which is fantastic and appreciated but wow did it take it’s toll on us.
It’s a horrible feeling realising that no matter how hard you try, the lack of hours in the day make it impossible to stick to dispatch timescales we had previously promised prior to Covid-19. 18 hour days, 7 days a week became the new normal for us to be able to catch up.
Most customers were appreciative of the delays due to Covid-19 and how busy we were, but we would be lying if we tried to sugar coat this..
We don’t know what’s going on in this new world, but there’s a lot of people who need to take a step back from their phone screens sometimes and evaluate first what they are about to send. Be better than that!
..It usually goes the same way too – customer gets angry because they haven’t received a quick reply, then the 2nd irate email saying we are scammers then another email an hour later and before we know it we have a dozen emails sitting there which get nastier and nastier when we finally get a chance to read emails! C’mon folks..
Positive New Stuff
We had a list as long as my arm for all the things we changed during our (Covid-extended) innovation break. But we’re only going to tell you about the most exciting ones which immediately spring to mind.
You can probably guess that fighting contamination has always been a major priority for us; we know that the first growing experience can be make or break for people – failure can mean abandoning the hobby entirely whilst success can mean the start of an exciting new lifelong journey for people.
Our aim is to make indoor mushroom cultivation a reality in even the most mouldy of homes and clumsy of people and with SteriBag and other things we have planned soon, we are taking those crucial steps.
SteriBag is simply an autoclavable bag which your MycoBoxes etc are placed in prior to sterilisation. It’s more work for us, but for you it means you can feel confident knowing the kit literally cannot be any more clean.
It also means no wiping injection ports anymore! And as long as you follow our simple inoculation technique, you will have the best chance against contamination we have yet seen out there. Groundbreaking seems an overstatement, but it has to be close.
We’ll call this another unique thing we came up with just like Inject-Thru 🙂 But if you know otherwise, please get in touch so we can correct this and give credit where it’s due!
Improved Payment System
We have changed so many things on our site and continue to do so on an almost daily basis. Basically, we overhauled our entire payment system and made it much easier to do. As a result we’ve had an 80% drop in the number of customers making mistakes when paying us (ie. forgetting to use the correct payment references when sending payment through their banks).
We have had to learn how to adapt to a changing landscape in microscopy study and gourmet mushroom growing, so whilst facing a mountain of orders on a daily basis we realised how much time we were losing to an inefficient communication system. So we decided to fix it.
All of our automated emails have been redone, plus there are more emails keeping customers in the loop throughout their entire order process.
We’re sure you’ve already seen it 😛 Hope you all like it.
Syringe Processing and Packaging
Our syringes are processed better and are packed cleaner than ever, with more enhancements coming very soon (see Cleanroom*)
As some of you may remember, Cylocybe was born in a 1 bedroom flat in Glasgow. Suffice to say, we quickly ran out of space!
Our next upgrade was to a 5 bedroom house in the countryside with large outbuildings and outdoor space / storage.. but even this was too small for the business..
So we rented a shipping container. Then another. And another. Then we started storing stuff in our transit van until we finally said enough was enough..
The business is moving into new premises and we will be reclaiming our home for the first time 🙂
The exciting evolution of our business and how far we’ve come.. It’s a proud moment for us and probably will be for many of our customers who’ve been with us since the start.
Closing Shop for a Few Weeks
The new unit needs a good bit of work, which is why we are closing the shop to new orders all of July. Time to get our DIY hats on.
Any important questions or issues throughout this period, we’ll still be here for you of course.
Our industrial unit gives us many more options with the space we have.
We have purchased a very large ISO Class 5 Cleanroom Tent which will be installed within the next couple of weeks.
If you are unsure about cleanrooms, the lower the ISO Class the better and a Class 5 has particularly high end air cleanliness.
Cleanroom (ISO Class 5) – Clean Tent Model 1700 / Removes 99.995% of Airborne Particles 0.3 Micrometers (μm) in Size.
This is a temporary solution until we have fitted an even larger rigid walled cleanroom.
Laminar Flowhood (ISO Class 4) – HLF1800 / Removes 99.9998% of Airborne Particles 0.12 Micrometers (μm) in Size.
Within our already incredible clean room, we are installing a brand new 1.8m horizontal laminar flow hood which has much better filtration than a typical ISO Class 5 laminar flow hood commonly used in mycology.
It cost us a fortune, but it’s important for us to keep improving our products to the point of world class quality. Customers who’ve known us from the start know that we’re genuinely all about high quality.
Good riddance DHL
Issue after issue left unresolved, refunds for damaged parcels not being provided to us, customer parcels not being collected from us, the list goes on..
Finally a courier we can rely on to do their bit right!
We’ve sent a tonne of parcels so far with not a single issue. Plus, we have our very own DPD manager so if something goes wrong it will be sorted swiftly. Perfect.
Fixed many bugs within the login system, change of password etc.
We disabled non-account holders from purchasing on our site a few weeks back, this was to slow the number of orders coming in because it’s been chaotic to say the least.
So if our competitors are reading this and wondering why more customers are ordering from them; you’re welcome 😉
You may have noticed we’ve had a banner on our site looking for artists. As we are moving into a new chapter for our business, we wanted to reach out to customers to help add a bit of life to our new digs.
Plenty of opportunity to be creative, murals etc. We have had a few very talented artists get in touch with so far, but we need many more as it’s a very large space we are moving into. Travelling in July to us in Ayrshire, Scotland is a must for this project.
Get in touch on [email protected]
As you can tell, we’ve been hard at work for months and have so much more to do to get where we want.
Just remember to get your orders in before 28th June, as we won’t be accepting new orders until the 28th July whilst we transition to the next stage of our business.
Thank you for supporting us through and through over the years. Without your trust in us, we would never have made it this far and we wouldn’t be about to break new grounds in the future of Cylocybe. We have had a lot of people supporting our cause because they believe in what we are doing. We want to thank every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.
Cylocybe Team x
It’s with heavy hearts that we have to let you know we are extending our break until 28th April as huge delays on obtaining crucial stock right now is hitting us hard.
Coronavirus is causing havoc in so many ways.
We know that many of you will be hugely disappointed when you come onto our site tonight at 12am expecting everything to be up and running but this is a decision we just have to make right now.
To see some positivity in it all, we are going to use this extra time to really build upon what we have. The development opportunity is unprecedented and we have a chance to do loads more with Cylocybe over the next 30 days.
We send our well wishes to you and your loved ones during this uncertain time.
Peace, love and positivity as always