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.

Innovation break

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..

Lock-down!

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.

Dispatch delays

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..

Irateness

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.

Fighting Contamination

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

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).

Communication Improvements

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.

New Logo

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*)

Cylocybe History

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..

Industrial Unit

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.

New Equipment

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.

Clean Tent Model 1700

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.

HLF1800

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..

Welcome DPD

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.

Other Things

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 😉

Artists

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]

Wrapping Up

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.

Thank you,
Team Cylocybe 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
Ruth, Nick and Clive x

All work and no innovation makes Cylocybe a dull site.
All work and no innovation makes Cylocybe a dull site.
All work and no innovation makes Cylocybe a dull site.

We’re taking a break from orders later this week:

When: Saturday, 14th March at 00:00 (GMT)
Until: Friday, 27th March at 00:00 (GMT)

We will make sure to get all orders out which have been placed (and paid!) up until Saturday, using the regular dispatch period.

Customers who are late with their payments (ie. after Saturday) will need to wait till 27th before we begin to process their orders as usual.

We will be providing limited customer service throughout this entire period for customers who have urgent enquiries. Just make sure if you’re getting in touch that it is actually urgent please.

We are looking forward to using this time to experiment with ideas, add new products and enhance our business operations.
It’s just the two of us running things here, so there’s no way to innovate unless we take the time to!

As usual, we will keep the site alive so that information is still available for everyone but disable the shopping basket so that no orders can be placed.

Thank you!
Team Cylocybe

The END of Google Analytics on cylocybe.com

It gives us much pleasure to be announcing the complete removal of Google Analytics from our website.
Many of you folks probably don’t care either way, but our site has always felt a bit ‘dirty’ to us with the code on it.

We may be penalised for doing this and lose our amazing No.1 spot in the search rankings for all things microscopy spores and mycology in the UK.. But it’s the right thing to do.

The privacy benefits it gives our customers outweigh the benefits it gives us.

In other news…

We have been innovating as ever here and with so many changes to our processes behind the scenes, we feel confident to take on the extra growth always coming our way!

Just as we figure out a new way to manage the numbers, orders jump 30%.. It’s like clockwork.

Our initial experiment late last week showed that we were able to speed up the packing and dispatch process by around 50%. That’s just a huge number, but we know there’s room for more.

Always having to learn and adapt to the bigger demand on us, and we love it!

Team Cylocybe x

Our Trustpilot has been under attack recently by trolls posting negative reviews without evidence of order numbers from our website.
Some of our long-standing customers are part of a Facebook group in which the trolls have been discussing things on and have made us aware of it all.

The latest 1-star review from yesterday;

“Tony Boden
Instructions wasn’t clear ended up…
Instructions wasn’t clear ended up getting my d1ck stuck in a ceiling fan. Won’t be ordering again as now I’m like an action man”

We can’t all be as clever as this action man, a real wordsmith.

Until the UK competition have the guts to set up TrustPilot and be subjected to utter nonsense like this and still maintain a top notch score, then there’s zero for us to worry about in a few people with nothing better to do attempting to slander our business. The genuine Trustpilot reviews speak volumes.

We send out 175-250 grow kits each week, and even more in spores, cultures and supplies. We are probably bigger than most even realise we are, if they were to just look at the number of reviews we have. It’s a minuscule amount of people that actually leave a review.

If we did have issues with our products, and made that many people mad – you can be sure they’d be straight on to TrustPilot to tell the world and our TrustPilot would be 97% Bad instead of 97% Excellent (which it is right now!).

The maths speak for themselves.

We will be starting a new blog soon, as we need an outlet for some of the stuff like this which we have to go through so often. We tend to just get on with it, but the experiences on a regular basis is a strange mix of both hilarious and heartbreaking. From the nicest stories people email us to absolute harassment and threats against us..

If we had a pound for every time we read an email from someone threatening to damage our TrustPilot (which people know we pride ourselves on) then we would be able to pay our electricity bills with it. This can be as simple as you haven’t replied to the email they sent that morning. It’s just absurd this world of e-commerce.

98% of people are awesome, just to be clear that we do receive some amazing communication also, that we hugely appreciate.. in fact, sometimes just reading some kind words from other human beings is what keeps us going!

We’ll stay positive and we send positivity to you all too.

Ruth and Nick x

Emailing, bagging, labelling, measuring, filling, modifying, loading, sterilising, packing, posting.. and breaking records!

Our first week back has been an absolute record breaker!
The number of orders we received in our opening day was equivalent to the amount of orders we normally get in a typical week.. and every day since the orders have been at double.
Wow and thank you so much. But, ouch – things have been busy!

We have been working around the clock and this picture shows the volume of orders we managed to get sent out yesterday… but there’s still so many orders to go. We are still within our 7 day dispatch promise for most orders and for the few we are not, we hope you can understand.

Mail bags

Our site draws in the most understanding customers, but on few occasions per week we have some being extremely rude or even abusive because we haven’t managed to send their parcels yet or they haven’t had a quick reply to an email they sent.. we understand it’s sometimes due mostly to anxieties around being scammed by sites, we hear often from customers that this has happened to them in the past.

But please try to speak to us like human beings. We are under huge amounts of stress already and sometimes receiving a horrible email can really knock us.

We are as honest as they come and you’re in safe hands – we promise.

Ever waited on a takeaway for ages.. when it gets to you, it’s cold, missing this and that, Pepsi instead of Irn Bru, tastes old, stale and is leaking everywhere?.. If it arrived with everything correct and tasted amazing, you could forgive the delay – right?

Well, we would rather send something out a bit later which is right – than rush to send something which is wrong or of bad quality. There is always a reason behind delays, in dispatch or in replying to emails.. we have never just forgotten about you!

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In some other news – We are unsure whether we will be able to keep offering the HPOO (Horse manure) kits – in the bulk volumes we have had to make this week, the smell when they are being sterilised is not appreciated! So unless we can all grow stronger noses, it’s doubtful we will be continuing with them much longer. We’ll see how it goes..

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The winners of the 3x 23L Presto Pressure Cookers:

Nas from Lancashire
Ian from West Yorkshire
David from London

They have all been contacted and the pressure cookers will be with them next week..
It was a lovely feeling to brighten up their day with some good news!

Peace, love and positivity x

Welcome to a new year with Cylocybe!

You will have noticed some changes to our site for 2020, with a bigger focus on made-to-order substrates and grow kits. We have even more which will be going up over the coming days and weeks, but you are spoilt for choice already!
A full list of the changes you may notice or be curious about is listed below.
More importantly, we feel absolutely ready for this new year and we had the break we needed. We are back and we are more motivated than ever and with lots more ideas for the very near future which we are working on as we speak!
We are writing this news update around an hour after launching the site and we can already see we are being bombarded with orders.. you guys never forgot about us or switched elsewhere and for that we are hugely appreciative.

Website changes:

– Many more grow kits and substrates have made a come back as managing production becomes easier with the increased dispatch extension promise
– Two brand new horse poo grow kits are now available
– More efficient ‘Contact Us’ setup utilizing different email domains for better customer service and priority management
– Realistic dispatch promise on all made to order products, like grow kits and substrates – covering ourselves for up to 7 days
– Small price increases were needed for grow kits – all of us have been breaking our backs to barely break even on them.. It was a choice of getting rid of them entirely, dropping the quality or increasing the price. We chose the latter, of course!
– Neatened up product descriptions
– Layout changes to the website

Behind the scenes:

– New bespoke filling machine with dust extraction system for filling bags of perlite (previously a horrible, dusty job!)
– We now rent two shipping containers for extra storage
– We now own a transit van which will help us move stock between our premises and our shipping containers
– Increased the overall size of our office and packing rooms

Today is a very special day for us, so we will be selecting three people who will each be receiving a brand new 23L Presto pressure cooker to further their venture into mycology – we ordered them specially from the USA for this.
Two people will be selected totally at random and another will be drawn from a hat of our most loyal customers. The lucky folk will be contacted this weekend!

Here’s to a magical 2020

Hello to all of you!

We will now be having a break from accepting new orders until 10th January.

There has been a banner on our website for the past couple of weeks letting everyone know about these holiday dates and you guys have certainly been getting your orders in before our website is put on pause..

..We’re going to be working through all of these orders ASAP and getting them sent out to you this week.

A lot of you have emailed asking if orders will arrive before Christmas because you have bought them as presents – Don’t worry, they will be dispatched by us in plenty of time for you to gift the wonders of mushrooms to your loved ones!

Cylocybe continues to grow bigger with each month and we continue to be amazed by all the support we receive.
With this growth, of course comes a much heavier workload and longer hours.. so it’s absolutely crucial for us to have a break and try to avoid feeling completely burned out. We will come back with clearer, focused minds to further our efforts in bringing quality service and products to the mycology scene.

We have lots of exciting ideas for 2020 floating around in our heads.. New products, new tutorials (we hope to soon gain new skills in video and animation to really ramp up our grow guides to the next level) and work on ways to help our processes in the background, like speeding up dispatch times for you.

We won’t be checking our emails every day over this break and don’t guarantee any replies until we return on 10th January. Responding to the volume of emails we receive daily is a full time job in itself, so please understand that we also need time away from this.

If your email is absolutely urgent and cannot wait – Put ‘Urgent’ in the subject line and we will know to check it, but we have to ask that you please only use this for genuinely time-sensitive queries and respect our holiday time.

Our website will stay live, so that you can all still get access to our grow kit instructions and we also may be running a very special competition over the next couple of weeks to win a brand new 23L Presto Pressure Cooker – So definitely keep checking out the website for that!

2019 has been monumental for Cylocybe and we hope to continue this over the years to come with you all by our sides.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Ruth, Nick and Clive x

Oh, we have had a few requests recently for more pictures of Clive, so as not to disappoint the fans – Here’s our favourite photo of the year! – A wild Clive appears..

clive the cat in a tree

All work and no development makes Cylocybe a dull site.
All work and no development makes Cylocybe a dull site.
All work and no development makes Cylocybe a dull site.

We’re taking a short break from orders next week:

When: Monday, 21st October at 00:00 (GMT)
Until: Monday 28th October at 00:00 (GMT)

During this time, you won’t be able to add items to the basket as the checkout will be disabled. The rest of the site will work as per usual and you can still browse around and read guides, etc.

We’ll continue to dispatch orders until all the payments come in, but if we do not receive your bank transfers or cash in post orders by 10am on Tuesday 22nd (at the very latest), then your orders won’t be sent until the week later. Cash in post orders will need to be sent on a next day Royal Mail service to ensure the payments arrive safely with us on Tuesday morning with our post person.

As usual, we’ll be using the majority of our break to develop Cylocybe further. We’ll hopefully squeeze in some well needed time for visiting family and friends, just to remind them what we look like (it’s been that busy here!).

Some of the things we’ll be working on include new product ideas (especially for the DIY lovers!), more payment options, getting a van for our business (we both just passed our driving tests), promotions for the Halloween / Guy Fawkes week and lots more ideas we need time to sort through and see what makes the cut..

Unless there are urgent issues which needs addressing – please hold off on the emails until we are back on Monday 28th 🙂

Thank you, as always.
Cylocybe x

Fuck PayPal. The end of PayPal.

Cash, Bank Transfer and Cryptocurrency payments available as normal.

Sorry about this, but PayPal has such a moral disliking to our hugely popular microscopy spore products that they abruptly shut down their payment service with us yesterday.

Not just that, they also ran off with our entire balance which we use for everything from stock to paying our utility bills. But it’s OK because they promise to give us it all back in 180 days..Seriously?!
If we were a small business, this would probably ruin us. Have a quick search online and you’ll see how they’ve done this to other businesses and have actually ruined some of them in the process.
Fair enough, close our account if you do not agree with our business (totally misunderstood what we do) but to hold money for 180 days.. talk about a power trip.

They say that they have to hold the money as our business is at a high risk of receiving charge-backs.
With approximately 10,000 orders processed via PayPal so far, we had only two instances of people attempting to do a charge-back on us! And one of them dropped as soon as we proved it was a scam.

To see a bit of positivity though – Those figures are pretty awesome. A combination of amazingly honest customers and us doing a pretty decent job of handling everything nicely!

The reality is, we always knew PayPal was the weakest link our chain. These internet giants (mostly American, aren’t they?) rule the internet – whatever they say, goes. They don’t care about the people, it’s just all about the dollar and the power.
The ideologies of these companies are the total opposite of ours.

Just like in March ’19 when we were taken offline by a similarly misunderstanding-of-our-service company and had to rebuild ourselves a brand new website from scratch – we always come back bigger and stronger. We are twice the size we were back then because we’re a relentless bunch.

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In some nicer news – We now have a gigantic 110Litre digital autoclave with a powerful air compressor (now bringing our total capacity up to 271L). This increased sterilisation capacity means we can get your kits and substrates prepared and shipped off to you quicker. It feels like Christmas has come early!

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Bank transfer and cash in post payment options will remain available for UK customers and CoinPayments (for cryptocurrencies) will remain available for all customers.

We will always be working on sourcing some new reliable and trustworthy payment methods. If any readers have or know of some good payment solutions which are reliable and not run by closed minded companies, please get in touch with us.

Thank you for your continued support
Ruth and Nick x