The unchallenged champ of all things tofu, Jenny Yang has owned Phoenix Bean for 10 years of its 35-year operation. Glenwood Sunday Market has been fortunate to have Phoenix Bean as one of our vendors for several years. We had the good luck of being able to hear what drew Jenny into the business of tofu.
"....My kids and I love fresh tofu, soy milk and are lactose intolerant. I discovered a tofu company in my neighborhood one day and was intrigued by the chance to maintain the tradition of making a freshly made food that I grew up with in Taiwan.
I experienced a bit of midlife crisis and was tired of commuting and working for corporate businesses. I knew nothing about tofu making but decided to purchase Phoenix Bean and learn the business to preserve traditional tofu making methods. I learned through trial and error working with the tofu master who was retiring.
Providing a healthy product to our customers is our most important practice. Our products are now made with the highest quality, IL grown, non-GMO soybeans we can source, to make an incredibly fresh tasting product high in nutrition.
By using local soybeans, manufacturing locally, and selling fresh locally, we already have a low environmental impact. To further minimize those impacts, our factory was renovated to use more energy efficient equipment such as tankless water heaters. We compost and reuse some of our soybean fiber (okara) as feed, fertilizer, and in food recipes. We are always continuing to look for additional methods to improve our quality and help reduce our waste stream. For example, our soybeans are now organically grown on transitional lands.
Many customers are still surprised to learn that there is an Asian company making fresh tofu right here in Edgewater on Broadway. They've never seen how fresh tofu is made, so we encourage them to come visit the factory to see how simple a food product it is."
Thank you Jenny and everyone at Phoenix Bean!