Behind the Food: Hodo Soy
Full Circle works with the best farmers, ranchers and artisan producers in the industry to source only top-quality organic produce and other all-natural foods for our members. This week, we’re taking a deeper look at an Oakland-based company that crafts organic soy products.
As a child in Vietnam, Minh Tsai often took walks with his grandfather to the neighborhood tofu shack and the taste of those fresh flavors stayed with him throughout his life. Later, Tsai discovered that the artisan-quality soymilk, tofu and yuba he remembered fondly proved elusive in the US.
Inspired by the delicious home-cooked meals he regularly shared with friends and family, the idea to bring the tofu of his childhood to the local community was born. Testing the waters, Tsai started making soy milk, tofu and yuba with organic, non-GMO ingredients out of a family-run commercial kitchen and selling them at the Palo Alto Farmers Market.
In 2004, after an enthusiastic response and increasing word-of-mouth demand, Tsai left his career in finance to found Hodo Soy Beanery with the simple goal of making great tasting tofu. Today, Hodo Soy sells delicious organic tofu products to restaurants, universities, museums and other cutting-edge companies, discerning chefs and retail consumers across the country.
It Starts with the Bean
The soul of Hodo Soy lies in the quality of the products and it all starts with the soybean. Working with small, independent farmers in the Midwest, the company sources only non-GMO soybeans that are sustainably grown. Good beans make richer, creamier products that tend to have nearly three times more protein, calcium and fiber than comparable tofu products. The company’s slogan, Taste the Difference!, says it all.
Customers familiar with tofu are usually impressed with the quality of the flavor and texture; customers unfamiliar (and often reticent) with tofu, are pleasantly shocked that they like Hodo. From excellent soymilk to fresh yuba sheets, there’s something for everyone who wants to flavor and cook with basic tofus.
The Hodo Team
Minh Tsai is the founder and CEO of Hodo Soy; he is the visionary for the brand and is affectionately known as The Tofu Master. Tsai has been the mainstay in ensuring that Hodo tofu, yuba and soymilk are made from the cleanest, sustainably sourced ingredients and that the resulting products are nutrient dense and delicious.
Additional success is due to dedicated employees who make and sell tofu, the customers who helped propel Hodo into the market and onto store shelves and the chefs who have championed high quality tofu on their menus.
“We provide a full line of innovative, yet traditional tofus and yubas that are not to be found elsewhere,” says Minh Tsai. “And we’ve been very lucky to have this kind of support.”
Hodo Soy and Full Circle
Hodo Soy’s humble beginnings at the Bay Area Farmers’ Markets and its commitment to organic, non-GMO ingredients and sustainable farming practices make it a perfect Full Circle partner.
To learn more about Hodo Soy, explore original recipes and find local retailers, visit hodosoy.com.