John Scharffenberger, Minh Tsai, and Billy Bramblett, along with 20 full-time and 10 part-time employees.
As a food lover unable to find fresh organic soy products in the Bay Area, Minh Tsai left a finance career to found Hodo Soy Beanery in 2004. Dried soybeans are soaked overnight and ground into a purée using an industrial-sized stone grinder. The purée is then cooked by steam injection at high heat for 60 minutes, and liquid (soymilk) is extracted. Soymilk is the basic ingredient for all of Hodo’s products. To make tofu, calcium sulfate is used to coagulate the soymilk into curds. The bean curds are wrapped in cheesecloth and pressed into various textures, from soft to firm. Fresh yuba (also known as tofu skin) is made by keeping the soymilk warm and allowing the fat and protein to form paper-thin sheets; these sheets are peeled off the surface of the warm milk. Hodo often sells products within 12 hours of when they are made..
All soybeans, which make up the vast majority of what goes into Hodo products, are organically grown in Illinois. Most of their spices are imported from Asia. All products are preservative-free and non-GMO.
Hodo Soy Beanery gives the bean pulp left over from their soy milk-making process to hog farmers for use as fodder.
Listen and Learn
Dan and Joanne make the apple juice for their apple cider vinegar and apple caramels on a wooden press. It takes 40 pounds of apples to make 1 gallon of apple syrup for the caramel base.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »