From the article “A Business Full of Beans” in our April 1981 issue.Soybean curd, or tofu, may not sound particularly appetizing to the uninitiated, but the pies, cheesecakes, quiches, soft ice cream, sandwich spreads, stir-fry dishes, and dozens of other recipes that use this immensely versatile food are winning new tofu converts everywhere. In Bar Harbor, Sharyn Kingma and Peter Golbitz, partners in Island Tofu Works, are spreading the word — and their product — through classes at their tofu factory and local high schools and cooking demonstrations at stores that carry their product. Last Thanksgiving, they even showed shoppers at several stores how to make tofu pumpkin pie and tofu turkey — “tofurkey,” they call it. Sharyn and Peter have plans to open a tofu deli at the front of their factory this summer, a strategy that should garner numerous new tofu fans.
Strange to think of a time when tofu seemed so exotic! Sharyn and Peter never did open that deli. In 1984, they stopped making tofu and became a consulting and publishing firm, catering to the burgeoning soy industry. Sharyn left soy in the ’90s for a career in fitness, but Peter went on to chair the World Soy Foundation and remains a consultant in the sustainable food/agribusiness sphere. He still likes tofu and lives part-time in Maine.
Harry Barton (cover)