Phoenix Bean has been a premier supplier of tofu to the Chicagoland area for more than 30 years. Our factory in the Edgewater neighborhood was one of the first local sources of fresh tofu, and began supplying local Chinese restaurants and Asian grocers. Each batch of tofu was handcrafted daily to ensure the freshness and authenticity demanded by an immigrant community longing for tastes of their homelands.
In 2006, Phoenix Bean was purchased by Jenny Yang when the previous owners were considering retirement. An ardent fan and consumer of Phoenix Bean products, Jenny saw opportunities to apply her business expertise to a local operation close to home, and her heritage to a tofu-making tradition that has been part of Chinese culture for hundreds of years. Jenny and her children are all lactose intolerant, so the opportunity to promote the nutritional benefits of soy as part of a balanced diet was personal as well.
Phoenix Bean products are still produced each day at the same local Edgewater factory, handcrafted in small batches by a team of expert tofu makers. After grinding and boiling the soybeans, they deftly curdle the soymilk to craft the delicious tofu. This artisanal process creates each tofu variety with its own unique delicate taste and texture. The product line now includes more than 13 different types of soymilk, soft and firm tofu, and sprout products. We also sell a ready-to-eat spicy tofu stir fry and several tasty dipping sauces to make mealtime preparation easier.
In our quest to produce better products for today’s consumer, we are making improvements that retain the authenticity and taste of our products, while improving our sustainable practices. After working extensively with a local farmer on soybean selection, we now exclusively use non-GMO soybeans naturally farmed in Illinois without chemicals and pesticides. Our new soybean cooking system uses filtered water and minimal processing. Combined with handcrafting and hygienic packaging, our fresh products retain high nutrition with no preservatives or pasteurization. We have also improved our operation to minimize our impact to the environment. Our factory now uses tankless water heaters to reduce our energy use. We are also looking to use our healthy soybean pulp either as feed or fertilizer, or in tasty okara recipes, to help reduce our waste stream.
Phoenix Bean is committed to continue crafting the freshest and tastiest sustainable soy products you can buy. Every one of us is challenged daily to find innovative ways to make affordable, healthier, and tastier dishes, and we envision soy having an increasingly important role supporting these needs in our everyday meals. Our goal is to be your premier source of soy products, and become an invaluable education resource, inspiring you to learn how to easily incorporate soy into a balanced diet.
We believe that healthy soybean products are an important part of a sustainable modern diet. We are following a complete soybean lifecycle that supports and encourages local, sustainable food. Whether you are vegan or omnivorous, our soymilk and tofu products are a highly nutritious choice for protein completely produced here in Illinois. Growing our own local soybeans is just the first step, and we are continually looking for innovative ways to support our community, making it a better place to live. Our shop has been recently renovated to use more energy efficient equipment. Food grade soy meal remaining after cooking our soybeans is being supplied to neighboring seniors as a protein substitute, to creative bakers as a gluten free flour alternative, to farmer friends as natural feeds, and to city gardeners as organic compost. Most importantly, we will always be committed to providing our customers with the healthiest and tastiest soy products available.