A family-owned local tofu maker supplies restaurants across Kansas City

Photography by Brandon Waldrop

Central Soyfoods, a family-owned and -operated tofu purveyor, has been providing hand-crafted tofu to more than 30 metro restaurants and grocery stores for the past four decades.

Established in Lawrence in 1978, Central Soyfoods was close to shutting down about five years ago, prompting current owners and tofu lovers Martin and Danielle Maigaard to step in and keep the business going. Working with the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, the soyfood company gets its organic soybeans from the tribal run Ioway Farms in White Cloud, Kansas. Ioway Farms focuses on improving soil health, making its soy a key part of Central Soyfoods’ mission: “Keeping things simple and local.” The tofu is prepared daily, and the company produces more than 2,000 pounds a week.

The tofu shop focuses on three products: firm, smoked and hot chili tofu. All are great for stir-frying, but the hot chili tofu in particular is perfect for frying in oil. It crisps up in just a few minutes and retains the fluffy interior of quality tofu while still retaining its hint of chili heat. It’s an excellent vegetarian substitute and a quality product that can be picked up virtually anywhere around town.

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