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Edgewater’s Phoenix Bean Plans $1.7 Million Expansion On Broadway

phoenix-2When Jenny Yang bought Phoenix Bean in 2007, tofu was not as high in demand like it is now. With the company producing 1.2 million pounds of tofu last year, it is expected that in the next three to five years, they will produce over double that amount.

In order for them to meet that demand, Yang announced a huge $1.7 million expansion. And even better news, they will stay in Edgewater. Their new 10,000 square-foot facility is to be located just a few doors down from the current 2,000 square-foot space at 5438 N. Broadway.

Phoenix Bean has become one of the area’s leading tofu companies. With the enormous rise in demand for organic, plant-based proteins without genetically modified ingredients over the last several years, Phoenix Bean has made a name for themselves. According to the Chicago Tribune, not only do they currently sell tofu products to big name grocery chains like Mariano’s and Whole Foods, they are also the choice of many well-known chefs in the area.

The new location will give Phoenix Bean’s growing number of employees much needed space. The larger area will also allow for pasteurization, a process that’s necessary to ensure longer shelf life for tofu products. This will help the business compete with other competing brands.

Yang told the Tribune, “Once you start playing with the big boys, Mariano’s and Whole Foods, they want fresh, but they also want shelf-stable. That’s what we’re working to do.”

Phoenix Bean currently supplies all 54 Whole Foods in the Midwest region with tofu for both their prepared food and salad bars. According to Bobby Turner, regional vice president for Whole Foods. the company has bought 100,000 pounds of Phoenix Bean tofu in just the last 90 days.

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