HOOD RIVER, OR — Tofurky, a manufacturer of vegetarian products, located one mile east of Oregon, is looking to the lucrative kosher market to continue to expand its rapidly growing line of Tofurky deli products as well as those made with Tempeh, a cultured cake of beans and/or grains that has been a staple food in Indonesia for centuries. Some of Tufurky’s products include Roast, Deli Slices, Sausages, Franks, Links and Jerky.
A former elementary school teacher who specialized in natural history, founding CEO Seth Tibbott became fascinated with Tempeh as a natural and healthy ingredient. Seth founded the company with a $2,500 investment in 1980, which was bolstered by a $17,000 investment from his brother in 1990. Today, Tofurky employs more than 100 people and has annual sales of $25 million under exclusive family ownership.
Toady Tufurky can be found in major chains like Shoprite, King Cullen, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and other major grocery stores. In 1995, while at a natural food show, he met rabbis associated with KSA, who now certify most of his products as kosher and pareve. Tofurky has been riding the trend towards eating less meat, which has declined 12% since 2008. His products are far lower in fat and cholesterol than traditional turkey and meats, and yet retain the taste of a meat product.