This blog post was co-written by Susan Walters, Ed.D. of Stories that Shine.
The first annual Bizin Small Business Grant was awarded to Heiwa Tofu, Maine’s only tofu maker. The grant, created by a team of New Ventures graduates, gives one Maine business a leg up in the marketplace by providing marketing, branding, and legal services. In a field of vibrant applicants, Heiwa stood out because of founder Jeffrey Wolovitz’s dedication to producing a unique, handcrafted food using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Wolovitz is as passionate about supporting local farmers as he is about creating a high quality alternative protein source. Over 80% of his soybeans are grown in Maine, with the balance coming from other New England farms. Heiwa helps bolster local organic farming by creating demand for soybeans.
Jeffrey’s tofu is made from non-GMO, MOFGA certified, USDA organic soybeans. He pays special attention to the quality and consistency of the finished product. He says, “Heiwa Tofu has a more delicate, supple, and creamy texture. This is what our customers love about our tofu. We’ve developed a loyal customer base who claim Heiwa Tofu is the best they have ever had and say they will never go back to another brand.”
Since 2008, Heiwa has produced over 350,000 pounds of handcrafted tofu. The tofu is sold bulk or in vacuum sealed packages. Heiwa Tofu is distributed to over 150 restaurants, grocery and natural food stores, institutions and buyer’s clubs. Thanks to Crown O’Maine Organic Cooperative, Heiwa Tofu is now offered at 29 Hannaford Supermarkets around the state. Jeff is excited to announce that the production facility is soon to be moving from Belfast to Rockport, into a building they have just purchased. Their plan is to be in the new location by July, and the extra space will allow them to continue ramping up production in order to meet increasing demand.
The women of Bizin are proud to support Heiwa by providing branding, content development, marketing expertise, graphic design services and legal advice as Jeffrey continues to grow his business. BizIn team members include Carrie Yardley (Yardley Esq. PLLC), Valerie Geredien (buzzwings marketing & communication, LLC), Erin Smith (Wheatberry Design), Susan Walters (Stories That Shine), and Leah Twitchell (K&L Social). The women met through the New Ventures Maine program recommend the program to anyone thinking of starting a business or wanting to take their business to the next level.