Sep 28, 2020 | Dallas Morning News
Chikfu, a chickpea-based tofu, is rolling out at 14 Whole Foods across the D-FW area. Dallas-based founder Jigisha Patel created the tofu after making the switch from vegetarianism to veganism and not wanting to consume too much soy.
She was inspired by a recipe her mother used to make. And after hours of trial and error, Chikfu was born. Patel first started selling the chickpea tofu in October 2019 at two local farmers markets.
“It was awesome. Whenever we’d take our product, it would always sell out,” Patel says. “When we make our own product, we’re always partial to it. Going to the farmers markets kind of helped me decide, ‘OK, is this something that’s just in my head, or is this something people really want?’”
Because farmers markets usually close for the winter, Patel stopped selling in person and planned on returning in the spring.
“But then COVID happened, so we never really went back,” Patel says. “It was kind of slow because everything really came to a standstill.”
Recently, the company has been relying solely on online sales and grocery stores. Other than Whole Foods, Chikfu products are also being sold at Lucky Mouth, a plant-based grocery store in the Bishop Arts District, and Mashup Market, a vegan/plant-based grocer in Denton.
Whole Foods sends local foragers across the country to seek out new products from over 6,300 local vendors, country farms, or urban bakeries. And it wasn’t long before one of Whole Foods' foragers contacted Patel after trying Chikfu’s products at the farmers market.
“Everybody that has natural products wants to be in Whole Foods,” Patel says. “I always thought it would be so difficult to get into major chains like this. So, I was just flabbergasted when they contacted me and said, ‘We want to try your product.’”
For more information, visit chikfu.co