Meet our makers: Lara, Totally Tempeh

Lara, Totally Tempeh

Supplying to Food Connect since: 2013

What do you produce? Artisan tempeh - original soybean, sunflower-soy, organic soy, organic sunflower-soy.

Which methods and philosophies do you follow? organic, low food miles, vegan, fermented food.

When, how and why did you become a maker? As an Indonesian-Australian family, we missed eating great tasting tempeh when we settled in Brisbane 14 years ago. I aspired to learn the art of tempeh-making so we could enjoy the benefits of this superfood and share it with our community. I learned the process from an Indonesian friend, and spent years perfecting it.

What does a typical day look like for you? Depends on the day. A batch takes 5 days to complete so I rotate my time on various tasks, mostly hanging out with soybeans in the kitchen or incubation room. Then there's delivery days where I get to speak to actual people!

What do you love about what you do? I love that I can make something authentic that people rave about and that they can't get anywhere else. It nourishes my family, who thrive as vegan athletes and doing so nourishes my soul. Tempeh is a bit niche too because people usually haven't heard of it, or they've only tried the nasty mass-produced versions in mainstream stores. Totally Tempeh is fresh authentic tempeh that is unpasturised, alive with nutrition and tastes amazing.

Why do you choose to work with Food Connect? I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Food Connect. They let me start my business in their kitchen, supported me by being my first customer and have remained my best stockists ever since. Food Connect supply me with organic soybeans too. Every interaction is a pleasure - I always feel like part of the family.