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    I'm not a vegetarian but I love eating vegetarian food, especially tofu. It's a versatile product that absorbs any flavor you add and is a great source of protein.  I was thrilled when I found out that Louisville had a locally sourced tofu factory!  

    The tofu factory is located within Heart and Soy, a new restaurant opened up by Zen Garden owner Coco Tran. The restaurant sits adjacent to Roots,  Coco Tran's other new addition to the Louisville dining scene.  The restaurants sit in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood on Bardstown Road.  Heart and Soy provides casual Asian dining with a menu of noodles, soups, and rice dishes. Roots offers more of a fine dining experience with delicious tapas style vegetarian dishes. The restaurants opened in 2011 and I've been a loyal customer since then. However, many of my friends still don't know about the locally produced tofu and other offerings from these two restaurants.

    Heart and Soy's tofu manufacturing machine is currently the only one of it's kind in Kentucky. Similar to viewing the machines at BBC or Sunergos Coffee,  the tofu machine sits inside a glass case where customers can view the process. I recently had the privilege of asking Coco Tran and her nephew Steven Ton some questions about their tofu factory.

    1. Why did you decide to start a tofu factory?
    There was a niche that was not filled which was a restaurant that made fresh tofu in house and served healthy         vegetarian dishes

    2. How are your restaurants changing the food scene in Louisville? Our restaurants are changing the Louisville dining scene by being one of the very few vegetarian restaurants that are making their own quality driven tofu in house similar to Blue Dog Bakery making their own bread onsite.
    3. Are the ingredients used in your tofu locally sourced and/or organic? Our tofu ingredients are sourced regionally in Ohio we have found the best hormone free ingredients and quality ingredients there.
    4. Are you planning on selling the soy products in local stores such as Rainbow Blossom or ValuMarket? We have plans to distribute to retail outlets and working on the infrastructure to distribute our products.

    I currently buy all of my tofu at Heart and Soy.  Outside of their Asian street food menu, the restaurant also sells soy milk, fried and fresh tofu, vegan desserts, and beverages.

    Heart and Soy and Roots are located at 1216 Bardstown Road
    They are open Monday – Thursday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Friday – Saturday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Photo courtesy of Heart and Soy Restaurant

    Mary Margaret Sparks's picture

    About Mary Margaret Sparks

    I grew up overseas in Asia and at 18 moved to Kentucky to attend Georgetown College. I received a degree in Visual Art and English Literature. I am a sculptor and textile artist focusing on advocacy work. I also have my own company called Fly Away Fox where I create unique accessories with vintage fabric such as pillows, hair accessories, children clothes and aprons. I also work at Block Party Handmade Boutique as the public relations and social media manager. I currently write for the Arts-Louisville website as a visual art reviewer and now for I try to showcase Louisville's unique food culture through new restaurant reviews, small locally owned businesses and the international community.

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