Heirloom Tempeh

heir·​loom noun

something of special value handed down from one generation to another

Our Humble Beginnings

The Tempeh Shop began back in the 80’s when my father, Jose, was exploring different foods that were sustainable and highly nutritious in order to feed his growing family.  He first learned about tempeh when visiting “The Farm”, a spiritual community in Tennessee, back in the 70’s.  The folks on The Farm were some of the first to experiment with tempeh in the US and to this day, we continue to use and propagate the original tempeh starter cultures from The Farm in our tempeh.

Jose immigrated from Cuba when he was a teenager and brought with him a sense of ingenuity and problem solving that later led to the development of tempeh-making equipment that was entirely manufactured by easily obtained materials.  Back then, there weren’t any options for machines that would assist with tempeh-making, so he had to invent.  Some of my fondest memories as a kid were watching my dad work through various iterations of inventions until they were just right and then improving them again and again.  This slow growth allowed the business to grow organically without needing any outside capital investments.  Without Jose’s inventiveness, The Tempeh Shop wouldn’t exist.

A staple Indonesian cuisine made in The United States by a Cuban immigrant – what a world we live in!

Some of my favorite inventions include the slow tumble bean dryer, the bag perforator, and the weighing/bagging contraption – all built with things found at any hardware store.  With these inventions and other equipment, we’ve been able to grow the production to an impressive scale without sacrificing the high quality that can only be found in “home-made” or artisan tempeh shops like those in Indonesia.

As long as I can remember, tempeh has been part of my life.  At first it was just the hobby that my hippie dad would spend days working on, but later as I got more involved in the business, I began to really enjoy the process of making tempeh and found great joy in providing the community with something unusual.  I credit that I have stayed vegetarian my entire life to having an endless supply of tempeh.  There’s nothing else quite like it.

These days, Jose is still involved in the business in a more limited capacity and has passed the torch to me to continue to grow what he started.  So, here’s to many more years of spreading the joy of tempeh!  Thanks, pop!

–  Damian Caraballo


Our Mission

The Tempeh Shop’s mission is to provide the community with the highest possible quality tempeh.


Our Commitments

  • We are committed to sustainability and quality.  We use only non-GMO ingredients, we compost all of our waste (thanks Beaten Path Compost!), and all of our shipments are carbon-neutral.
  • We are committed to working directly with our customers.  We don’t sell to any national distributors or retailers – only directly to the people who eat our tempeh and prepare it for the guests at their restaurants.
  • We are committed to appropriate and measured growth.  We strive to keep the business just the right size – big enough to uphold our mission while small enough to be nimble.


Our Guarantee

Thanks for trying our tempeh – if you’re not satisfied with the quality or service you received, please let us know and we’ll refund your payment.