San Jose Tofu to close business ahead of 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Customers were being turned away at San Jose Tofu Wednesday afternoon. The shop was sold out, for the day, of its precious, hand-made product.

One woman came with her own plastic container ready to take home her beloved tofu. The same tofu her mother and grandmother bought. The tofu she now feeds her 2-year-old son. She had tears in her eye as she hugged owner Amy Nozaki left empty-handed.

Owners Amy and Chester Nozaki are closing up shop on December 30th.

They're the third generation to operate the family business. Chester's grandfather opened the store after World War II. Chester's dad took over when he was just 17 years old. Chester and Amy started running it in 2000.

They don't know of any other business that still makes tofu by hand.

Even in Japan, they say most companies are using machines.

The Nozakis soak the soybeans, grind them, cook them in ancient steel pots, press the paste in special wooden crates and sell the final product, tofu, by the block.

It's a labor of love and back-breaking work. The store is open 6 days a week. On the 7th day, the Nozakis prepare for the next 6 days.

They say it was a hard decision to close because they love what they do and they really love their customers but they'd like to travel and enjoy life while they still have their health.

Until December 30th, the handmade tofu will be sold first come, first serve.

The Nozakis want to say 'thank you' to their customers-they hope they know how much they've appreciated their business.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.