Miyoko, Now and Zen
Marvelous Miyoko has been let go from the beloved vegan cheese company she founded and her many vegan fans are shocked and saddened. As this unfortunate situation unfolds we hope for the best for Miyoko and her delicious creations. Caryn Hartglass presents three excerpts of IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD interviews with Miyoko from 2012, 2014, and 2016 showing the evolution of what is today, Miyoko’s Creamery.
During the 1990s, she taught vegan cooking classes, and in 1991 The Book Publishing Company published her first vegan cookbook The Now and Zen Epicure. In 1994, she opened the vegan restaurant Now and Zen in San Francisco, which eventually expanded into a natural food company of the same name, which was sold in 2003. Schinner has launched a number of vegan brands, such as UnTurkey, which she exhibited at the 1995 Natural Products Expo alongside competitor Tofurky, and Hip Whip.
In 2014, Schinner launched vegan cheese company Miyoko’s Kitchen, later renaming it Miyoko’s Creamery. Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott was the company’s first investor. In 2016, the Specialty Food Association reported the company had “grown 300% year over year,” and “they recently signed on to a new 28,000+ square-foot headquarters in Petaluma.”
Miyoko has authored these cookbooks:
- The Now and Zen Epicure, Book Publishing Company, June 1, 1991 (as Miyoko Nishimoto)
- Japanese Cooking: Contemporary & Traditional [Simple, Delicious, and Vegan], Book Publishing Company, Aug 19, 1999 (as Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner)
- The New Now and Zen Epicure, Book Publishing Company, September 1, 2001 (as Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner)
- Artisan Vegan Cheese, Book Publishing Company, Aug. 8, 2012 (as Miyoko Schinner)
- The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, Ten Speed Press, June 16, 2015 (as Miyoko Schinner)
- The Vegan Meat Cookbook: Meatless Favorites. Made with Plants, Ten Speed Press, May 11, 2021 (as Miyoko Schinner)
Miyoko has won many awards including:
2015, Veggie Award Product of the Year, VegNews Veggie Awards
2016, Sofi Award, Sofi Awards
2016, Nexty Award, Natural Products Expo West 2016
2016, Vegetarian Hall of Fame, North American Vegetarian Society
2017, Best Bite Award, Delicious Living’s Best Bite Awards
2017, Animal Equality Compassionate Company, Animal Equality
2018, Next Generation Industry Pioneer Award, North Bay Food Industry Group
In 2021, Miyoko was included in the inaugural Forbes 50 Over 50 list.