2018 Duc Huang Founder's Award for Immigrant Success
Stories of immigrants achieving success by making foods from their native lands have become part of the cultural landscape of the United States. Jenny Yang has an immigrant story with a twist. Yang first came to the U.S. from her native Taiwan in pursuit of higher education, earning her undergraduate degree from Ohio’s Miami University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Her decision to become a tofu entrepreneur with Phoenix Bean was a marked departure from working in corporate finance. Tired of the long commutes to the suburban corporate campus where she worked, the idea of a second career in her own neighborhood and spending more time with her young children convinced her to take the plunge.
Over the 16 years Yang has owned the business, Phoenix Bean has turned into a rapidly expanding company on-trend with the broader consumer market and its desire for healthy, sustainably produced alternatives to meat, packaged for ease of preparation.
With rising sales and consumer demand stretching the capacity of Phoenix Bean’s small storefront operation, Yang has undertaken a two-part expansion to increase production capacity, create more jobs and boost economic vitality in the neighborhood. Yang’s ultimate goal is to take Phoenix Bean products to the global market place so everyone can have access to her healthy, sustainable products.