Smiling Hara Tempeh is a family owned business committed to providing the most nutritious and freshest tempeh possible, and at the same time providing a market for organic farmers. Its team are in the process of forging a new trend in the health food world with the highest quality vegan/vegetarian protein available. 

We took a minute to ask them a few questions - keep on readin' to see what the heck tempeh is and who co-founder Sarah would have at her dinner party!
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What is tempeh / why and how should we all be cooking with it?   
Originating in Indonesia, tempeh is made form a process of culturing beans.  The result is a highly digestible and nutritious plant based super protein.  Smiling Hara is the first to market with a hemp fortified, soy free tempeh.  Most people think tempeh can only be made with soy, but it is not true!  You can use all kinds of beans!  We have used everything from adzuki beans, peanuts, yellow split peas, and more! It is highly versatile, and pan frying in a little oil is a great preparation method.  We also have some sweet recipes on our website. www.eathempeh.com

Tell us a little about how you all got started with Smiling Hara.  
Chad and I (Sarah) moved in next to each other and fell in love. Eight months later, we got pregnant with our son Atticus, AND our business Smiling Hara was born! Chad and I realized that Asheville NC desperately needed a local tempeh company, and I desperately needed a job since being laid off during the 2008 recession. It didn’t take long for other parts of the country to realize we were up to something great and we began expanding throughout the Southeast.

Describe a day in the life at Smiling Hara!   
BUSY!  Our Hempeh is brand is growing fast and furiously.  We are continuously reinventing ourselves to meet market demands.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?  
Keep excellent records, be transparent, and if you truly believe in what you are doing, don't give up. 

Who is your favorite kitchen hero and why?  
Lynn Rosetto Kasper because it fills my heart with warmth and inspiration each time I hear her speak!

You are throwing your dream dinner party. Who is on the guest list?  
William Shurtleff, Lynn Rosetto Kasper, Sandor Katz, George Osawa

What is your favorite food memory? 
Discovering a crock of homemade miso 10 years old in the basement of the Kushi institute in 1997. And then making pickled burdock root with it!