Tofu makes this strawberry smoothie slightly thick
The reason the founder of Alfa Bio, Ján Lunter, decided to dedicate his company to healthy food and not his original profession of programming was completely personal. Thanks to healthy foods his mother was cured of cancer and he wanted to spread forth this positive experience with healthy food.
Alfa Bio was created in 1991
We were the first on the former Czechoslovak market to make tofu products and at that time tofu was an unfamiliar food.
Healthy food heals the family
Ján Lunter remembers a time in his life thirty years ago:
“When my mom fell ill, I searched for a way that I could help her. An acquaintance advised me to change our diet. My mom switched to raw foods, fruit juices and with her our whole family changed diets. I started from the very beginning and I sought out information about health food everywhere. Thanks to this, I came upon a recipe for tofu.”
When we cooked the family’s first tofu meal no one could have guessed that in a few years we’d be cooking a ton of soy daily. Then, because he knew that healthy foods benefit the whole family, Ján Lunter considered how to spread his positive experience further.
“The fact is that the change in diet suited myself and my wife, but the reaction around us was reserved. Yet, there were also those who approved such a dietary change, Dr. Mika for instance, who concluded that those whose table is loaded with meat products incur more risk,” returns the company founder when asked about the prejudices he has faced.
After the Velvet Revolution, Lunter founded a software company with former programming colleagues, but thoughts of healthy dieting and efforts to improve eating habits continued to drill through his mind.
Tofu born in the cellar
After a while, Ján Lunter succeeded in convincing his former colleagues to join him and give this unusual business a try. The company, Alfa Bio, was founded in 1991 in the cellar of their family home.
“Our first machines were quite primitive, for example our press worked with rock-climbing ropes attached to kilo weights, and an old hospital stabilizer produced steam,” says Ján Lunter with a smile as he evaluates the company’s beginnings.
At first people didn’t know what to expect from these unknown foods, therefore, the company Alfa Bio functioned as a wholesaler of sensible, nutritious products and tofu represented only a part of the product range. Interest, however, rose quickly and the company was soon producing a ton of tofu per week. Despite tofu’s gain in popularity, most distribution companies in Slovakia retained their distrust of the unfamiliar. Thus, an important moment was when we succeeded in gaining regular customers, for example the French firm, Country Life, which was importing health foods to the Czech market. At that moment, we could completely focus on tofu production. By the time we produced a ton daily, it had become clear that the capacity of the cellar in our family home was insufficient. We found our new headquarters in an industrial park on the outskirts of Banska Bystrica. Professional production replaced our humble and makeshift cellar conditions and today we employ about 110 people. In addition to tofu, we produce vegetable spreads, soy drinks, vegetable “meat” products, convenience foods, and gastro packaging.
The goal that we at Alfa Bio established from the very beginning has not changed. It is to bring health to your table with the Hippocratic oath in mind:
“Let food be thy medicine.”