It’s a family thing
Since the 1970s
Toby’s Family Foods sprang out of a mother’s love for her children and a commitment to healthy, nourishing food. That continues to be our inspiration — we love our family, our community and good food!
To this day, local customers still ask after Toby, her children and grandchildren. But it goes beyond that, our staff and long-time customers, they’re family too! We love our community in the Willamette Valley and we’re proud that more than 50% of Toby’s Family Foods is owned by women right here in Eugene, Oregon, where it all started.
Toby Alves, Founder of Toby’s Family Foods
Back in the early 1970s, Toby was a single, working mom who was determined to make simple, healthy recipes her whole family could enjoy. She had the extra challenge of having a child with severe food allergies and healthy options were limited.
As Toby shared her food at family gatherings, with friends, and at the local Eugene Saturday Market, word spread, and more and more people wanted a taste. Toby focused on simple ingredients, prepared fresh, with a vegetarian emphasis. After perfecting her recipes at home, Toby and her family began selling tofu at the Eugene Saturday Market in 1978. Word of her delicious vegetarian offerings at their booth, The Tofu Palace, spread quickly.
As orders quickly outpaced production in her home kitchen, Toby moved to a larger facility and quickly expanded her retail product line. But her inspiration always came from feeding her family with love!
Friends and family, we are saddened to share the news of Toby passing.
Toby Alves passed away peacefully on July 4, 2022 after a lengthy journey with metastatic breast cancer. She was 74 years old. Toby was a hard working mom and a true pioneer in natural foods.
During her retirement, Toby was able to focus on other passions in her life; spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, and floral arranging. She loved her family, friends, and community and our lives are all the richer having been cared for and nourished by this incredible woman. She will be forever remembered.
Jonah Alves, President of Toby’s Family Foods
Toby’s son, Jonah, is the President of the company. After graduating from college in the early ‘90s, Jonah joined his mom in making Toby’s Family Foods a sustainable family business. He worked pretty much every job until becoming President in the late ‘90s and he’s still at our helm today.
Jonah is passionate about food. On any given day you can find him in his office, visiting nearby farms and food suppliers or working hands-on with our production crew.