In Search of the Wild Tofurky By Seth Tibbott, Steve Richardson
From Book, CD and Video Review Guide

Author: Seth Tibbott, Steve Richardson

Reviewed by: and other Activists

Publisher: Diversion Books

In Search of the Wild Tofurky
Available at
ISBN-10: 1635766532
ISBN-13: 978-1635766530

Review by

I've had this blog since 2009. Anyone who has followed it at all knows that I'm a big Tofurky fan. It must be 20 years now that I've been eating their products. So when I saw that the founder of Tofurky, Seth Tibbott, was coming out with a book, called In Search of the Wild Tofurky, about his story, I was immediately interested.

This week I read the book, and I have to say that I really loved it. I went vegetarian in 1995, which is the same year that he created the Tofurky. Is that a coincidence, I wondered? Or was it a good omen? I remember my first couple of Thanksgiving gatherings as a vegetarian, and they were odd and uncomfortable. A few years into it, we discovered the Tofurky, and never looked back. We love the Tofurky, and it quickly become our holiday tradition. For years now, we also always have the Tofurky deli slices in our house at all times, and we buy their other products here there, such as the sausages.

This book tells the slow painstaking process that Tibbott went through to get to where he, and the company, is today. He shares about his meager beginnings, how hard he worked along the way, and where it took him. He is also humble in sharing the credit for the company's success with those who surrounded and helped him along the way.

Tibbott's story is inspirational, because he has shown that you can make money and change the world at the same time. His ingenuity certainly helped change the world, at least for those of us who want plant based foods. His story is a good example of the American dream fulfilled. If you work hard, good things happen.

It was apparent throughout the book that he is a liberal (I'm a conservative). He complained about how Regean got into office and cut the budget for the environmental programs he had been working for. However, I loved at the end of the book in his list of people he thanked, Regean was one of them. This was because those budget cuts forced Tibbott to have to do something else. Those programs being cut were the beginning of the Tofurky we know today. Had they not have happened, we probably wouldn't know Tofurky today. As one door opens, another closes.

He explains in the book that they really listen to their customers. It made me think of the few times I've written to them. Once because their products suddenly could not be found anywhere when they were having production challenges, and then when their recipe seemed to change for a short period of time (the deli slices when through a period of being too salty, not the flavor I was used to for years). It made me wonder if they had taken my comments about noticing the recipe had changed and looked into quality control.

This is a good read for anyone who has an entrepreneurial dream, as well as those who like American success stories. It's also a fun read for anyone who is a Tofurky fan. I really enjoyed the book and learning so much about how the company was started and how it got to where it is today. Tibbott seems like a fun guy who has maintained having a passion for bringing the world tasty meat alternatives, and my family is grateful!

Two thumbs up for In Search of the Wild Tofurky by Seth Tibbott.


"Seth Tibbott is an American Original. His story is so outlandish, so unbelievable . . . you'd think it was fiction. A man, a treehouse, a tempeh factory in an abandoned elementary school in the middle of nowhere, and eventually a tofu turkey! And somehow, through it all, he managed to build a hugely successful company and become one of the most important evangelists in the natural foods movement that took off in the United States in the early 1990s."
―Guy Raz, Host and Cocreator of NPR's How I Built This, the TED Radio Hour, and Wow in the World

“Seth's epic journey from his treehouse to flying high with Tofurky is one of the most inspirational in the history of the natural food movement. This book isn't about how an old hippie achieved success, but about a man who lived his truth and maintained his humility throughout his own evolution, and thereby touched lives across multiple continents, including mine.”
―Miyoko Schinner, CEO, Miyoko’s Kitchen

“Expert advice and inspiration from a most unconventional source. Seth Tibbott, and the momentous meat-free mission of Tofurky, the company he co-founded, has done more for human health, the planet, and the animals than all their fiercest competitors combined―while maintaining the highest level of integrity. An education in the business of ethics.”
―Eric C Lindstrom, author of The Skeptical Vegan and The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Kids

“Tofurky is an iconic international brand that inspires compassionate vegan living around the globe, while retaining the integrity of purpose born of its humble origin. Beginning as a small start-up operated by Seth Tibbott living in a treehouse in the Oregon woods, Tofurky has grown into a global force. Seth is a good friend and colleague, and I'm excited that his uplifting story is now being shared in this book.”
―Gene Baur, co-founder Farm Sanctuary and author of best-selling Living the Farm Sanctuary Life

“Putting down roots nearly 40 years ago, Tofurky continues to pave the way for a plant-powered future with its delicious vegan products, including its famous holiday roast, now sprouting up worldwide. This compassionate company’s innovation is evidenced not only in its nourishing foods, but also in its eco-friendly production facility, and in the way it leads by example with a commitment to social justice values, pro-actively supporting equality and kindness for all.”
―Erica Meier, founder, Compassion Over Killing

About the Author:

Seth Tibbott is Tofurky’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO of thirty-five years. He’s no former Wharton whizz kid or stock junky; in fact, he was an idealistic hippie with no business acumen living in a treehouse when he conceived the idea of bringing healthy, eco-friendly, tasty protein to the world. Nearly forty years later, using his unconventional business approach paired with faith in his products and a deep belief in environmental causes, he has transformed the $2,500 startup into a family-owned global brand worth over $100 million. He lives in Trout Lake, Washington.

Steve Richardson writes, edits, and teaches in the damp foothills of Oregon's coast range mountains. He is the founding editor of Chemeketa Press and has published two writing textbooks, The Humble Essay and The Humble Argument, under an assumed name. He, too, was a wandering naturalist back in the day, which just goes to show you something, probably.

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