Tofu is readily available at today’s supermarkets, but in 1982 the 2000-year-old product was still something of an oddity in Australia. It was September that year that Malcolm and Guna Green opened Tofu Shop International in Richmond, and began making their own Japanese-style tofu on site, using soy milk curdled with nigari (magnesium chloride) brine.

This core business will remain intact on a wholesale basis, but on Sunday the Greens (whose children are now involved in the business too) announced via Facebook the impending closure of the cafe and retail space. It will shut for good at 4pm tomorrow, Friday December 4.

“Proximity issues, sadly, have diminished our face to face situation,” the post reads, seeming to imply that Tofu Shop International is another casualty of coronavirus.

Over the past 38 years the small shopfront has provided affordable, hearty vegetarian meals to countless customers. The tofu, made from GMO-free soybeans from NSW’s Riverina region, typically appears in big, colourful dishes alongside lentils, chickpeas, sweet potato, pumpkin or eggplant. Five or more choices are laid out daily on colourfully patterned crockery and scooped into bowls or takeaway containers to order.

The business also published a book, Tofu Shop Cookbook, in 2014.