Burmese recipe inspires Milwaukee pair’s vegan business

Kristine M. Kierzek

Brett Lipshutz and Didier Leplae have always appreciated a good home-cooked meal, especially when shared with friends. In recent months, they continued to find ways to connect via Zoom gatherings. During those online dinnertimes they started talking business. 

Inspired  by their love of food and travel, Lipshutz and Leplae co-founded Happy Chik Chickpea Tofu. Based on a Burmese recipe, their shan style tofu isn’t really tofu in the traditional sense. Made with chickpea flour and salt, it is soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. In July, they began selling at the Fondy Farmers Market, and sold out their very first weekend. 

Currently, they are selling at the Fondy Market the last two weekends of every month, and while they work to increase their sales outlets, they are taking individual orders via Facebook. 

Brett Lipshutz and Didier Leplae began selling Happy Chik Chickpea Tofu in January.

Getting started

Didier: My background is mostly as a musician and film composer. I have played in several bands in Milwaukee over the years, and about 15 years ago I started a business with Chris Smith, a local filmmaker who moved away. He and I, and Joe Wong, started a business doing music for commercials and TV and film. I grew up in Shorewood, to parents who were from Europe. My mom is from France. My dad is from Belgium. I went to UWM. 

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