Four years ago, Bob Florence, 62, made a radical turn in his decades-long career as an industrial chemist. With the help of his wife Debbi Michiko Florence and business partner James Wayman, he began making small batch soy sauce, miso and other condiments under the brand name Moromi (Japanese for “mash”) Artisanal Shoyu.
Florence always enjoyed cooking, but making soy sauce (shoyu) piqued his interest. “It’s technically really super challenging,” he says. The different types of soybeans, wheat, salt and koji that can be used to create different varieties were especially appealing. Florence trained in Japan with the president of Chiba Shoyu, Kyosuke Iida.
Florence’s partners bring their own skills and perspectives to Moromi. Wayman, a chef at Nana’s Bakery and Pizza and Grass and Bone Butcher Shop in Connecticut, focuses on using local ingredients, some of which he forages. Michiko Florence, a third-generation Japanese American, is a children’s book author who has made food and Japanese culture features of her books.
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