Paul Johnston – Founder of Bean Supreme
No-one promotes the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle better than the original founder of Bean Supreme, Paul Johnston – a youthful 60-year-old pioneer of all things vegetarian and one of the first Kiwis to bravely introduce tofu to a meat-loving New Zealand. Thirty years ago, Paul’s vision of a high protein plant-based diet was ridiculed.
“At that time (1980s) you could only find one vegetarian product in a can on New Zealand supermarket shelves,” Paul remembers. “It wasn’t until I travelled to the US that I was introduced to chickpea, tofu and soy products and saw how far behind we were in New Zealand when it came to nutritious, high protein meat-free alternatives.”
An avid surfer and lover of the outdoors, Paul experimented with a plant-based vegetarian diet in his 20s for health reasons and quickly became a tofu devotee. Paul was motivated to start making his own soybean products, and with that the company Bean Supreme was formed.
Paul sold the business to Life Health Foods in 2006 but still remains an active and valued member of the Senior Management team.