The story on local food and drink

Fresh Faces 2019: Adam Potenza, Ithaca Soy

In this feature, we gathered 16 young business owners in the food, farm or beverage industry that are establishing a brand in the FLX. We sent each one the same list of 10 questions. Below are their answers. We hope you enjoy learning about and supporting these local entrepreneurs!
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In this feature, we gathered 16 young business owners in the food, farm or beverage industry that are establishing a brand in the FLX. We sent each one the same list of 10 questions. Below are their answers. We hope you enjoy learning about and supporting these local entrepreneurs!

To tofu, or not to tofu?

Adam Potenza, Ithaca Soy

Dad’s beans make son’s tofu.

1. What’s the first FLX wine or beer you tasted? If I had to guess it would be a red wine from Liedenfrost Vineyards

2. What’s your favorite local comfort food after a long, day of hard work?  Anything from the Greenstar salad/hot bar or a slice of pizza from Franco’s and NY pizzeria. 

3. Favorite piece of business advice? Take your time and make sure you’re doing it right. Don’t rush a big decision.

4. Why do you run your business here? FLX is where I live. FLX is where my father grows the beans. Ithaca is a food-forward city. People are conscious of supporting local, and they appreciate a hand made artisan product.

5. Who’s your hero? My Dad! Tony Potenza!! He’s been feeding people for over 35 years in the FLX. He was one of the first organic farmers in New York State. He’s always willing to help other people out. He helps countless farmers in the area.    

6. What did you want to be when you were a kid? A chef!

You gotta try the Tofu Kan!

7. If you had to choose a completely new career, what would it be? If would have to be something that involves food!

8. Favorite place to eat in the FLX? I can’t name them all!! Taste of Thai Express, Maxies, Stone Cat, Atlas Bowl, both Franco’s and NY pizzeria, and Good to Go!!!!

9. Local businessperson who inspires you? Dana Stafford and the whole team at Regional Access!!  I was fortunate to work under Dana for many years at Regional Access and he was very supportive of my move to Ithaca Soy. His work ethic is unimaginable. A lead-by-example kinda boss. He’s given me many great pieces of business advice along the way.    

A version of this article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of the magazine.

All images by Chelsea Fausel.

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