YOKU MOKU – Confectionery that makes you smile

YOKU MOKU, a beautiful shop with distinctive blue tiles that adorns both inside and outside the building has a fresh appeal to anyone looking for freshly baked confectionery. They offer a variety of items such as fresh seasonal cakes and baked confectionery made from the best ingredients available. In this interview with Takeshi FUJINAWA- President & CEO of YOKU MOKU, we discover how an idea to spread joy with sweets turned into a delicious reality for all.

1. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

We would like to be not only a manufacturer of confectionery, but also experts who understand deeply both of confectionery and people, and who design communications between people with our confectionery and cookies.
This is because we believe that “confectionery is an essential part of our daily life” and “confectionery has a miracle power to make people smile”.
Thus, we will deliver our deliciousness to as many people as possible, and we will continue to pursue what we can do in order to create the world filled with deliciousness and smiles.

2. What inspired the brand name?

The name of “YOKU MOKU” originates from the name of small town in Sweden, JOKK MOKK, which is located on the Arctic Circle and about 800km north of the capital Stockholm.

JOKK MOKK is the small town surrounded by forests and lakes. There is a desolate wild landscape of severe winter in the Arctic Circle. However, once we enter in JOKK MOKK, there is a wooden station building welcoming travelers warmly, and colorful houses on white birch tree lined path. These homely and beautiful scenery of JOKK MOKK is like a part of a picture book, and makes us feeling the warmth of human beings and happy homes as opposed to harsh natural environments. Family sit around the table in home, and confectionery and cookies made for families with sincerity are always there and make conversation more lively.

Like this deliciousness of handcraft, we always wish our confectionery and cookies to be a bridge between people and to offer them precious time filled with deliciousness and smiles. That is why we named our company as “YOKU MOKU”.

3. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

The motif used in our logo together with our brand’s name is dogwood which our founder loved. We chose this motif wishing our company and brand would keep on developing forever like a tree of dogwood which keeps on growing towards the sky.

In the courtyard of the Aoyama flagship store, we planted a dogwood tree to welcome our customers with their seasonal attractions.

When you come to Japan, please visit our flagship store.

It would be our pleasure to welcome you with our delicious confectionery, cookies and limited editions only available at our flagship store, and great honor if you would spend a pleasant moment filled with deliciousness and smiles, feeling the season under the dogwood tree.

4. What makes your brand different from your competitors?

“Making confectionery is a creation, not a production.”

This has been our origin and belief since our foundation.
This doesn’t mean that we invent new products one after another following trends, but means that we will aim at simplicity and high-quality and will create brand-new deliciousness no one has ever experienced.

The ingredients that we use for our confectionery are very simple and common in Japan that can be sourced easily. However, we carefully select the fine and high-quality ingredients that can realize our ideal taste of confectionery.

These beliefs have made our brand what it is and have brought our incomparable value with others.

5. What was the major challenge you faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

“Creating the world filled with deliciousness and smiles”
This is my and our biggest challenge and mission, we are still on the way to achieve it all over the world.

For over 50 years of our history, I mean, for three generations,
we have delivered our confectionery and cookies all over Japan, and fortunately, many customers have enjoyed them.
However, when it comes to in the world, we still have a long way to go.

When I started my career in YOKUMOKU, we’d already opened oversea stores in North America, but no store in the other areas.
Therefore, my first challenge was in Asian countries. More precisely, it was to let Asian customers to enjoy our confectionery and cookies and to make them smile with our products.
Although they are Asian countries as Japan, each has their own cultures and customs which are different from ours and it means our customers will have their own occasions to enjoy confectionery and cookies.
In other words, it is not always sufficient to bring the products sold in Japan without any adjustments.
Learning about and understanding deeply our customers is the most important to fit our customers’ demand in each country, then to make them feel happy and smile. Though it is not easy, we’ve continued communicating closely with our overseas partners and have made many trials and errors with them.
As a result, it seems that in these countries, little by little, our confectionery and cookies have become able to offer more smiles. We would like to continue challenging in the Middle East countries as well in order to bring you our delicious confectionery and smiles.

6. What is your best achievement?

As I mentioned earlier, we are still in the middle of the big challenge.

However, on the way here, we fortunately have met our overseas partners
who appreciate the power of confectionery, share our beliefs and spirits, and go on a journey together.
These relationships brought by our confectionery and cookies are, for me, more precious asset than anything else and the biggest achievements we’ve done.

We look forward to our next step to take together with INDEX here, in the Middle East countries.

9. How does your business day start?

At the time of our foundation, as the mechanization had been increasing, Japanese market was flooded with mass produced items.
Then, our founder thought that we need, more than ever, warmth which they can feel through hand crafted confectionery made one by one with craftsmanship and from meticulously selected ingredients.

“Confectionery is an essential part of our daily life”
“Confectionery has a miracle power to make people smile”
“Making confectionery with earnest sincerity is the only way to make the really delicious one.”
“Making confectionery is a creation, not a production.”

These beliefs are what our founder had been keeping in his mind throughout his life of challenging and pursuing to create brand-new deliciousness.
Therefore, they are our origins and what we always have in our mind.

10. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

At the beginning of our new challenge here, in Dubai, where I see our brand in the next 5 years is among the necessary brands for customers in the Middle East countries.
I mean a brand whose confectionery can deepen ties between you and your loved ones, and whose confectionery must be there when you spend a precious and happy time with them.

Building a strong relationship with INDEX, we will advance step by step together.

To get to know who are the industry key players, visit our Interview of the Week page.

To stay updated, visit our Franchise News section.

To learn more, visit our Franchising Tips section.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *