We have just stood at the beginning of the year 2019. Everything starts from a beginning and the things have an end.
I have been making ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets in London for several years now and particularly in the last three years my sweets were served to paying customers. It was at the ‘Matcha’ Bar of a Kimono shop, Wasoukan, that was located in Notting Hill. It all started three years ago when I entered a ‘Sake’ Cooking competition and won second prize. At the same time Wasoukan was looking for someone who would provide Japanese sweets for them and the manager of the shop at that time heard about me and my Wagashi making skill from the organizer of the cooking competition. They contacted me soon and the following month and since then I had been supplying two types of seasonal Japanese sweets to Wasoukan every month.
and The Ending
Now nearly three years have past since then. Although Wasoukan has been doing well and especially gained many loving customers, they decided to close their London branch and the last December was their last month. It was very sad news for me, not because from my business point of view but it was because I really liked the shop and all the staff who were working there. They seemed to get on very well together. During this three year period of my serving sweets to them I have met many of their customers and I can tell that they all loved the shop. Everybody was so sadden by this closing news and wonder where they would get good Matcha tea from in London after the shop is gone.
So one evening before the shop was closed some of the present and ex-staff of the shop as well as their great customers gathered to hold a surprise farewell party for the manager who was going back to Japan.
The dress code of the evening was of course ‘Kimono’. Even though this party was for a sad occasion, everybody was so chatty having beautiful cakes and drink. I felt so lucky that I was asked to be a part of them. We took some photos in the end and all the good memories are packed in this one photo.
When I was looking at this photo I realized how lucky I am. If I had not started serving my sweets for this shop I would not know any of these lovely people. Until then I was not used to making bigger number and it was quite a challenge to create something new according to the seasonal theme for each month. Sometimes I struggled but I am pleased that I managed producing all through the serving period for this shop. There are so many things I have learnt during this process. I really appreciate that I was given an great opportunity.
The Happy News
So it is very sad that I no longer supply sweets for Wasoukan. However, I also have happy news. I am going to supply ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets for a very nice Tea shop ‘My Cup of Tea‘ that is located near Piccadilly Circus from this March. This is the shop that I held a Wagashi Making workshop in last October and I am going to hold another Workshop there in February. I haven’t decided what types of sweets I’d like to make with participants yet but hope many people want to join us and so I would be able to hold a workshop there more often.
So, what I want to say is there is a beginning and ending in everything in this world and there are happy things as well as sad things. As the saying goes; When one door closes, another opens.
By using this Blog space I would like to give my big appreciation to Wasoukan and all the people who were working there. I’d also like to thank My Cup of Tea and hope the happy relationship I have started with them will continue long into the future.