At primary school in North London, I remember feeling embarrassed about opening up my lunch box to my rice ball, as friends had peanut butter and jam sandwiches: “uhhh, what’s that” they’d say, pointing to this unfamiliar black and white ball. I wasn’t fluent in English yet then either and I remember spending lunch breaks hiding in the toilet eating her rice ball quietly (don’t worry, I’m ok guys).That didn’t last long and I was quickly back in the playground, this time, pitching why rice balls are the best frickin’ thing they’d ever tasted. They’d be lucky if I let them have a bite! Soon enough, I’d convinced them and went from complaining ungratefully to my mama to pleading she showed me how to make them so I could feed everyone. That’s when my passion for Japanese food began.
My love for rice balls didn't stop there as my first business idea also centred around it. At the age of 14, I was at Tokyo station, waiting to board a bullet train to see my obachan (grandma) in Niigata, west of Japan. There was a tiny rice ball shop in the station which was dedicated to freshly made warm rice balls and it was life changing. People in the UK would love this, I thought. I made these during Uni and made a little pocket money.
That idea didn’t quite progress and despite my passion, I followed the conventional route and became a lawyer but I’d always daydreamed about having my own food business one day and I’m so thrilled to be able to say that I now finally do and it’s a pretty damn cool one too!