Today we are excited and happy to launch a brand-new series on the blog: [ Osusume Japan. ] Osusume means “our recommendation in Japanese.” We will be introducing cool and interesting companies and people from across the country.
While exploring the great city of Hiroshima to offer you the best food tours in town, we discovered “USHIO CHOCOLATL”.
USHIO CHOCOLATL is a chocolate factory and shop located in the middle of the mountains near Mukaishima-island, Onomichi, Hiroshima prefecture. Ushio started on November 1st, 2014 with original founders and entrepreneurs Shinya, Atsushi, and Yassan. Today, new crazy members have joined their team and they are continually on the move “to spread good taste and fun”.
This small scale chocolate manufacturing shop is very unusal because they use high-quality fresh cacao beans purchased in direct trade with foreign cacao farmers, and do all the processing in-house, from manufacturing to sales. Their chocolate is made from only cacao and sugar. All the unique flavors come directly from the characteristics and origin of the beans.
Ushio now also has another second brand, named “foo CHOCOLATERS.” For this product line they create only vegan chocolates using cashew nuts instead of milk.
If you wonder where the name USHIO CHOCOLATL comes from, “it is the name of the Boss’s daughter and it refers to the morning sea. Because we have lovely views of the Seto Inland Sea from Onomichi.”
What makes this brand so special? “USHIO will make you enjoy the taste and scent of different cacao beans depending on the production area. We always keep in mind the different kind of people, what kind of things did people raise with the beans. The second brand, foo CHOCOLATERS, is confidently making vegan products that are even more delicious than ordinary milk chocolate, and vegan chocolate is very rare in Japan.”
The slogan for Ushio is “Chocolates not to eat. Feel” ! An increasing number of people are already conscious of the power of respecting raw materials and the importance of knowing who made something and how it was made. Not only chocolate but much more than that. Ushio strives to be sustainable, fashionable and fun. The Chocolate is natural and delicious. The concept is not only applicable for food but also for politics, economics, personal relationships and culture.
When you see USHIO packaging, you understand that it’s not a simple design. Each label is original and the drawings were made by local writers and artists they met in Onomichi. The label design becme a great way to connect with people who had the same vibe, and creative skills!
The USHIO team were already close to the vegan “way of life”, and as they began to perfect chocolate making they were sure that it was possible to eat delicious vegan chocolate (difficult to find in Japan). The chocolate chefs created another brand called “foo CHOCOLATER.” Foo is 100% vegan. The founders are proud to offer delicious chocolate for people with religious eating restrictions, dairy allergies etc.
From the founder;
“When I had the opportunity to open a second shop, I thought that I wanted to create something completely new. I was decided to do vegan milk chocolate at this time and because independent chocolate factories were something very unusual, we thought that it could be interesting and fun. Our foo factory is in Hiroshima airport which is really interesting because a wide variety of people come and go every day, and I am making vegan milk chocolate with the desire to make as many people as possible taste it as possible. People can watch the whole process through a glass window, all the steps from the roasting of cacao beans to the packaging. The factory is currently run by nine people and we are creating an environment that not only makes chocolate but also offers a unique working style and lifestyle.”
USHIO CHOCOLATL has a directly managed shop in Mukojima, and foo CHOCOLATERS own a store in Hiroshima Airport. You can also find USHIO CHOCOLATL at Tokyo at Little Nap Coffee Stand in Shibuya. Foo CHOCOLATERS are available at OVER THE CENTURY in Nihonbashi Takashimaya, and CITY SHOP AOYAMA in Shibuya. There will be also a POP UP SHOP at NIHOMBASHI TAKASHIMAYA (at First floor), from March 5th to April 2nd 2019.
“If you see “Hexagonal chocolates” somewhere, please go and try it!
The factory in Mukojima is very scenic and restful, so please come visit us and have a good time. If you’re going to Hiroshima Airport’s factory you can enjoy the chocolate making process from fresh roasted cacao beans, so please feel free to come!”
And because the Arigato Japan team loved USHIO and foo so much, we have decided to team up with them to offer you two exclusive chocolate gift box giveaways for your and your special someone to celebrate February and Valentine’s Day!
Giveway entry ends on February 24, 9 pm Japan time. 1 person will be randomly selected and the winner will be announced a few days after. Good luck everyone!