Meet Japanese Companies with Quality
Food processing for a handmade taste KAJIWARA INC.
Website: KAJIWARA INC.
Category: Japanese Machinery
A family affair
Kajiwara Inc. may be a third generation family business, but it's one that has changed considerably under the leadership of each successive family member. The grandfather of the company's current president, Hidehiro Kajiwara, started operations in 1939 as a repairman for food processors in the Kappabashi area, which happens to be the heart of Tokyo's restaurant supply stores. It was out of this environment that Kajiwara'sfather transformed the company in the early 1960s by producing his own original machines.
Success in batches
Kajiwara's father focused on making machines for anko, a paste made from red beans, sugar and water that is popular in traditional Japanese sweets, but the simple ingredient list belies the difficulty of ensuring the mixture doesn't burn when cooking. His father's machines garnered a reputation both for not scorching the anko and for a taste that was nearly identical to the handmade method traditionally used at that time.
Wide product lineup
Kajiwara notes that Japanese food has many dishes that are prepared by stewing or stirring over heat. His father's machines soon proved their usefulness in sauces for meat as well as thick curries. As the company grew, so did its product lineup. It now produces confectionery machines that can process anko and custard cream as well as machines for frozen food, ready-made meals and packed lunches at convenience stores. Their products range from tabletop appliances to large apparatuses for food factories that can process ten tons of food at a time-all without sacrificing any loss in quality, taste or texture.
Exhibiting in Europe
Thirty years ago, the company made its first foray abroad to an exhibition in France. "At first, customers didn't know what to make of our machines," Kajiwara recalls his father saying, particularly since at the time there were no machines in Europe capable of simultaneously mixing and cooking. Moreover, as European ways of cooking are very different from Asia's, they had no idea how they could use Kajiwara's machines. After taking over the CEO position from his father, Kajiwara started to exhibit in Europe and the customers began asking about caramelizing nuts. The company then developed machines with this specific function.
Testing out the machines for customers
Like any large purchase, customers often want to try before they buy, and for that reason Kajiwara Inc. has a laboratory for customers to test their own items on over 40 types of machines. As a company with 40 percent of the domestic market share, customers visit the operations almost every day, with overseas clients turning up two to three times a month. Now Kajiwara Inc. has just started their business in Europe and is expanding their regular business in the Asian market, having just opened a similar customer laboratory in Singapore.
Website: KAJIWARA INC.