Double Chocolate Blanc, Billet Au Amandes, Double Chocolate
Double Chocolate Blanc, Billet Au Amandes, Double Chocolate

It was a bad time; the world was reeling from the effects of World War II. Confectioner Noriichi Fujinawa, the founder of Yoku Moku, noticed that confectionery made people smile. While he struggled to find the right ingredients, he continued baking for he believed, "Confectionery and cookies are important to our lives."

Cigare Single
Cigare Single

To make his cookies stand out, he focused on striking a perfect balance using a high-grade Hokkaido butter, which is the central focus of the cookies. This, we learn when we walk into the 777-sq m store opposite the Town Hall at Horniman Circle. The cobalt blue board is visible from far, and we step into a constant temperature of 18 degrees, cooling us immediately. The cookies are displayed among tasteful tea cups, pots and vases that we assume are on sale too. But they aren't. In the left corner, is a dimly-lit area with a high table for tastings. The display cookies, by the way, come from Japan and are made of rubber. We are tempted to take a bite! The cookies have to be kept at a temperature of 18 to 22 degrees to retain their crisp freshness, the staffer explains.

Bateau De Pistachio
Bateau De Pistachio

The team comprises people from different walks of life, including staff members who have earlier worked in retail sale, on cruise ships, as travel agents, and merchandise buyers, all of who throw in a phrase or two in Japanese starting with a 'Konichiwa' (hello: Japanese) when we enter.

A staff member demonstrates Furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping
A staff member demonstrates Furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping

The store does not scream Japan but is an aesthetically designed space. The luxury products are steeply priced but it is the market they are aiming to crack.

Attention is given to the Japanese style of wrapping. The paper wrapping has a one-sticker fold, the scarf wrapping is a traditional furoshiki in which the scarf is meticulously tied in knots around a box. The ribbon on the boxes too is smartly tied requiring just one cut. While all the cookies are imported from a factory in Nikko, in the Tochigi prefecture, the first phase of the set-up has 12 product offerings.


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