Introducing the Japan trip participants – part 2!

Welcome back! Here are Toon and Yohanes – the other two trip participants – talking about what they want to see in Japan – check it out!

Toon (Market Room, Auckland)

I have worked for St. Pierre’s since 2010 and been Market Room manager since late 2022. I love Japanese food culture and the food – but I’ve never been to Japan! I’m really looking forward to the experience.

I would like to see if there are any other Japanese local foods that I am not aware of that can be incorporated into sushi – or even make something new with our current ingredients!

I want to bring interesting new food experiences to NZ. People in Auckland especially are always looking for new taste experiences. St. Pierre’s has a reputation for freshness and innovation, so we are the perfect company to provide customers with something new.

Toon (centre) celebrating the shop’s success with the team

Yohanes (Rotorua)

I’ve never been to Japan either. Before I joined St. Pierre’s in 2012, I trained to be a chef. Food has been such a big part of my life, and now I want to dive into food culture in Japan!

I want to first find new ingredients and flavours that Rotorua people will like. For example, people here love cream cheese and we sell a lot of cheriyaki chicken rolls. I’m sure there are lots of other innovations we can do by finding new ingredients and techniques in Japan.

I also want to find machines which we can use to reduce preparation time. Kappabashi sounds like a great place to look! If we reduce prep time, we can focus more time on customer service. The more we interact with customers, the more we learn, and the better we can serve them. Then everyone is happy.

Yohanes and his team after the shop Christmas party
Relaxing with family 🙂

By the way, have you wondered how the trip participants were selected? In January 2023, we asked shop managers and assistant managers who wanted to travel to Japan to work on initiatives which great managers excel at. They included:

  • Developing a new manager
  • Encouraging staff to engage in the 7 Steps programme
  • Encouraging staff to complete online training
  • Working on great 2nd mile service
  • Achieving shop bonus targets

21 management team members applied, and after careful evaluation across the January 1 to June 30 period, we selected these four managers to go on the trip.

We’ll be posting regularly about the trip on the magazine site and managers’ Facebook group – look out for lots of news!

Introducing the Japan trip participants!

Welcome back! Here are two of the shop managers talking about what they want to see in Japan – check it out!

Annie (Northlink, Christchurch)

I have worked for St. Pierre’s since 2014 and been Northlink shop partners since mid 2020 – but I’ve never been to Japan!

I’m looking for inspiration about new ingredients, new ways to display food and ways to improve our service. Japan is famous for its attentive and engaging service, and I hope to learn from every kind of food place we visit.

Annie (on right) with husband Leo and director Perry

Crystal (Karaka, Auckland)

I’ve only been to Japan once, for a week ten years ago. It was such a short visit!

As well as learning about Japanese food culture more generally, I want to learn how our ingredients are produced so we can make the most of them. I also want to get new ideas about sushi – what new ways can we display products, what new products can we make with innovative use of our current ingredients, and what could we make with one or two new ingredients?

I want to get lots more ideas to meet the needs of different consumer groups, all of which will attract more customers and increase shop sales.

Crystal enjoying the great outdoors

We’ll be back soon with inspiration from Toon and Yohanes – look out for our next article!

Introducing the Japan trip!

Hey everyone! Have you heard? This Friday 29th September, we’re taking four managers on a one-week trip to Japan! Read on to find out who is going and what experiences they’ll have!

In July, 21 management team members applied, and after careful evaluation, the People & Partnership Dept. selected:

  • Annie (Northlink, Christchurch)
  • Crystal (Karaka, Auckland)
  • Toon (Market Room, Auckland)
  • Yohanes (Rotorua)

Here are some of the amazing places they’ll be going between 29th September and Friday 6th October.

Kappabashi Cook’s Town – 170 shops selling everything you could need to run a restaurant. Foodie heaven!

The Yamasa Soy Sauce factory in Choshi, Chiba. Founded in 1645 (!), this is where St. Pierre’s soy comes from

Mizkan vinegar factory – learning how the beautifully mild, sweet sushi vinegar is brewed

The Endo Foods ginger factory, a boutique operation which creates the perfect zingy match for our sushi

The Kewpie Mayoterrace experience, to learn all about everyone’s favourite Japanese mayo

Food ingredients for Taste (FiT) Japan, a massive trade show with over 800 booths!

Okachimachi, a bustling, historic market district

Oh and don’t forget the food! They’ll be enjoying…

Authentic sushi – both fun sushi trains and elegant hand-made sushi gems

Shinjuku Memory Lane – the last 1950s retro dining street left in Tokyo. It’s living foodie history!

Izakaya bar-restaurants – perfect to relive the day’s fun and learning experiences in style!

Ryujin Shuzo, a sake brewery with over 400 years of history

Fantastic tonkatsu and gyoza as recommended by our trading company partners

The Yokohama ramen museum, a celebration of the diversity of Japanese noodle culture

In our next article, we’ll profile the participants and what they want to learn in Japan – look out for it soon!