In order to re-open our online store, we have organized our past raging days.
Our company name, NOGI, is the name of a unit I started with a friend about 15 years ago to promote macrobiotic meals and sweets.
I then used the name to start a brown rice vegetarian café.
Our encounters with children and parents with food allergies who came to our café gave us the motivation to start our own company, NOGI Co., Ltd.
I felt that the allergy-friendly snacks they ate, which they hid from their friends, were an expression of their secretive minds, thinking they were swollen with eczema and other symptoms.
"Let's make sweets that they can be proud of and that their friends will envy," was how it all started.
In order to make it something they could be proud of and be envied by, we made prototypes and worked on the packaging to finish the product.
At that time, we named our confectionery series "SWEETS AID". The name "SWEETS AID," which is also the name of our online store, was given with the wish that even sweet sweets can heal and help people.
Rather than claiming to be an allergy-friendly candy, we thought that selling the candy as egg-, dairy-, and wheat-free would give people with no food allergies a better chance of picking it up, so we decided to sell the candy at a place where customers who might choose it would stop by, as the price would inevitably be higher than normal candy.
At the right time, a select store called "Machi no Schulé 963" opened in our hometown. Mr. I, who was the supervisor of the store, saw our products and adopted them, which was a great opportunity for us. Also, our dealings with "Chirorin-mura," a well-established natural food company, gave us confidence in the quality of our products.
We closed our café and set up a workshop in Takamatsu City, where we wanted to make our products affordable to those in need, so we gradually bought more and more machines to cut costs and reflect our prices.
In the beginning, people wouldn't even taste the sweets because they said they couldn't possibly taste sweets that didn't contain eggs, butter, or flour, but now, thanks to a better understanding of food allergies, the number of stores that will sell them has increased.
Last October, we set up a new factory in Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture, and increased our new manufacturing equipment to be able to mass produce more than ever before.
At the beginning of this year, due to the coronavirus and our company was also hit by a severe situation, as I'm sure you are aware. We felt that due to the corona crisis, more people would be thinking about the importance of food, so we decided to open this online store.
All of our confections are gluten-free, free of eggs, dairy products, and flour, and free of additives such as chemical seasonings. If you look at the ingredients, you can tell what they are made of.
All of our sweets are simple, just like "sweets made by mothers for their children," but we all do our best to make them with a smile on our faces.
Our goal is to make sweets that don't make you feel sluggish after eating them, but rather encourage you to be energetic and do your best.
For our online store, we wanted to explain about our sweets and ingredients, which we hadn't been able to do before, so we renewed the site.
We are still in the process of developing the site, so we know there are parts of the site that we need to explain more about, and parts that are difficult to use. If this is the case, we would appreciate your advice.
People with allergies, people with illnesses, people with food restrictions, etc., can choose the same food for everyone to eat, even if they have various conditions, and "Share the joy of sharing".
I want to leave behind to the next and the next generation a society where being different is not special, but normal and caring for each other.
Next time, I will talk about our factory where only women work at.
Nogi Co., Ltd.