Yokumoku Cigar, the most popular gift on business in Japan
- Yoku Moku’s Cigare
- “Cigare” is a cookie in a lovely, rolled-up shape. Its dough called “langue de chat” made with lots of butter is characterized by a texture as of simply melting in one’s mouth. The confectionery maker that productized Cigare and has spread it throughout the world is Yoku Moku (Co. Ltd.). Now, let’s trace the company history and untold story behind the development of Cigare.
- We got a gift.
- Nice. It’s Yoku Moku’s confection.
I’ll make some tea.
- Yoku Moku
Norikazu Fujinawa (16) began working at the confectionery store Fujinawa Shoten founded by his older brother.
- Making confections is interesting.
However, the store suffered from a shortage of raw materials because of the war. Also, the store building was destroyed by fire.
- After the war
When the store was revived as Isshinseika and began the manufacture of real chocolate, it grew rapidly. The company name became Loureate Confectionery.
- From the beginning of the 1960s, the major confectionery makers began to take over the market.
- If this continues, we won’t be able to compete with the major manufacturers.
- We have to develop confections that the other manufacturers won’t.
- At that time, the chocolate industry held a study tour to Europe.
- We just might get some ideas.
- Fresh made confection.
This is the point of origin for confectionery stores!
- In Japan, there are no such delicate cookies that are made with lots of butter.
I’ll investigate further.
- In Europe, I felt that there was nothing that could beat the deliciousness of something that was made by hand with devotion.
- Let’s make a cookie that you just can’t forget once you’ve tried one.
- For the langue de chat (cat’s tongue) with a thin oval shape and crumbly texture, it is difficult to get the right balance of flour and butter.
They break when baked because they are thin.
Isn’t there any other way?
They taste good though!
- This picture?
- That’s it. We can roll them up!
- It looks just like a cigar.
We’ll name it Cigare.
But my hands are burnt.
- There is nothing that tastes and looks like this. However, there are no sales routes to sell it.
What about taking it to a department store?
- I wonder if they would deal with a manufacturer like us.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we go, let’s go to a major department store.
- Mitsukoshi Department Store, head office
- Delicious! This’ll definitely sell. I want to place an immediate order.
- To erase our image as a chocolate manufacturer, I’ll name the company Yoku Moku.
- Yoku Moku was named after the town of Jokkmokk in Sweden where the study team received a warm reception during their trip to Europe.
Yoku Moku was established and Cigare went on sale.
- When Cigare went on sale at Mitsukoshi Department Store, it was a big hit in spite of its high price.
- It is said that Cigare was initially displayed on the fashion floor.
The company began operating a factory in Imaichi of Nikko City.
- Delicious confectioneries are born from clean environments.
- Nevertheless, the factory was swamped with orders and it was difficult to keep up.
Rolling them by hand is the bottleneck.
An automatic rolling machine was developed that was in no way inferior to hand rolling. From around this time also, Cigare began to be sold in major department stores throughout the country as well as overseas. Cigare became a synonym for a gift.
- Partly because of a change in the styles of gift-giving in recent years, Yoku Moku has begun selling new petite gifts which consumers can select easily and freely. They have also gained popularity.
- Yoku Moku confectionery has a delicate texture with a refined sweetness that you never get tired of.