- English (United States)
Senso co.,ltd. was established in 1887 as a fruit shop and set up their new brand “Atelier Confiture” in 2002. They’ve been seeking a way to create new style of fruit shop. We visited and talked to the CEO, Mr. Nishitsuji about their story.
Making customers happy
Mr. Nishitsuji told us that the reason they started to make fruit jams was customer’s requests. They used to give their regular customers handmade fruit jams. They even painted the label on the glass containers by hand. The jam became popular and customers asked them to sell it in their shop.
Producing new products
Many fruit shops in Japan were gone after the economic bubble burst in the 1990’s. There used to be over 20,000 fruit retailers, but the number of fruit shops has decreased to about 6,000, which is less than before the World WarⅡ. Mr. Nishitsuji had been thinking what to do and when he was at the age of 28, he decided to become the CEO of Senso because he didn’t want it to go bankrupt. He set up the new brand “Atelier Confiture” in 2002 and started to produce fruit jams and preserves with no additives to make their customers happy.
His passion for fruit jam
It was difficult to get permission to produce fruit jams in Sakai city since the E-coli virus was epidemic when he applied for the permit. However, he visited the health and safety center in Sakai many times and finally got permission.
He now has 4 different kinds of licenses and has been working on many projects like private brands, made to order jams, other companies’ products, and so on. By producing original goods for others, he said they could improve his own products as well.
Their concept is to introduce the real taste of fruit. Their product “Classical jam” from “Atelier Confiture” is a handmade product and made from only fresh fruit and sugar with no additives, so they can only produce the fruit jam in limited amounts.
New style fruit shop
He’d started to think about growing fruit in his hometown and began to search for a place 3 years ago, but he had a difficult time finding any spaces.
He finally found some places and started his own farms in Sakai city and Izumi city. He’s growing blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, persimmons and more.
The economic situation now is really tough, so Mr. Nishitsuji has been looking for a new way to run his fruit shop. He said that he couldn’t produce and grow everything by himself but he wanted to reduce the retail prices by lowering his cost and selling better fruit and products directly to the customers. He also said that his farms will be transformed so that customers can visit and learn about food and nutrition at his farms.