I'm Toby Lau the President and Founder of Fukuya Foods Inc. About a year ago a family friend returned from Japan and gave us a pack of fresh wakame seaweed for souvenir. I didn't think too much of it I've had it in various restaurants in both Japan and Vancouver. Until one day my wife made oden soup and decided to use some wakame seaweed as one of the ingredients. I've never seen fresh wakame before so I was wondering what was that inside my bowl of oden? I took a bite and I asked my wife what was that I just ate? She then told me it was the fresh wakame seaweed from Japan. It was so tender yet so crunchy, you can slurp it like noodle and it has a very distinctive seafood flavour. I immediately fell in love with it! Since then I used it in anything soupy, noodle soup and hot pot! A simple google search also reveals the amazing health benefits of wakame seaweed! It is a definitely a super food!
It wasn't too long after I ran out of it and I was looking around for more. Nothing...I couldn't find any in Vancouver! There are lots of dried and fresh option from other parts of Asia but they just don't taste the same. At the same time I was also wondering why are the authentic Japanese groceries so limited here in Vancouver? That's when the idea of Fukuya started! We want to bring more varieties of Japanese grocery to Canada. We want to bring healthy traditional Japanese food to Canada!
Our first mission was to source for fresh wakame seaweed. We went to Japan and established partnership with a few reputable wakame seaweed farmer. It was truly an amazing experience to be in a rural village of Japan. We will sure return to Japan for more in the very near future.
A special thanks to Yui Minakuchi! My trip to Japan wouldn't have been successful without her. Fluent in both Japanese and English she was amazing in translation while we were in Japan meeting with various suppliers. She's outgoing, adventurous and loves the out door! If anyone requires a local guide at Kansai region in Japan feel free to reach out to me and I can set you up with her!