International Restaurant & Foodservice Show (IRFS) was held from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1 at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, and Japan Pavilion turned out to be a great success. I believe Japan Pavilion was the most crowded area at the show. There were many companies came from Japan, and they brought very unique and Japan-taste products to the pavilion. If you are Japanese mania and missed this show, you were very sorry.
Among many Japanese companies, my favorite was Cutler Sanshu of Seki City, the traditional knifes maker from Gifu prefecture (their Japanese website). They exhibited Japanese traditional cooking knives as well as traditional sword called "Katana." I was very impressed with them because it was my 1st time to see the real Katana. Most interestingly, Mr. Yoshida, the president of the company, gave a demonstration of "IAI GIRI (居合斬り)" which was traditional cutting technique using Katana. During the demonstration, his body moved smoothly and quickly, and with just single swing, bamboo was cut by half and the cut edge was clean and beautiful. It was really impressive. There was no question that his demonstration made Japan Pavilion more and more crowded.
This was our 2nd time to join the IRFS and was great chance to meet potential customers in East Coast. The 1st day was really busy, and we served more than 700 cups of tea samples! From the 2nd day, people settled down, and we had a chance to talk with customers at an easy pace. Overall, the show was great success for us.
During the show, we showcased our brand new product called "Drip Tea" and did some market research. The filter of Drip Tea was uniquely developed to control the dripping speed, and we can make the perfect cup of tea just by pouring hot water into the filter. We were still in the developing stage, but in the future, we will start marketing the Drip Tea to American market.