We had the good fortune of connecting with Naoto Yonezawa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Naoto, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had been having an idea about my current business for a few years. I considered of doing it as my own business or at some company. But since I was so passionate about it, I decided to make it my own business. I think that in order to succeed in something, I’d need a commitment, focus and willingness to take risks. I did of course calculated the budget, target sales, profit and running cost to see if I can make a living.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I believe we’re the only company specialized in importing clear ice products from Japan. Japan has such a long history of using clear ice at the bars, restaurants and home, and they use different technologies to make and process the ice. I wanted to make the clear ice products more accessible in the US. Since no one has done it before, there were some difficulties to figure out the export/import process and handling, but we succeeded by thorough research, risk-taking and trial & error.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It depends on where they’re visiting from, but I’d definitely take them to restaurants and bars in DTLA since it changed and evolved so much in the past 5~10 years. Also, I’d take them to farmer’s market to show off how great our local produces are. For food, there’re so many options in LA, so I would take them to different parts of the city each day and dine at different types of restaurants with diverse cuisines.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am very thankful to Kazuhiko Kuramoto with Kuramoto Hyogyo Co. Ltd. for being my business partner and a great friend. He allowed me to use his family business brand and support me in every way.

Website: https://www.ice-kuramoto.jp

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kuramoto_ice/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBM34oMqMfxrSsw9hGm0kgA

Image Credits

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