We had the good fortune of connecting with Yukari Watanabe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yukari, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is that I keep going no matter what. There was no going back for me. Therefore, I chose a positive mental attitude no matter what I was going through. Many problems happened in the past, but I was determined to go through every situation even though it was not easy.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
So I own a Japanese restaurant that serves Kushiyaki in the city of Ventura and opened it in 2010. We are known as NO SUSHI restaurant. It was an unheard-of non-sushi restaurant, and it was different than others. I am the only one in Ventura county that serves Izakaya style, small dishes, and Kushiyaki, which means skewers. I am proud of myself for believing in what I have done so far. It was challenging because no one knew Kushiyaki was in Ventura in 2010. And it was tough to find the right person who wanted to work. Struggling to pay the rent and distributors. I had no money to run Ads for any publications. First three years were a nightmare because I had almost no customers, I mean very little. Then I decided to use Groupon and others that did help to reach out to other crowds of people, and I slowly gained people to come in. Over the past 5-6 years, Instagram has helped me not just post food images but communicate with people who like to ask questions, make reservations, or business info. My lesson on my journey was not to give up my belief. I want to tell everyone that if you commit and dedicate yourself, you will meet the goal, but there is no easy way to be a success,
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?
I would definitely take my best friend to the beach and have a relaxing day. I would say, Santa Monica! There are beach activities and close to another major city. Endless great restaurants are located in Santa Monica. Japanese BBQ place and Ramen place are a must and check out the shopping at the promenade. In my view, the most fun thing is to eat great food and have a nice glass of wine or cold sake.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out to my family, friends, and daughters because they support me most when I need them.