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LANDMADE

Masato Ueno runs LANDMADE, a specialty coffee roastery in Port Island of Kobe City, western Japan. Located in a government-designated hub for medical research and development and operated by an all-women staff, LANDMADE serves coffee to families of pediatric cancer patients at least once every month – all unique characteristics not seen at most other roasteries. “I just keep doing what I can,” Ueno says. He has lived firmly by that motto and let it guide his actions. Our conversation has revealed a glimpse of his outlook on life and how he has come to adopt it. No future for worker-unfriendly Industry LANDMADE has three core employees, which is in itself not unusual for a small roastery. What sets LANDMADE apart is that they are all mothers with small children. One of them is a single mother, and another takes a 150-minute train ride to commute to work. LANDMADE centers around wholesale, but it also sells coffee beans and processed products to consumers. These women roast coffee beans and ship them out all while handling other tasks inside the store. “Every now and then, we have to close the store or miss business meetings and negotiations when they need to take care of their children. Some negotiations have fallen through because of that. But I don’t care at all because there are many other potential customers across Japan and abroad. On the other hand, every child has only one mother. It is clear who I should prioritize.” Ueno puts the needs of these women and their families above anything else. “I can endure hardships with them. I’m willing to work through the night to help...

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