Yuge Roaster

“Delicious coffee is a wonderful thing to drink”. It’s a simple phrase but it’s like an aroma of carefully brewed coffee floating through the air. Yugé Roaster was established in 2013 in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. And as of 2021, it has three shops in the city offering specialty coffee. We interviewed the owner, Yasuhiro Okamoto, who is committed to contributing to the community through coffee while blending into the town. How a young man who couldn’t drink coffee opened a coffee shop In the busy streets near Nishinomiya Station, you can find a heavy door peeking out from a lush greenery. “When we opened the main shop, there were no coffee shops around and I think people felt like ‘something strange had come in’. But people around supported us and we made it this far. A town is made up of neighbors of this store, and their neighbors and so on. When you think about it, I think the first step to contributing to the community is to make the people living in the town think ‘they’re glad this shop was made here’. That’s why we have been actively participating in things that bring us closer to the locals such as picking up trash in the community, holding sports events and accepting junior high school students for work experience. Now we have the convenience store FamilyMart right in front of us and they also sell our products there so that customers can buy them even after our shop closes. I think the convenience store business has an image of being the opposite of a coffee shop. But in fact, this may not be the...