2010 Year of The Tiger

New Year’s Eve is upon us in Japan and in our house that means a quiet evening, a bottle of wine and occasional glances at NHK’s annual Kouhaku red white singing contes. (Susan Boyle is scheduled to sing live during one of the breaks.)

But I won’t be spending hours glued to the screen watching Enka and J-Pop artistes do their thing. Some time will be spent kneading the visionary dough for my 2010 goals and beyond.

Speaking of bread, we popped into a very crowded Isetan department store food hall this morning and picked up some delicious bread for this evening’s meal from the Andersen Danish Bakery Tokyo.

andersen bread

The in-store leaflet has a mouthwatering summary of their Christmas bread ideas.

But what really caught my attention was discovering that they’re not Danish at all; this is a Japanese business begun by Mr. Shunsuke Takaki after WW2.

The company’s story is succinctly told on its web site (see the English language section in the link above), where the reader can get a sense of the owner’s vision for Danish bread and lifestyle as time went on.

What I find really visionary about Andersen’s business model is a sentence from the company’s Quality Bakery Statement Andersen, at
(Aug. 2014 update: Link broken?)

No matter how much the world changes, I believe every person strives for improvement and progress in their lives.

The entire article is worth reading for anyone looking to develop and take action on a vision statement for their own business or life.

Improvement and progress can take many forms but I particularly liked how Andersen took their Danish bread business into overseas markets, especially into that of Denmark, itself!

Read this link from the Danish government’s Invest in Denmark web site (Oct 2011 update: broken link), describing how the Andersen Bakery (is) exporting the concept back to its spiritual homeland.

Food, indeed, for thought.

A Happy New Year to You and Yours.