model

How pandemic bento boxes became care packages and a new business model

Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)
Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

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model

How pandemic bento boxes became their own care package and a new business model

Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Kenzo Napa Head Chef Kenji Miayishi.Bob McClenahan

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

Read More Read more
clothing

The Best Men’s Clothing Subscription Boxes of 2020 to Build Out Your Wardrobe

Google “men’s clothing subscription boxes” and you’ll find no shortage of options. Style subscriptions like Trunk Club helped to make these box delivery systems a thing a decade ago, and there are now roughly as many mail-order menswear services as there are podcasts for them to advertise on. All of them offer roughly the same deal: you fill out an uncomfortably probing questionnaire about your lifestyle and body shape and spending habits; a stylist or algorithm or some combination of the two selects a crateful of items suited to your tastes; and, finally, you’re only charged for the items you decide to keep. Easy-peasy, right?

Here’s the thing: if you’re even a semi-regular reader of this magazine—if you come to us to read up on hot sneaker drops, or the waviest new labels to check out, or whatever’s popping off in Paris right now—these men’s clothing subscription boxes are probably

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shopping

Pandemic Accelerates Consumer Demand For Personalized Free Sample Boxes

Consumers are eager to discover new brands, and have never been more open to trying free samples from the safety of their own homes. These were among the recent findings from a consumer shopping behavior survey conducted by startup Sampler.

Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported being more open to new brands, while just two percent said they were sticking to familiar products. What’s more, 98 percent of people were more likely to try new products if they had samples delivered to their home compared to picking them up in-store. Marie Chevrier, Sampler’s founder and CEO, said these findings reflected why product sampling is full speed ahead on a digital makeover.

“Being able to digitally target consumers who have an interest in your specific products is light-years ahead of traditional in-store

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