Jamaican opens unique cafe and chocolate cafe in Japan
Jamaican-born Radcliffe Lennox and his Japanese wife Shiho Lennox opened the first such restaurant in Japan. On September 24, 2021, the couple launched their “100% Blue Mountain Coffee & Chocolate,” their first restaurant and the first such venue in Japanese history. In 2009, the duo established their company Pacific Jamaica Coffee Traders (PICT) LLC in the town of Shizuoka, which is currently adding new product lines including fine Jamaican cocoa.
The new cafe called “Leny” is located in Yaizu Town near City Hall and offers a unique experience for diners in Japan, and it represents a new venture for the Lennoxes. According to the cafe owners, Leny will supply 75% and 95% “bean bar” dark chocolate bars which are made from 100% fine Jamaican cocoa beans and flavored with Trinitario cocoa beans. The cafe will also offer light meal services in what the Lennoxes describe as a warm and inviting atmosphere.
“Congratulations to Jamaican Radcliffe Lennox and his wife Shiho for opening Leny Café and Chocolatier in Shizuoka Pref. As the first establishment serving 100% #JBMCoffee and J’can cocoa beans in Japan, Leny will expand our business relationship and help promote its products and its employees. ”said Shona-Kay Richards, Ambassador of Jamaica to Japan, on Twitter.
The couple have a background in IT and marketing, and Shiho, who is a law graduate, offers services through her business, which she started over two decades ago, which includes programming servers. IT, web coding, web engineering, government cost benefit analysis. and faculty software, statistical design, analysis and modeling. Radcliffe previously worked as a Certified Marketer and provided business and marketing consulting services, business and communications coaching, as well as proofreading and translation services through his own company at some of the biggest companies in Japan since 2009. In 2011, he received a commission from the Shizuoka Prefecture government to provide advice on how to make his airport more profitable and taught an undergraduate marketing course at Shizuoka University. From 2010 to 2012, he was commissioned by Shizuoka Prefecture to rename and reposition its travel and tourism product and train staff on how to be more accommodating with customers around the world.
Now, however, the Lennoxes are focused on the success of their new cafe. PICT was capitalized in 2009 with $ 5 million out of pocket, and early on Radcliffe said he ran out of Blue Mountain coffee he brought with him from Jamaica. When he couldn’t find the product locally, he came up with the idea of selling coffee, which he admitted was a “very difficult experience”. They persevered and overcame rejection and the complex bureaucracy of Japan with a “very strong belief in our product”. Eventually, in 2021, the coffee and chocolate investment for Leny was funded with over $ 40 million with a mix of personal savings and a bank loan. Leny represents the coming together of all the complicated parts of starting a business in Japan.
Leny’s target market is “connoisseurs who really care about quality”, and their market analysis indicated that there are people in Japan looking for a “very fine, delicate coffee and chocolate experience. and pleasantly distinct ”. The couple also note a growing demand for healthier foods and authentic products. Radcliffe said, “We believe that the unique, fine-tasting Jamaican cocoa beans will help our chocolate bars stand out really well.”