Independence at the age of 48, pursuing possibility and growing myself.
You started this shop at the age of 48. Thinking of your brilliant career, I think you could have done it much earlier.
No. It is not like that.
I realized that there were many things I needed to learn through the meeting with Mr. Chapel.
I wanted to try to expand my possibilities more and grow, so I was thinking about 50 years old from the start.
Because you believed in your own possibility, you valued the time before your independence.
Is there a concept or aim of the shop?
What I was thinking upon opening was that unlike serving the gourmets of the world only as I had experienced, I wanted to see if I could provide sweets that make old men next door and old women across the street happy. Also, from my experience of working at restaurants, I had decided from the beginning to have a space to eat in the shop.
By not doing cost accounting, I can serve good sweets with pride.
Please tell me about the management of the store.
Actually I do not do accurate cost accounting. Honestly, it is a sloppy accounting.
Because of my personality, when there are sweets where the costs don’t add up right, I feel like not making or selling them. But in order to make good sweets, I need to use good materials.
So if I don’t know the profit margins, I don’t have to pay attention to them, and I can work happily.
Sloppy accounting is a great idea. Thinking of management realistically, as long as we don’t go red, those smaller points can be forgiven.
But instead I cut where I have to, and I ask my staff to save power and such.
Everyone works together to manage costs by reducing waste.
At Patisserie au Grenier D’or, price decisions are done not only by me, but also by all staff members. I do not have a sense of running a store all by myself at all.
Three years ago when my right-hand employee told me that he wanted to be on his own, I told him, “For three years, manage this shop as if it is yours,” and I really meant it.
This shop also exists for the independence of employees who work here.
Yes. For example, the chocolate that I purchase and the chocolate that new employees purchase are different in price. They are exactly the same, but the price is different.
That is because the backbones are different between me and him.
The fact is, the connection we have and our ability to negotiate are different.
If you are independent with no preparation, you get stuck at those points.
Opening a store and running it is not very easy at all.