If you’ve attended Hyper Japan over the years, there’s no way you could miss the vibrant rainbow colours that emit from the Tofu Cute shop! We spoke to Rosanna Mackney to discuss the possibilities of expanding their brand in the UK & just where do they keep all those Alpacasso’s?!
Tofu Cute might be a name you’re familiar with now but their story starts back in 2010 as Rosanna explains: “We saw how the popularity of cute Japanese culture was increasing in the UK and so we formed Tofu Cute ~ the name was chosen after much deliberation because we wanted it to represent something distinctly Asian, but not necessarily restricted to Japan. As for the “Cute” part of the name; we’re sure you can guess why that’s there ;D”
Taking in all the drinks & treats available from Tofu Cute might make you think that was the foundation of their business but actually it was something a little more kawaii: “We started selling small kawaii items (charms, keychains, stationery, miniatures etc) with a few Japanese snacks on the side and then the snacks and sweets has expanded a lot over time!”
If you were to ask anyone that is a fan of Japanese snacks what their favourite is, chances are you’ll hear ‘Pocky‘ mentioned.. a lot! “Pocky has remained the most popular since the beginning! There are such a variety of flavours that everyone can find something they like!” If you find your packs of Pocky are diminishing way too fast, we’d advise on purchasing the ‘giant’ size box. That should keep you going for at least a weekend!
Events such as Hyper Japan enables Tofu Cute the chance to meet their customers in person, which is one of the reasons they love being part of the event as Rosanna explains: “The most enjoyable aspect of attending these events is meeting our customers face-to-face and seeing their excitement at being able to shop for these kawaii items and rare snacks in person! It’s a very different feeling to selling via the website. We also love the satisfaction of seeing our weeks of planning pay off once the branding and booth is all set up!”
One craze you can’t escape is the power of the Alpacasso army! These super colourful Alpaca’s will brighten any bedroom and with so many to collect, you might even lose your space on the bed! Rosanna mentions other items from the ‘Amuse’ range are also growing in popularity: “Our most popular non-food items are the Alpacasso, which are plush Alpacas. Other characters ‘Amuse’ produce have been growing in popularity too (e.g. Poteusa Loppy bunny, Wooly sheep, Tuchineko cat).”
If the online experience isn’t enough to fulfill your kawaii needs, you can check out the Tofu Cute HQ in Portsmouth! We asked if the team thought of expanding with a second store soon: “We would consider opening another store in the UK in the future; this does of course have to be a very well-considered decision so it’s not something we’ll jump into, but we won’t rule it out either!”
Check out Tofu Cute online: