Renewing our acquaintance
The Japanese word hajimemashite, meaning “nice to meet you”, is normally used only when meeting people for the first time. But in the spirit of making a good “first impression” each time you enter our store, today I’d like to use this word to greet new and regular customers of Sincerita as we express our continued commitment to you, and to making great gelato.
Our team has had the privilege of serving gelato for eight years now at the same location, but we still have a lot of chances to meet new customers. And as many shop-owners do, every day I appreciate how precious it is to see old friends visit us again and again. There is a proverb in Japan that comes from the tea ceremony, “ichi-go ichi-e”, translated as “each moment only once”, which stresses the importance of valuing each encounter between people. This holds true for us even more after many years in business.
We have made continuous efforts to better the products and experiences we offer customers by exploring ways to improve our skills. Yet, it’s still easy to get buried in our daily routine. To help us recall the importance of cherishing new encounters, challenges and discoveries, we decided to refurbish the shop and make a new start on March 11th 2018, our 8th anniversary, so we could look at who we are and what we do with fresh eyes.
While the fundamental concept of our gelato-making stays the same, our shop now has a different look with a classic Italian-style showcase and interior decoration. We have also updated the recipes for some of our gelato and improved our production and preservation methods. Looking at things from a new perspective often requires a catalyst, and we are using the refurbishment to start as if from scratch, with all we have achieved as our foundation. It is also a chance for me to renew my passion for the art of gelato-making and motivate myself to take on further challenges.
This year also marks the launch of our new website. The role of websites is changing rapidly with the growing influence of social-media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but our site continues to be an important way to share our thoughts in depth and communicate with diverse audiences. With that in mind, our new site is rich in content for those who want to understand us beyond what they see in our showcase. It is a way for us to cherish encounters and show our respect to every person we meet, as embodied in that phrase, “ichi-go ichi-e”.
The name of our shop, Sincerita, comes from the Italian word for sincerity. From the beginning, we have aimed to treat everyone around us—colleagues, customers and producers of ingredients—with respect and sincerity, and we have been blessed to have them do the same in return. This mutually rewarding relationship has made us what we are today.
In a sense, I became a gelato artisan more by accident than by design. Considering all the people I have encountered along the way, this has turned out to be a marvellous road to travel.
In marking our fresh start and expressing our resolve to build on what we have achieved as we head towards our 9th anniversary and beyond, let me say again—hajimemashite.
Posted on 03.11.2018
Yosuke Nakai studied interior design and antique-dealing in Italy from 2002 to 2004 before returning to Japan to work as an interior designer. Visiting numerous gelaterias during his time in Italy attracted him to the traditional art of gelato-making, and he later decided to become a gelato artisan to serve fine gelato in Japan.Yosuke founded Sincerita in 2010 after completing a six-month apprenticeship in a Tokyo gelateria, and soon established his reputation as a world-class gelato-maker by winning third prize at the 32nd International Gelato Competition (Concorso Internazionale del Gelato), hosted in Italy in 2011. Since then, he has devoted himself wholeheartedly to the making of gelato and the development of Japan's gelato culture.