June 6, 2013

U-Mart Conbini @ Umami Mart

by Kayoko Akabori

It all started out so innocently, like any of Yoko’s casual ideas: “Why don’t we add a konbini to the back of the store???”

A konbini inside Umami Mart?!?!?! This will go onto the wall of Genius Yoko Ideas, on par with: “Why don’t we open an Umami Mart storefront???” (Circa March 2012).

This was about three weeks ago, and since then it’s been a non-stop flurry of meetings with the city (can we sell food?); meetings with Anders (can you design a konbini and get your bum over here asap?); and meetings with Devin and Joe, furniture builders (can you get this done on a VERY MINIMAL budget?).

Somehow, all the stars have aligned and we’re doing it. YES, we can legally sell food. YES, Anders can design our konbini, clear his schedule and fly over here from Copenhagen (he just landed today after a non-stop 12 hour flight). YES, Devin and Joe can work their magic and help build out our little space for a konbini. Hooray!!!

Yoko and I always get phone calls and customers at our shop asking, “Do you sell snacks? Shio koji? Kewpie mayonnaise????” You ask, and you shall receive. We’re envisioning a space much like a typical convenience store in Japan, aka konbini, selling Japanese snacks, candies, dried goods, cooking ingredients, condiments, onigiri (rice balls), magazines, cold drinks, instant ramen and so much more!

Here’s a sneak peek at what the combini will look like, by our wizard designer, Anders Arhoj:

Our opening party for U-Mart will be Tuesday 6/25!! Kronnerburger will be here grilling burgers, and Carl of Sutton Cellars will be here slingin’ Sutton + Sodas. DJ Chungtech will be spinning all the jams! Don’t miss the party of the year! Stay tuned for more info.


  • Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I love the idea! Good luck and looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!

  • yoko
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Don’t take all of my ideas seriously. But I am glad you humored me on this one… U-Mart for life!

  • seri
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Sweeeeeet! ONIGIRI! Congrats and I’ll make sure to visit soon.

  • rik
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 2:34 am

    That’s hella exciting! congrats!

    I would travel far for Japanese snacks.

  • saaara
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    omg, this reminds me of my childhood and walking to Yohan (sp?) to buy super lemons and those weird candies that fizzed in your mouth when you bit into them. Will you guys have that stuff? Do they still make super lemons?

  • Posted June 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    extreme like, and congratulations! will there be limited edition candies :P i will badger my sister to visit when it’s open!

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