Fujii’s Gourmet works towards becoming an established business in the Redlands community

Ric Sutow stirring a batch of Fuji’s Gourmet teriyaki sauce. (KAITLYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)


You may have heard that businesses take a lot of work. However, do you know how much effort is really put into them? Fujii’s Gourmet is just one example of the many businesses that take an immense amount of time, thought and care to get up and running to benefit the community.

Some of the first requirements were to set up a limited liability company, a kitchen to make the sauce in and a health permit. All the people involved in cooking also had to get their food handlers card or manager card.

A look into how the sauce is cooked in large batches of three to six gallons.
(KAITLYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)

Luckily, the business found a small commercial kitchen in Redlands that was taking new businesses and was affordable. Since they use the kitchen, the health permit is valid for that address and is already regularly kept up and inspected.

Next was to take the food handlers card and manager card tests. This insures everyone involved in the cooking knows all the proper rules and regulations when in the kitchen.

A line up of jars cleaned and ready to be filled with teriyaki sauce. (KAILTYN SUTOW/ Ethic photo)

Once the legal parts, like permits and certifications, were put into place the next step was to get started on the product; the labels, jars, boxes, website and shipping still needed to be designed and set up.

For labels, the business found a company that would help them design and size the label for the jars they planned on using. They went through a few different designs before settling on one and ordering the labels. Later, they decided to use a different label design and kept the old one for the spicy flavor. Now they have a red themed label for the spicy sauce and a yellow themed label for the original sauce.

For the time being, the company uses glass jars often used for jams and jellies to package their sauces, but they plan to find a better alternative that still gives the product a handmade feel. The current jars are easily accessible but have their downfalls; they do not pour out well and are very heavy and easily breakable, making it hard to ship the jars for online orders.

In order to ship the online orders, boxes are required; the business chose to use a company that made the boxes affordable and in all the sizes needed for their jars. They plan on shipping jars in groups of one, four, six and 12 and filling in empty spots with bubble-wrap if there is an odd number ordered. The only con was that, to get the boxes to a reasonable price, they needed to order a mass amount of the boxes in all sizes.

The business did some research and found that shopify would provide them with everything they needed to set up and use their website. It is currently set up and personalized with pictures, descriptions and a little history of the business and recipe.

The website can be found at www.fujiisgourmet.com .

The final and most crucial step is to gain a following; the company is trying to build up their social medias and publicity so they can get into larger farmer markets. They are trying many methods to become a well known brand, like giving free samples and getting to know customers so they are more likely to get repeat business.

During this whole process, the company is trying to be as cost efficient as possible while getting to a point where it can sustain itself and be beneficial to the community. It has come a long way from its initial establishment and will continue to grow and expand in the future.

One thought on “Fujii’s Gourmet works towards becoming an established business in the Redlands community

  1. Hi Ric, my wife and I met you at Gerards market on 12/24/19. We sampled both the original and spicy and purchased 2 of the original teriyaki sauce and marinade. It taste great and we enjoyed meeting you and talking with you. Best wishes in 2020. Al and Theresa Laven, in Redlands Ca.

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