[From June Issue 2014]
Recently, more and more people in Japan are holding parties at home. After hosting several parties, many people want to create an atmosphere that is a little different than normal. Because of this, caterers have been attracting attention. Besides house parties, they also cater corporate events.
Futaba Fruits, in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, is a catering service that deals with fruits. The company originally sold fruit retail, but when regular customers requested that they provide fruits for events and parties, this prompted them to launch their service. Seventy percent of their customer base is female.
At the turn of the seasons, there are more exhibitions by clothing manufacturers. In the summer, they often set up shop at outdoor festivals, and at the end of the year, the number of company parties they cater to increases for the bounenkai (forget the hardships of the year) party season. A colorful reminder of the changing seasons, fruit is reputed to create pleasing decorative effects at parties.
IWATSUKI Masayasu, a spokesman for Futaba Fruits says: “We started out as a retailer, so we didn’t get the opportunity to witness our customers consuming our fruit. However, since we started our catering service, we’ve had increasing opportunities to see the smiles on our customer’s faces as they consume our fruit, telling us they find it delicious.”
TAKAGI Shintaro and HATSUMI Ken run a weekends-only, Tokyo-based curry catering service called Tokyo Masala Boys. The two used to cook as a hobby. One day, when they made an authentic Indian curry to eat with friends and family, the consensus was that it was really delicious. Takagi says that making curry requires an in-depth knowledge both of spices and Indian cooking.
“I simply liked curry, so I wanted to make more of it. If I think that a curry is delicious, it makes me happy when other people find it delicious, too,” says Takagi, with a smile. They offer a set meal for 2,000 yen a head that consists of two kinds of curry, two side dishes and a portion of rice. Another reason for their popularity may be the reasonable price of their catering.
They’ve catered at a variety of different venues: not only at typical house parties, but also at flea markets, discussion events aimed at regenerating local areas and at youth hostels for backpackers.
ONO Daisuke, who has tried the catering service, says: “They devise a menu tailored to your budget and the dishes, made by professional cooks, create an exotic atmosphere. They take care of the tableware and so forth, so I wasn’t caught up in preparing for the event. Despite being the host of the house party, I was able to enjoy it, too.” Allowing both organizers and guests to have a good time, caterers may become even more popular in the future.
Text: TSUCHIYA Emi