By Susan Rogers Chikuba
The bakery and café chain Andersen is a household name in Japan, known for its oven-fresh breads and pastries sold in warm, welcoming shops. Also part of Andersen are the ubiquitous Little Mermaid bakeries, and the hugely popular Danish Heart kiosks that sell piping-hot heart-shaped pastries in station buildings and shopping centers up and down the Japanese archipelago.
Less well-known is the fascinating history behind the enterprise—how a Danish connection turned a small Hiroshima bakery into a global business.
The bakery was founded in 1948 by the Takaki family. In 1959, Shunsuke Takaki was in Europe on a study tour. He was so delighted with the sweet, flaky pastries served at his Copenhagen hotel that he sent a telegram back to Hiroshima: danish pastries. gear up now. Japan got its first taste of Danish pastry three years later and the rest, as they say, is history.
7-1 Hon-dori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima | 81-82247-2403
5-1-26 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo | 81-33407-4833