“Kirari West” is a family owned bake shop that originated in Japan. Yoshi Saito (The Father) and Yoichi Saito (The Older Brother) came up with the concept of creating delicious pastries with locally grown quality rice flour instead of wheat. In 2011, the Saito family opened the first store, “Kirari” in the City of Fukushima. Kirari became the first and only store in the region to carry exclusively non-wheat pastries.
Despite Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami that same year, Kirari stayed strong and continued to grow. Those in the food industry including farmers, wholesalers, and restaurateurs faced serious issues due to the public’s avoidance of buying products from Fukushima. However, the nuclear plant that was in crisis after the quake and tsunami although, while also in Fukushima, was on the other side of the prefecture from the Kirari stores and surrounding farms. Kirari has made a tremendous effort to exhaustively test the contamination levels of both their ingredients as well as the final products to make sure that the food is safe. Kirari feels strongly about working to fight against the negative assumptions some have that all food from Fukushima is contaminated and inedible. This is just not true.