Welcome to Fulamingo.
If you’ve ever gone to Japan or have dreamed of going, you might know this feeling. For me, it’s like nostalgia and excitement happening at the same time. Japan is an infinitely wonderful place, and Fulamingo wants to be your bridge to Japan. There is so much that we love about Japan, but most of all, we love to eat and drink. We want to address Japan’s history of artisanship, cooking, craft sake, and more, with our sights on the living, breathing, Japan of now.
The main owner of Fulamingo, here, is Kana Hinohara Hanson, a first-generation Japanese-American. Kana’s parents moved from Tokyo to America shortly before Kana was born. Kana was a former owner of the store Giraffe that Portlanders might remember as the little Japanese deli and market that served those egg salad sandwiches. Although Giraffe sadly had to close, Kana didn’t want to give up on sharing her Japan with Portland. Hence, Fulamingo!
Me, the one writing this, is her husband, Erik. There's a little more about us over in the blog, so I won’t delve too deep here. Just wanted to say “Hi”!
So, Fulamingo was initially going to be a retail store that would be a space for modern Japanese culture and culinary trends in Portland. We planned on being an amazing sake shop that also served delicious and health-conscious Japanese food-to-go. We’d carry grocery stuff to allow and encourage people to make Japanese food at home, as well. We did a lot of planning around this retail launch, but soon realized it would be more responsible to temporarily shelve the retail store goal because of the ongoing risks of Covid-19.
As we got more comfortable getting deliveries and in doing no-contact pickups from businesses around Portland, we began to consider how we could still share our passions for Japanese food and sake without necessarily having the in-person retail experience. Naturally, a website - Fulamingo.com - was the next logical step.
Not having a physical retail space changes little about our goals and passions. It doesn’t change why we want to work with Japanese products. (And we aren’t abandoning our dream of a well-appointed, fun, and immersive shop; we are just deferring that option towards a more healthy point down the road.)
While we are sad about how all the food spots we love have been affected by the pandemic, we are thinking of ways we can still bolster aspects of human connection, even in how we operate Fulamingo.com. We are a mom-and-pop company. We are a Portland company. If we can talk through masks or across any distance, we can still talk Japan. We want to be available to connect through things like live online sake tastings, videos, or even a phone call asking us for shopping suggestions.