A one-woman show sushi business brings flavours from Japan to Northumberland after a globetrotting adventure
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Mako’s mission is to create a sustainable, rooted presence in the local community with dedication to authenticity, personal connections and culinary excellence. She brings a symphony of flavours from the vibrant city of Kobe, Japan, where Mako’s culinary journey began, to the heart of Northumberland and inspires aspiring entrepreneurs and lovers of Japanese cuisine alike.
For Mako, Kobe holds captivating memories of aromas of her family's Japanese restaurant. She remembers growing up around exquisite Japanese delicacies and ocean-fresh flavours from observing her uncle’s meticulous craft and her mother's beach side Japanese restaurant.
"Food was an integral part of our family fabric. It wasn't just about meals; it was about stories, traditions, and the art of creating something magical," Mako reminisced.
Although Mako’s roots were deeply embedded in the food industry, life took her on a globetrotting adventure fuelled by a natural aptitude for academics. She pursued law, earning degrees in Japan and Australia, and her career in top international law firms and corporate banks led her to Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Brisbane, and Sydney.
Mako said: "At 30, I realised the calling of my heart was stronger than ever. I wanted to continue the culinary legacy of my family that runs deep within me." This pivotal decision would shape her future.
Mako opened her first sushi restaurant in a trendy district of Istanbul, Turkey. It swiftly gained popularity and attracted local celebrities and expats, earned her accolades and even featured in the prestigious pages of Esquire magazine.
The global financial crisis then dramatically altered the landscape of her business and Mako returned to her legal career in Singapore. She met her husband, Euan, and together they moved to Euan’s hometown in Northumberland, the backdrop for Mako's current culinary endeavours.
During the pandemic, the corporate landscape was disrupted, and Mako faced personal challenges with her father's battle against cancer. She spent months looking after her father in Japan and these moments of reflection became the catalyst for a paradigm shift – a return to her culinary roots.
In August 2020, Sushi Discovery began at Brewis Beer in Amble, who’d invited her host a pop-up sushi event at their taproom. The excitement and eager customers gained the business momentum as it weathered the second lockdown with resilience. Mako cultivated a loyal following, and the demand for home deliveries surged until eventually, her dream of hosting sushi-making classes became a reality.
Mako shares the art of sushi making as a bridge between cultures from Felton to Acklington, and even the bustling heart of Newcastle. Her joy is palpable, as she personally guides and inspires over 200 participants through the art of sushi-making, adding a unique crescendo to the community experience she fosters.
"I want to make a positive impact, not just in the kitchen but in people's lives. Sharing the joy of sushi making is my way of connecting with the community," Mako added.
In a deliberate choice, Mako operates as a one-woman show with unwavering commitment, doing everything from crafting delectable rolls to managing marketing and deliveries.
Mako said: "I am the brand, and the brand is me. Doing everything on my own ensures that personal touch, that authenticity".
To enquire or order, connect with Mako through Instagram and Facebook @sushidiscovery, or WhatsApp 07514 118 108, or email [email protected]
For more information on Mako’s pop-up events, classes and home deliveries, visit sushidiscovery.co.uk