■The birth of Tenkaippin and Kimura's starting point
In 1971, the following year of the Osaka Expo, one man started to pull a portable ramen stall in Kyoto.
He was Tsutomu Kimura, the current president of Tenkaippin's four group companies, aged 36 at that time.
■Start from zero
The company where he'd worked for 15 years went bankrupt.
With only 37,000 yen on hand, he started from zero with a stall made of scrap wood which his friend set up for him.
The number of bowls he sold on the first day was 11. He needed to sell out 100 bowls a day to get income of a common corporate employee at that time.
He was running out of cash for purchasing and harassed every night over the issue of territory.
Wrapping bandage, he steadily cook noodles, thinking
“How I can achieve a taste which attracts more customers?”
“Even I can do this,” he had thought and started a ramen stall, but actually, there was a lot to learn.
■The birth of secret soup
He learned from an old man, who was also a ramen vendor, how to make a basic soup, but it was just ordinary soy-sauce-flavored soup.
“This is not good enough to make customers come all the way”―――
While pulling his stall, he tried out different ingredients one after another every day.
Then he achieved satisfactory soup after four years of trial and error– the birth of Tenkaippin's secret soup.
"This rich taste is not made just by mixing this and that."
The soup made by simmering chicken bones and other ingredients tastes rich at first, but later surprisingly clean.
"We shouldn't make customers wait, but a shop should be the one that customers willingly wait to enter."
After over 40 years since its foundation, Kimura now says with confidence, “Continuous ‘right efforts' will surely make that shop.”