Philosophy

I was raised by parents who were enthusiasts of a universal language called ‘’Esperanto,’’ and every summer, we attended a World Esperanto Congress held somewhere different in the world.  My father owned a trading company, and he often took me on his business trips, so I have been a traveller since I was young.

While seeing so many countries, different cultures, rich and poor people, happy and unhappy people, I often wondered who I was and asked myself what kind of life I wanted to live.

I grew up in Tokyo and after high school, I moved to California. I found a cozy apartment in Venice Beach, where I watched beautiful sunsets every evening, and I soaked myself in the beach and hippie culture.

After college, I started working for a trading company, so I continued travelling overseas on business.  A lot was learned while working closely with business owners around the world; seeing their mindset towards work and life.  Most of them were very wealthy, but I found that some were happy and others were not, which caused me to keep asking the same two questions:

Who am I?
What kind of life do I want to live?

I reflected on these two questions over and over and eventually
I found my answers.

・I want to live a simple and down-to-earth life.
・I only need the basics to be satisfied: food, clothing and a house.
・Like my parents did for me, I want to travel with my children and build a higher standard for them.

And my last answer was coffee.

I really need an amazing cup of coffee everyday, this is why I founded % Arabica.

In order to provide the best coffee possible, I bought a coffee farm in Hawaii, started a green bean trading company, became the sole-exporter of a Japanese roasting machine, and became the distributor of one of the best espresso machines in the world.  Then, together with a world latte art champion, Junichi Yamaguchi, and a talented architect, Masaki Kato, we opened % Arabica in the beautiful historic city of Kyoto.

Our dream is to expand % Arabica to all over the world, so that young baristas can ‘’See the World Through Coffee.’’

We only live once, so let’s explore the world we live in, set goals, and enjoy our time together over an amazing cup of coffee.

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% Arabica Kyoto
Founder & Owner
Kenneth Shoji

私はエスペラントという世界語の活動家である両親と、商社を経営する父親の元で世界を旅しながら育てられました。

今までに旅した国は70カ国以上。

世界の様々な国と文化、人々の生活、富と貧困、幸せな人と不幸せな人。そんな多種多様なものを見ながら

「自分って何者なのだろう?」
「どんな人生を送りたいのかな?」

そんなことをぼんやりと考える幼少期を過ごしました。

高校を卒業して、カリフォルニアに渡りました。毎晩、目の前に大きな夕日が落ちていくベニスビーチのアパートメントに住み、ビーチカルチャーとヒッピーカルチャーにどっぷりと浸かりました。

社会人になって貿易の仕事を始め、海外出張の連続。世界各国のビジネスオーナーの働き方や家庭生活を間近に見ながら、

「自分は何者か?どんな人生を送りたいのか?」

と変わらぬ自答自問を続けました。そんな中で、自分なりにたどり着いた目標

・地に足がついたシンプルな生活
・衣食住
・子供と世界を旅し、子供により高い土台を用意する

そんな生活を彩る日々のコーヒー

皆様に最高のコーヒーをお出しする為に、ハワイにコーヒー農園を購入し、生豆商社を始め、国産焙煎機の輸出元や、世界最高峰のエスプレッソマシンの代理店となり、ラテアートの世界チャンプと才能あふれる建築家をパートナーに迎え、世界に誇る京都の東山でコーヒーロースターをオープン致しました。

我々の夢はこのブランドを京都から世界に展開することです。各国に拠点を作り、我々のコーヒーを提供すると共に、若いバリスタが見聞を増やし、人生の目標を設定する機会を作れればこれ以上の幸せはありません。

見聞を増やし、人生の目標を設定し、一度きりの人生を謳歌しよう。

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