Hi everyone. I’m Yoshinori Nagami.
I opened a sheesha (hookah) store called “moffoom” in Ebisu, Shibuya in April 2016 so people can enjoy sheesha with tea.
I was born in Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture, and after graduating from a local high school, I came to Tokyo to enroll in an architecture school. After graduating, I worked at an architectural design office for about 10 years, and in 1998, I established my own commercial architectural design office. Although the business was going well, the 2008 financial crisis made the business unstable.
I took a leave of absence from my main design business and jumped into the restaurant industry, which I had been interested in for a long time. However, as a complete beginner, I gave up running a restaurant after 6 months. I returned to my main business, and at the same time, I obtained a real estate transaction license in 2012 so that I could provide total consulting services for land and buildings. Presently, I am making use of my experience in managing restaurants to develop a real estate consulting business that provides a one-stop service that includes attracting tenants to commercial buildings, designing interiors, and opening businesses, as well as managing a sheesha (hookah) specialty store.
Tough experiences at the restaurant
Although I was making a living by opening a commercial architectural space design office, the ups and downs in my business performance became noticeable after the 2008 financial crisis.
When I was feeling anxious about the future and looking for ways to expand my business, I was approached by the owner of a crepe café run by a business partner who asked me to manage the restaurant. I decided to accept the offer.
I put down the business deposit, and when I started the business, sales didn’t go up as the owner had said they would, and I worked tirelessly from the beginning on purchasing and reviewing the menu (and in my own way). However, we were only making up for the deficit of the first three months, and the shoestring operation continued.
We continued improving the vibes of the restaurant by hand to make it easier to spend time there, and when we worked diligently to develop new menu items, they were well received by our customers, and our sales gradually increased in proportion. However, the increase in running costs such as excessive labor costs, cooking time, and purchasing costs due to providing full service put pressure on the business, and after less than six months, the restaurant was handed off to another owner, leading to the bitter experience of giving up on the continuation of the business.
My encounter with sheesha（hookah）
Novices shouldn’t get involved in operating restaurants. When I was exhausted physically, mentally, and financially, I stopped by a bar in Hiroo.
The owner, who was from Iran, couldn’t stand seeing me so exhausted, and recommended sheesha (hookah) as a refreshment.
The first flavor I smoked was wild mango. As soon as I took a sip, the fruity-sweet aroma of the mango flavor filled my body, and at the same time, I could feel my fatigue just drain out of my body.
I became friends with the bar owner, and after talking with him, I learned that the taste of sheesha (hookah) can change infinitely depending on the person making it, the way the flavors are mixed, and the equipment used, and that there are hundreds of individual flavors in the world.
There are hundreds of individual flavors in the world. The world of sheesha (hookah) is infinitely wide. I was impressed. Since then, I’ve been captivated by the expansive world of sheesha (hookah) and the healing and peace it brings.
After that, I went to the Iranian owner’s bar many times, and through sheesha (hookah), I became friends with the owner and the customers of the bar, and was encouraged by them.
In addition to the bar, I started going to a sheesha (hookah) store in Tokyo, where I got to know the staff and the customers, and learned that sheesha (hookah) naturally creates communities. I began to have strong feelings about opening my own sheesha (hookah) store so that I could provide healing to others.
Through sheesha (hookah), adults living in a stressful society are healed and given peace of mind, and the community that is created through it gives them energy. With this in mind, I decided to open this store.
The concept of moffoom is to provide a high-quality oasis for adults.
We want moffoom to be a place of healing for tired adults as well as a place of communication for people who met through sheesha (hookah) and those who love it.
For the store’s interior design, I used my years of experience in the architecture and interior design business to create a space that meets the needs of the sophisticated and conscious adults who visit Ebisu.
I look forward to meeting you all!