Somewhere between fast-food purveyor and upscale grocer, between banking center and bookstore lies the realm of the Japanese "konbini." Long catering to Japan's round-the-clock gastronomic, entertainment and banking needs, the Japanese convenience model offers much from which its American counterparts can learn. Famima!!, the U.S. offshoot of Japan's FamilyMart, is the first company to introduce the konbini model to the U.S. and seeks to build as many as 200 outlets on the West Coast by 2009. Our distinguished speakers examine konbini's cultural influences in the U.S. and discuss whether a business model synonymous with Japan's legendary customer service, efficiency and high quality can be successfully transplanted into America's cultural diversity. ~ The Japan Society
On this podcast made available on Yale University's Food and Sustainable Agriculture Series, Melina Shannon Di-Pietro, co-director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project, and I talk with NPR's Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva about their program, "Hidden Kitchens." Early in the morning, the Kitchen Sisters gave a presentation at Yale's Agrarian Studies Colloquium for which I served as discussant.