No fooling, they’re celebrating with wasabi schmear. Capitol Hill-born Eltana is expanding to Japan:
A local favorite, Eltana was approached out of the blue by Fujio Food Systems Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Traded on the Osaka Securities Exchange, Fujio operates nearly 1,000 food and beverage facilities under several brand names in Japan, China, USA and other Asian countries.
Owner and co-founder Stephen Brown sent us word of the deal this week. “Although customers have been asking us for years to expand to the Eastside, I should have asked them to be more specific,” Brown joked in the announcement.
Japanese partner Fujio is presently evaluating sites in Osaka and Tokyo for a flagship launch later this year. While the approximately 2,000 Jews estimated to currently reside in the country might appreciate Eltana’s arrival, the bagel, of course, has agnostic appeal.
CHS first reported on Brown’s plans for a Montreal-style, wood-fired bagel shop on 12th Ave back in 2010. The concept was a hit with sales of more than 2,000 bagels a day in the first year. There are now four Eltanas across Seattle with plans for more around the region.