Eat in An Ethical Space Designed by Kengo Kuma, A Hands-on Style Donut Factory
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Transforming casual street food into an organic, gourmet delight!
Everyone thinks of donuts as a familiar treat or a light snack available for a reasonable price.
Various donut-related products and chain stores have been developed around that popularity, but these have all been casual. Even if you think of donuts as a tasty snack, you probably don’t really think of them as a special delicacy or something you’d be happy to make a special trip to eat.
But our koé donuts are different.
In a shop with a gorgeous, Japanese atmosphere brought to life by numerous creators, koé donuts have a unique Kyoto-influenced aesthetic and taste with their carefully selected premium materials.
We have cast aside the perception of donuts as a cheap snack or high-calorie food and transformed them from casual street food into a special treat that you’ll want to savor.
Through consistent branding efforts and heartfelt production methods, we are aiming to break new ground with our koé donuts. Here, we’ll explain their multifaceted appeal.
Solving food and environmental problems through donuts.
koé donuts are produced by global strategy brand “koé” which was developed by STRIPE INTERNATIONAL INC. (Head office: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture; CEO: Yasuharu Ishikawa)
This brand has attracted attention for its developments and high cultural merits in numerous fields such as fashion, hotels, restaurants and music events. koé donuts carries the overall philosophy of koé even further.
koé donuts prides itself on being an ethical brand. And when putting this into a branding message, it means that buying and consuming this item improves environmental and social problems.
Based on that kind of philosophy, koé donuts considers the health of the environment and people from the initial ingredient selection stage through the entire production process. With three key terms—organic, natural ingredients, and local production for local consumption—these low-calorie organic sweets are good for your body and even for the environment.
This shop conceptualized by Kengo Kuma exudes an atmosphere of Kyoto-chic and features cutting-edge design.
When you visit koé donuts, the unique and artistic interior design will be the first thing to catch your eye.
The warm space covered in bamboo baskets woven into dome shapes was designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who has won top prizes in Japan and internationally. The bamboo baskets are made from bamboo grown in Arashiyama, Kyoto that had to be felled as part of their grown process, and that consideration to the environment also lives on in the shop itself.
The design theme is “a space where bamboo baskets lead you in deeper.” Light shines downward through 572 bamboo baskets, inviting people in while creating amazing shadows.
The illustrations on the shopping bags and napkins, designed by popular illustrator Yu Nagaba, also fuse pop and classical sensibilities. The main character, “Dr. Donut,” who expresses the feelings of donut lovers around the world is also a design that everyone can relate to.
And what’s more, the package and graphic design is all done by Shun Kawakami of artless Inc., who handles the overall branding for koé. With all these first-rate creators, koé donuts makes a new perspective and culture of donuts a reality.
Kyoto-made donuts with a commitment to flavor and visuals.
koé donuts’ most significant characteristic is being a “hands-on donut shop” where you can eat donuts while watching the donut manufacturing process.
And, of course, because of our confidence in our ingredients and production methods, this style gives our customers peace of mind about our products and their production.
Our flour is first ground with a millstone and then blended precisely. The donuts are then prepared in an original conveyer belt-style fryer. All of our donuts, each made individually by hand with care, look cute and adorable.
And what’s more, Japanese ingredients such as roasted green tea, powdered green tea, golden sesame seeds and red shiso leaves, as well as Kyoto-grown raw ingredients such as carrots, white miso and black soybeans are also used. These donuts with a strong local flavor have received rave reviews as unique Kyoto souvenirs.
Sharing a new way of enjoying food through everyone’s favorite snack, donuts.
Kyoto is experiencing extremely high demand for inbound tourism and is a place with the power to make an international impact. Building the first koé donuts shop here was motivated by the idea of “spreading a new style of donuts throughout the world.”
Casting aside preconceived images of donuts as junk food or high-calorie food, we have made donuts into a healthy and environmentally friendly delicacy. Through the donuts that many of us love, we are sharing a new way to enjoy food with the rest of the world.
Photos courtesy of koé donuts
557 Nakanocho, Shinkyogoku-dori Street, Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture