In the tradition of ramen, regionality and locality are key. Miki and Jared pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. They work extensively with local butchers, and source produce locally based on seasonal availability. Crafty Ramen's noodles are crafted in-house with the highest quality Ontario wheat. Miki and Jared offer a number of different styles of ramen, and are proud to offer a high proportion of vegan, vegetarian, and pork-free bowls and snacks.
Miki recounts that in many ways, it often feels that this lifestyle chose her and Jared. When they first met in Vancouver, it was Miki's first time visiting the West, which had always been her dream. Living and growing up in Japan, Miki was obsessed with Western culture, and all she had wanted was a chance to experience it. Jared returned to Japan with Miki, and worked as a chef. Together, they enrolled in Yamato Ramen School and toured the country learning how to create ramen.
When they decided to move to Guelph, Miki really missed Japan and Japanese culture. For Miki, food is home, and it felt like this area was missing somewhere for her to call home. So, Miki and Jared decided to create it for themselves, and that is when Crafty Ramen was born. Crafty is their way of bringing Japanese culture, and a feeling of warmth and home, to Canada.
Miki feels incredibly lucky to work with the most amazing group of people. From the team in the kitchen, to customer service, to research and development, to marketing and IT, everyone they work with is passionate about Crafty, and connecting with their community and people enjoying the food they make. Miki and Jared do their best to recognize employees wherever possible, especially for birthdays and anniversaries. They are also excited about the new comprehensive benefits program they just launched for full-time staff, which they are proud to be able to provide.
Sustainability is also an important priority for the team at Crafty Ramen. Miki and Jared look to reuse whatever they can, whenever possible. For example, their chicken broth is made using spent hens: that is, hens that have fulfilled their egg-laying life and would usually go to the landfill. The same goes for produce, like mushrooms which are used to make the veggie broth, then used to make pickled shiitakes.
Miki and Jared are most proud of what they do. They are proud of the attention to detail that is put into every aspect of the food they make and the experience their team creates. The small details matter, and that is what they focus on. In everything from the food they make, to how their employees are trained, to their expectations of themselves and others, they are proud of the care that shows up and defines who they are.