A Taste of Japan: Liberty Student Starts Business To Share Authentic Japanese Food

Liberty’s student body is full of diversity, which is often showcased and embraced through food. 

One way students can experience this diversity is through supporting Sato’s Bentos, a student-run business selling authentic Japanese food. Owner Satomi Echizenya, a junior aviation administration major, cooks and sells original Japanese meals for students to try.

“I just wanted to do something new that no one has ever done here at Liberty,” Echizenya said. “I always just pray … how I can use the gifts that he gave me here at Liberty.”

The answer to her prayer came in the form of sharing her culture and home country of Japan through food. Echizenya was born and raised in Japan for 13 years before moving to the United States.

Echizenya took this idea and shared it with the Only Girls LU Facebook page, garnering support from the community. This became the starting point for her business venture. Echizenya then began making and selling unique foods in her apartment that students loved and continued to order. 

“I just make authentic Japanese food at cheap prices for the students at Liberty or even outside of Liberty,” Echizenya said. “Even alumni order from me.” 

The current meals for sale from Sato’s Bentos are three types of onigiri rice balls, miso soup, which includes tofu, seaweed and green onions in a miso broth and tamagoyaki, a rolled omelet. 

All these meals are available for purchase from the business’s website with prices ranging from $2 to $7.50. 

Customers can choose pick up or delivery options. Pick up is available in the Liberty University Bookstore parking lot with a delivery fee of $5. 

Sato’s Bentos has flexible hours, Echizenya said. When a customer places an order, Echizenya contacts them to set a time to either pick up or deliver that works best for both her and the customer. 

Echizenya plans to continue making food next semester. To learn more about Sato’s Bentos or order food, students can check out the website, satomiechizenya.wixsite.com/satosbentos or the Instagram account,  @satosbentos.

TSO is a feature writer.

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