RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Japan America Society of North Carolina (JASNC) will award Mrs. Sachiko "Koko" McShea the 2023 JASNC Community Service Award at its Annual JASNC Gala & Fundraiser on Friday, December 1, 2023.
A Japanese immigrant to North Carolina, Koko san hailed originally from Okinawa, Japan and has been a resident for more than 59 years. She will be recognized by the JASNC for her 40 years as a NC small business owner serving local and Japanese communities in and around Fayetteville and the greater Triangle area.
As a single mother, Koko san opened her first Japanese market, Oriental Food Store, in 1981 in Spring Lake, NC. When she moved to Wake County in 1993, she opened a new Japanese food market named Toyo Shokuhin in Cary, NC.
As a Japanese market, the store introduced her Toyo Shokuhin member customers to the Japanese retail traditions of "Ochugen,” summer gift giving, and "Oseibo,” end of year gift giving. She also provided weekly "Omake,” free gifts, of Japanese food, such as homemade makizushi and inarizushi, to her regular customers.
“Koko san worked an impressive 7 days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day for more than 28 years at Toyo Shokuhin and 12 years at Oriental Food Store,” states Michi Calcagno, Executive Director of the Japan America Society of North Carolina. “She was a single mother who raised 5 children and recently retired in 2021 at the age of 84. She clearly loved her customers and her businesses passionately.” Toyo Shokuhin in Cary continues today under the ownership of Midori and Chris Spinks.
The Annual JASNC Gala & Fundraiser will be held at the Carolina Country Club on December 1, 2023 and is open to the general public. Tickets may be purchased at the JASNC website. Please visit www.jasnc.org for details.
About the Japan America Society of North Carolina
The Japan America Society of North Carolina is a nonprofit organization for individuals and corporations with an interest in Japan and US-Japan relations. We differentiate ourselves as a membership organization that represents individuals, businesses, and other groups to promote a greater understanding and networking between Americans and Japanese through cultural events, public affairs, and educational programs across North Carolina.