Back in the summer of 2018, we - a Dutchman named David and a Saudi Arabian named Fahad - lived in Tsuruoka. This is the heart of the Shonai area in Yamagata Prefecture, surrounded by the sea of Japan, mountains, and countless rice fields. For nearly a year, we'd been working, traveling, and hiking the local mountains while relying on the same standard rice balls and processed protein bars sold at konbini's. Life was pretty good, but seeing the glory of Shonai's fresh fruits and its amazing brown rice every season, we knew we could do better.
That summer, we teamed up with Madoka, a close friend and local farmer. Together, we set out to create something special: a natural energy bar featuring fruits, nuts, and some of Shonai's nutritious brown rice. After spending months in the kitchen, the Shonai Special finally emerged.
Since then, we've refined the recipe many times, built our own little production space in Fujishima, and are now selling our bars in Shonai and (slowly) beyond. Every year though, we still go out and climb the mountains, our backpacks filled with a few rice balls and lots of Shonai Specials. Life is good:)