Known for its traditional Japanese food, Himawari took a leap of faith last August with the opening of Himawari Café inside its grocery store and snack bar and beside its restaurant in Garapan.
Himawari Café actually had its soft opening in August 2019 and formal opening date only last Nov. 1, said Himawari vice president Tatsushito Suzuki.
“[Our] customer have been looking for fresh coffee. We don’t have [them] before. We only had instant,” said Suzuki.
And like everything that Himawari does, Suzuki and company brought everything to bear in opening Himawari Café.
That included making a brew from only the best quality beans from Brazil, Columbia, and Tanzania and then roasting them in Japan before vacuum-sealing them and exporting them to Saipan. Executive chef Tomohiro Suga said the coffee beans that arrive on Saipan are then brewed in an espresso machine imported from Italy. All these make Himawari Café’s fresh coffee blends one-of-a-kind on Saipan.
Suzuki said as much when asked what makes their brew different from others on island: “Quality beans from around the world. Roasted in Japan and vacuum-packed and exported to Saipan.”
If you think you can just buy the roasted beans from Himawari and then brew the coffee yourself, that’s not going to happen, as Suzuki and Suga pointed out that the roasted beans are exclusive to Himawari and are not sold anywhere except in coffee form at the café.
So far, the best sellers at Himawari Café are its café latte, caramel, and macchiato when it comes to coffee and orange juice and strawberry smoothie when it comes to other drinks.
As for the snacks that come with the coffee, juice drink, or smoothies, Suzuki recommends a quick visit to Himawari’s snack bar and bakery where there’s freshy baked assorted breads and pastries to choose from.
Himawari Café also sells takoyaki, which is a Japanese snack in the shape of little round balls containing pieces of octopus. It goes great with everything sold at the café, assured Suzuki and Suga.
Despite the high-quality and expense of bringing the coffee beans on island, Suzuki assured that prices at Himawari Café remain affordable.
“Quality coffee at a reasonable price,” he said echoing the company’s motto that has held true since Himawari opened its restaurant at the same place years ago.
Himawari Café is open every day from 7am to 7pm. For more information and for orders, call 233-1530, 233-1531, or 233-1533.