Riki Tanabe Entrepreneur Profile
Aided by his many years of culinary and pastry expertise, Riki Tanabe saw a need in Charlottesville’s food market for casual Japanese cuisine. Growing up in Hawaii, Riki was influenced by Pacific and Portuguese cultures. These experiences created an interest in food anthropology with a curiosity of how food influences culture. Riki wanted to bring his family’s culture to Charlottesville, thus Mōchikō Good Hawaiian Eats was born.
Through CIC's Entrepreneur Workshop, Riki explains that he learned how to define his brand, "this process involved ensuring that Hawaiian cuisine became a highlight". Riki believes CIC “is different from other programs because it is not only taught through a textbook but it is also applied to individuals, which builds a close-knit community.” In his mentorship program, Riki learned the importance of finding connections which can bring unique expertise to your company. Riki also learned the importance of environmental factors within the business. Riki is still actively involved with CIC as currently he is working with a catering mentor and attends a monthly roundtable of CIC entrepreneurs from different industries.
During the CIC Entrepreneur Workshop, Riki learned how important it is to receive input from other local entrepreneurs and pay this concept forward to other businesses. Building a community of local entrepreneurs is vital to success. Congruently, he learned that interpretation of your product is what makes it uniquely your own. To burgeoning entrepreneurs, Riki advises them to “get a sense of how viable your business is within the community.” From forming these initial connections, it is then important to be receptive to feedback by accepting both praise and critiques.
Keep up to date with Mōchikō through their Website, Facebook and Instagram pages, where you can find updates on when they will be at the Charlottesville City Market or catering at other special events.