Let the memory of “Nekkara Akindo
(A Born Merchant)”
be with us forever
The founder of the entire group of Azuma Foods companies
Toshinobu Azuma a man full of creativity and a trailblazing spirit, with a character that took pleasure in being constantly active.
He nicknamed himself "Nekkara Akindo" (A Born Merchant), and lived a life in which he was fortunate enough to call his work his hobby. He would visit all bases of operation in Japan, the USA, Canada, the UK, China, and Peru once or twice a year and always looked forward to doing it. We will never forget the look of joy Mr. Azuma had when he traveled to the US and stopped by Las Vegas to play roulette.
A lover of noodles and sake, he could always find comfort in seeking out Japanese restaurants to eat soba noodles while visiting other countries.
Mr. Azuma was born on February 29th, 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, the third son of four children. He grew up around a lot of people, sharing his home with his extended family. As a child, when he got home from school his mother would divide tofu that she had made, among he and his siblings so that they could go out and sell it.
It was at this time that Mr. Azuma discovered the pleasure of selling.
He later gained experience as a salesman when his twin brother (the current Chairman of Takuma Foods Co., Ltd.) introduced him to a job at a wholesaler near JR Yokkaichi Station.
Mr. Azuma gained independence and entrepreneurship at the age of 22. He purchased dried foods, such as beans and seafood, from wholesalers and began selling them himself. Working from his home, he packaged each item to suit the specific needs of his customers and sold them to bars, supermarkets, restaurants, and izakayas throughout Mie Prefecture.
In December of 1966, he founded Azuma Shoten in Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture. This was the beginning of the Azuma Foods Group story as it would go on to expand around the world.
- December 1966
- Founded Azuma Shoten in Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan
- June 1983
- Incorporated Azuma Shoten to become Azuma Foods Co., Ltd.
- July 1984
- Opened Igura plant in Mie, Japan
- October 1988
- Opened Kyushu Office in Fukuoka, Japan
- July 1990
- Established Azuma Foods International Inc., U.S.A. in California, USA
- March 2003
- Established Azuma Foods (Canada) Co., Ltd. in British Columbia, Canada
- December 2003
- Opened a New York Branch in New Jersey, USA
- May 2007
- Opened a new Sales Office in Hawaii, USA
- July 2008
- Opened Tokyo Office in Tokyo, Japan
- January 2010
- Established Azuma Foods (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. in Suzhou, China
- September 2014
- Established Azuma Foods UK Ltd. in London, UK.
- May 2017
- Opened Azuma Foods (Canada) Co., Ltd. Toronto Branch in Ontario, Canada
- December 2019
- Established Azuma Foods KampoPerú S.A.C. in Lima, Perú.
- December 2019
- Retired from Azuma Foods Group
- February 22, 2022
- Rest In Peace