Nina Otori has returned to her mum's hometown to manage the Halifax branch of Little Lotus.
Nina's mother Helen is originally from Halifax, but moved to Osaka in Japan when she was 23, where she married Nina's father Yoshiyuki and raised her there. Nina moved to the UK by herself to study Travel and Tourism at the University of Huddersfield.
"It feels a bit unusual since my mum is still in Japan but I’m here working where she was born instead. People here are very friendly and kind and I feel like I’m home in some sense. It is great to bring some of Japanese food culture to Halifax and sharing my cultural experiences in my mum's hometown," said Nina.
Nina is pleased to see that the people of Halifax have embraced her culture and welcomed Little Lotus into the community with open arms.
"I am always happy to hear it when customers say 'we were waiting for a shop like this in Halifax', because it shows me how people are willing to experience different cultures in this town and Little Lotus can certainly add to this," she added.
Little Lotus serves a range of hot and cold Japanese dishes including katsu, ramen and udon noodle, curries and a wide selection of sushi. They pride themselves on their healthy recipes made from fresh, authentic ingredients.
The company started in Huddersfield and also has stores in Bradford and Chelmsford.
"Customers in Huddersfield have long been asking us to open in Halifax. So far it has been a great experience. All the Halifax people we worked with to open the shop have been great and we've had a lot of positive feedback from people so far and happy to see many familiar faces.
"We are really proud that all our food is freshly prepared in our own kitchen each morning. Our trained sushi chef starts early and you will see him there each morning preparing for lunch. Everything is made from fresh ingredients, we use local suppliers for meat fish and veggies and specialist Japanese importers for some ingredients to ensure our food is authentic," said owner Geraldine Booth.