Lettuce Wrap

18: This Country Needs Onigilly, with Koji Kanematsu of Onigilly

August 24th, 2019  •  59 mins 59 secs  •  Download (41.4 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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The lack of decent lunch options led Koji Kanematsu to launch Onigilly, serving onigiri—traditional Japanese rice balls—to busy American workers. He now has an ambitious mission to build Onigilly into a nationwide chain of at least 500 locations, as a healthier alternative to Subway and McDonald’s. He joins us to share his vision, how his early career in high tech and mobile gaming prepared him for the food business, and why the death of his childhood friend inspires him to always move forward.


The end of this episode mentions the death of Koji’s friend by suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org