OUR PARTNER / SAORI KAWANO
President of Korin Japanese Trading Corp
Ms. Saori Kawano is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Korin Japanese Trading Corp., headquartered in New York City. Korin is the leading provider of fine Japanese chef knives, tableware, kitchenware, accessories, restaurant equipment, Japanese cuisine publications and food preparation consulting services to the home, restaurants, hotels and the food service industry worldwide.
As Japanese cuisine had been creatively transformed far beyond its traditional dishes and now enjoys tremendous worldwide popularity; Japanese tableware and knives have become highly prized by top restaurants and chefs. Korin has continued to grow the last thirty years while supplying the latest styles and widest selection of Japanese products to its customers the world over.
Ms. Kawano immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1978 after graduating from Dokkyo University and teaching junior high school for two years. Seeing a business opportunity, she started Korin Japanese Trading Corp. in New York City in 1982 to supply Japanese Arita porcelain tableware to Japanese restaurants.
Overcoming the obstacles of not speaking English, being a single parent and lacking the financing available to entrepreneurs who are not minorities or women, Ms. Kawano, nonetheless, has been able to build sustainable business. For her activities as a role model for minority and women entrepreneurs, Ms. Kawano was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC), a 30 year old not profit organization supporting minority and women owned businesses.
In 2006, Ms. Kawano launched the Gohan Society, a non-profit organization fostering US-Japan culinary and cultural exchange. Through the Gohan Society, Ms. Kawano brings together professionals from culinary institutions, food journalism and publishing, the restaurant and restaurant supply industries and everyone who loves food to develop meaningful exchange programs.
In 2010, Ms. Kawano was a recipient of the “Fast 50 Asian American Businesses” Award for outstanding achievements of Asian American-owned businesses by The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, Ms. Kawano was awarded with the 2011 Woman of Excellence by the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce.