The Voices of Zojirushi – Manny!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the past few posts about our team members. This month, we get an inside view into Manuel, one of our Repair Technicians. Manual, who goes by Manny, is one of the newer members of the Zojirushi family, having been with the company for two years.

We caught up with Manny and learned more about his experiences with Zojirushi.

Manny, tell us what inspired you to work at Zojirushi?

I had previously worked for a Japanese company and I really enjoyed learning so much from a new culture. Being a Latino, I felt an affinity for Japanese culture, and knew that I wanted to continue in a Japanese environment.

Miso ramen with tender pork chashu

Since you find Japanese culture so interesting, tell us a bit about your experience with Japan. Have you ever been to Japan? What’s your favorite part of the culture and food? 

I’ve never been to Japan but it’s definitely a place I would like to visit in the near future. My favorite Japanese food is miso ramen with a combination of chashu. The most interesting experience I have encountered is leaning the culture, the food, and the language.

How do you find Zojirushi’s Japanese heritage and your position at the company embodies the company’s mission–Creating a Quality of Life–for customers?

As a technician I represent the company, so I take my repairs very seriously, making sure that the quality of my work meets Zojirushi’s high standards. [That attention to detail is a really important part of Zojirushi’s heritage.] We try to create a good quality of life with our products and I believe our vacuum bottles inspire customers to take care of the environment, because not every plastic bottle gets recycled. Global warming is happening and we have to take care of our planet because we only have one.

A cache of rice cooker pans from current and discontinued models, used when performing testing on customers’ rice cookers

Much of our product design focuses on practicality, quality, craftsmanship, sustainability and stylishness. Do you have a favorite product? And what would you like to see as the next great Zojirushi product?

I would have to say the bread machine is one of my favorite products. It has evolved from a practical product to this amazing multifunctional bread machine. Also, consumers are really liking pressurized multicookers because it reduces a lot of the cooking time, so I would have to say a ‘ZojiPOT’ would be awesome to have in our lineup.

Manny, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. We have to know, since you love food and Zojirushi products. Do you have a favorite Zojirushi recipe? How did it turn out?

The lemon pound cake is my favorite recipe. I would like to see if a customer can make a great Mexican rice recipe. I would definitely try that!

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Thanks to Manny for sharing with us, and we hope you enjoyed meeting him! Stay tuned for next month’s Voice of Zojirushi.

The Voices of Zojirushi – Seitaro

We’re so excited to introduce you to Seitaro, a Manager in our Technical Support Department, and a team member who embodies Zojirushi’s founding belief that we succeed when we improve our customers’ quality of life through our daily work. The Technical Support Department is primarily responsible for repairing products, but also manages an inventory of spare parts, conducts product testing, and manages service centers in North America.

Seitaro joined Zojirushi two years ago, and we found time to talk to him as part of our Centennial Anniversary celebrations!

Tell us a bit about your background? Where is your hometown? What are your favorite foods? And what do you love about Japan and Japanese culture?

I’m from Hiroshima, Japan, and of course my favorite foods are Japanese! I love onigiri, miso soup, tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelet), mezashi (dried sardines skewered together in a neat row), surumeika (dried squid), grilled ika (squid), chawanmushi, yakitori and sushi!

A favorite lunch, nigiri sushi bento

I find that the Japanese dedication to craftsmanship and the dedication to studying foods—even existing ones—are inspiring. And also the precision, the durability of Japanese machinery products, and their almost obsessive dedication to ease-of-use, too.

Was that what inspired you to work at Zojirushi?

Yes. Zojirushi contributes to society by providing electric products to consumers regardless of their race, sex or age. And I wanted to do something that made me feel useful in society, and I thought I would be able to do that at a long-established manufacturer like Zojirushi.

Our corporate philosophy is Creating a Quality of Life. How does your position at Zojirushi create a better quality of life for our customers?

By repairing products, we help reduce trash waste for the environment and monetary waste for our customers. Zojirushi continues to design products that are lasting and customer centric, and our dedication to customers by continuing to operate a repair department means we really invest in quality of life for our customers.

A customer’s rice cooker undergoes testing

What is your most memorable Zojirushi moment?

I received a repair request for a Zojirushi product that was over 30 years old, and I was genuinely surprised to see how carefully and lovingly the product had been used over the years.

Our corporate slogan is “Inspirations from everyday life.” What in your everyday life has inspired you to provide better service to your customers?

When I go on business trips or when I go on vacation, I note the hotel or restaurant facilities, furniture or equipment they use, and the way they treat and interact with customers, and use these experiences to make our customer experiences better.

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Seitaro’s joy in creating better customer experiences is one of the reasons we believe he embodies Zojirushi’s philosophy. We hope you enjoyed learning about his perspectives. Stay tuned next month to meet another Zojirushi star!

The Voices of Zojirushi – Jesse

2018 marks our 100th anniversary! Zojirushi started as the Ichikawa Brothers Trading Company in 1918 in Osaka, Japan, and since then, we haven’t stopped!

We were founded on the deep belief that we succeed when we work to improve our customer’s quality of life through the creation of innovative products. Our employees are such an important part of fulfilling our mission, and we’d love for you to get to know them!

Jesus is one of our friendly Customer Service Representatives based out of our offices in Torrance, California. He goes by Jesse, and has been with Zojirushi for a whopping 24 years! Jesse embodies our company’s mission, and we caught up with him to talk about what he likes about working with customers and what inspires him about Zojirushi.

Customer service always has a variety of Zojirushi products on hand nearby to help walk customers through the use and care of them

Zojirushi believes in putting their customers first, and as a Customer Service Representative, what motivates you to be customer-focused?

I enjoy assisting people, interacting with them and striving to make a positive difference in their day. I would say working at Zojirushi provides me with the opportunity to help new people, and that is something that motivates me. My children also inspire me. I see them doing their best in whatever they do—homework, sports—and that motivates me to do my best and provide the best customer service possible.

Our corporate philosophy is Creating a Quality of Life. How does your position at Zojirushi create a better quality of life for our customers?

Our customers have a better quality of life when I’m able to solve a problem they’re having with one of our products or just by answering their baking questions during the holidays. One less thing to worry about!

Much of our product design focuses on practicality, quality, craftsmanship, sustainability and stylishness. Do you have a favorite Zojirushi product that you believe embodies these qualities, and how do you believe we embody those qualities in our services?

Safety, usability, practicality, quality, craftsmanship and stylishness. That describes the Travel Mug (SM-YAE48) to me! Also, we really believe in self-improvement and honesty. We’re always trying to improve our products and when we have an issue with the product, we do our best to correct any problem. That shows that we really care.

Zojirushi Travel Mug SM-YAE48

What’s the best dish you’ve made using one of our products, and if you could dream up your own perfect Zojirushi product, what would it be?

I would like to see a Zojirushi waffle maker! It would be so much fun if it could make waffles in the shape of our elephant logo. I’d love it as much as I love to make pork chops with roasted vegetables in the Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet (EP-PBC10). They turned out really good!

Zojirushi isn’t just about products. It’s about our company’s values and the wonderful Japanese culture that informs what we do. Have you been inspired by Japan during your tenure here?

I have never been to Japan, but I would love to see the cherry blossom trees and see people wearing kimonos, the ones made with beautiful silk colors.

Finally, if you could tell people one great thing about Zojirushi, what would it be?

I have been here for over 20 years so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one moment – let’s just say I have a few! Meeting Mr. Ichikawa, the President & CEO of Zojirushi, is definitely up there. I look forward to coming to work and I’m happy to be here at Zojirushi America. I feel appreciated, acknowledged and rewarded.

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Jesse is such a great team member, and we hope you enjoyed learning about his perspectives. Stay tuned next month to meet another Zojirushi star!