Beyond the Chateau Walls Company Profile: MANZOKU

MUDEC students can pursue internship opportunities in a diverse set of organizations during their education abroad experience. MANZOKU was one of them this past semester. Read below as Neill Henderson, Co-Founder, talks about MANZOKU and how working with a MUDEC intern has helped their business.

Tell us about Manzoku/Roku

A smiling group of people wearing branded shirts and aprons at Manzoku

Launched in 2017, we initially started with the import of Japanese craft beer and sake into Luxembourg to supply shops and restaurants with something new and unique. Having lived and travelled extensively in Japan and Asia, we have a deep passion for Japanese food and drink. We also have a background and many years of experience in branding, design and marketing and wanted to use this for our own projects.

In September 2019, we decided to create our own food product for retail. Due to a lack in the market, we choose fresh craft Ramen, and set about creating the MANZOKU brand and packaging. The noodles are produced weekly in our own production facilities and the soup stock is imported from Japan. The packs are sold in supermarkets and our own pop-up shop, which enables people to make authentic craft Ramen themselves at home. We also hold regular pop-up Ramen events, celebrating Japanese soul food and drinks, which are great fun.

Facebook interview with Mei Chan, co-founder

How did you decide to take an intern from MUDEC and in what area did your intern work?

Given our background, we know full well that the success of any company and product relies heavily on becoming known and building a positive reputation. This requires a lot of effort on the marketing side and although social media now offers the means to reach consumers directly, it also is a lot more work given the one-to-one interactions.

As a small team, we really valued having an intern to help us out and the caliber and students at MUDEC is top notch. We believe in learning by doing and so our intern was immediately given the responsibility to help with managing our social media channels and supporting the launch of new products.

Although COVID-19 cut the semester short, how did taking an intern help your business and what would you say to other companies that might be interested in the program?

With the extra help of an intern on board, we managed to carry out some tasks (such as analysis and research) that we don't normally have time for. It was also great to have another person on the team that could offer their own (different) perspective on things and we learned as much from our intern, as we hope they learned from us.

We also really enjoyed imparting our knowledge and experience, as reality and theory are often not the same. It has been an overall enriching experience for us and we would highly recommend other companies to consider taking on an intern from MUDEC.

Read more about MUDEC student Julie Eagle's experience working at MANZOKU