Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lethbridge Historic Store Celebrates 65 years

Lethbridge, AB- When Ryutaro and Nobuko Nakagama were forced to close the doors of their successful food store in Richmond, B.C in 1942 due to events in World War II, they had a choice of going to the Interior of B.C to work in a logging camp, or to Southern Alberta to work at the sugar beet farms.  They chose Alberta and after the restrictions were finally lifted in 1947 they decided to stay and reopen their business in their new home.

The Nakagama family became one of the first Japanese-Canadian families to reside and open a business in Lethbridge. Now, after 65 years of running a successful business, the unique Nakagama Japanese Food & Giftware store is still going strong and remains an inspiring example of the Japanese-Canadian integration into the fabric of the Southern Alberta community.

“Despite the hardships imposed on our family during World War II, my parents chose to remain in the Lethbridge area because they liked it and saw a great opportunity here to restart their business. Almost all of our first customers were from the Japanese Canadian community and because of their support we were able to establish the base that makes our store what it is today.  The faith that my parents had in the community has been repaid many times and I remember my Dad saying many years later that the decision to stay in Southern Alberta was the best decision of his life” says Ken Nakagama who now runs the business.

The store will be having a celebration sale from Sept 1-20 which will have most items in the store going on sale at various times throughout this period.  The most important feature of the sale is the special pricing for Kokuho Yellow Rice and the Kokuho Rose Rice.  Both were introduced to the Canadian market by Nakagama in 1950 and 1963 respectively.  Kokuho Rose rice is the most popular rice within the Japanese community and sets the standard for many as the best rice to serve for Japanese cuisine.

The Nakagama family story is not only one about a flourishing family business that has weathered tough economic times, but also about the important historic role that the  Japanese-Canadian community has given to our culture.

For more information visit  or email call 403-327-5337 or in person at 322 - 2nd Avenue South Lethbridge, Alberta 
Nakagama’s Japanese Food & Giftware work with Greg Stonehocker of ActionCOACH

To book an interview contact                                        
Rachel Sentes, Publicist 604-366-7846

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