Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DONQ at Takashimaya Food Hall - The Beginnings & Origin, The Milestones, The Bakery & Pastry Chefs, The Breads Buns Tarts

The Beginnings and Origin of DONQ 
DONQ was established 108 years ago in Kobe, Japan. On 8 Aug 1905 Founder Motojiro Fujii opens Fujii Bread in Hyogo Ward, Kobe Japan. In 1947, DONQ was established. 

The third in succession to the company - Yukio Fujii assumes the company in April 1947,  and begins DONQ in Sannomiya, Kobe. 
In 1954, Yukio Fujii attended lectures conducted in Japan by French Professor Raymond Calvel from the French National School of Milling and Grain Industries, and Yukio Fujii became fascinated with French Bread. Yukio Fujii engaged Professor Raymond Calvel as his mentor and teacher and underwent training under the latter, after which Yukio began producing French breads in his bakery, choosing to specialize in French breads including Baguette, Croissant, Pain de mie, Brioche and so on, while yet still selling some original Japanese inspired bread like Anpan.        



Raymond Calvel (born 1914/1915 – 30 August 2005), a Bread Expert and Professor of Baking at  École Nationale Supérieure de Meunerie et des Industries Céréalières (ENSMIC) in Paris, France, was credited with creating a revival of French-style bread-making. His key research interest was on the improvement of bread-making techniques, and he did in depth studies on comparing the differences between European and American wheat flour. Raymond Calvel played a key role in the development of the Autolyse, a hydration rest early in the mixing and kneading process designed to relax gluten in the dough and simplify the kneading process. This serves to render the dough more expandable, hence simpler to mould into shape. Raymond Calvel acted as advisor to the Bread Bakers Guild of America during its founding and early competitive efforts in the early 1990s. He wrote the book Le goût du pain (translated into English in 2001 as The Taste of Bread) as a summation of his work.

In May 1957, the Kobe Sogo store is established. (The first shop opened in a Department store).

In April 1965, French bread artisan, Philippe Bigot was invited to Japan, and French ovens and other machinery were imported for the first time to sell authentic French Bread in Kobe. 

Interestingly the bakery changed its name in 1966 from Fujii Bread to DONQ which is derived from Don Quixote, a character in the book <<Don Quixote>> by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes due to the fact that Yukio Fujii has a personality that resembles that of Don Quixote. 

In May 1966 DONQ Tokyo Co., Ltd is established and in August 1966 the Aoyama store is established in Tokyo. 
In June 1968 Sapporo Store is established whilst in August 1969 Nichifutsu Shoji Co.,Ltd is established to manage the DONQ Group's Trade affairs.

In February 1970 DONQ Nagoya Co., Ltd is established. In February 1970, Kyoto, Kita-shirakawa store is established. 

In May 1983 the Johan Store is established (First Johan Store).
In May 1985 DONQ (Hong Kong) Ltd is established, with Hong Kong Sogo becoming DONQ's first overseas store. 

In March 1991 DONQ (Taiwan) Ltd is established.(80 years since the formation of Taiwan).
In March 1993 Dominique Geulin Co., Ltd is established. 
In 1994 Mini-croissant Popularity Explosion 
The mini-croissants are a brainchild of the Sapporo Sogo Store. The new in-store pay-by-weight system becomes extremely popular with consumers.This system expanded from the Sapporo Johan store across the country. Mini-one is still a popular brand up to this day. 
In February 1996 Received 4th place for Japan in the 3rd Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie Viennoiserie category (Team Leader- Hiroki Sato), Baguette & Specialty Breads category (Jun Tamaki).
In February 1999 Received 3rd place for Japan (Team leader- Koichi Ezaki) 

In March 2001 DONQ Co.,Ltd celebrates its 50th Anniversary. 50th Anniversary Commemoration Project (Commemorative Thesis/Symbol Mark Recruitment/"Book of Pastries"/Commemorative publication) 
In April 2002 Wins 1st Place for Japan in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie Baguette and Specialty Breads category (Naohiro Kikuya) 
In 2004 Fumio Tomochika assumes the office of Company President. 
In 2005 DONQ commemorates 100 years since its foundation. 
In 2009 DONQ (Shanghai) is established. 
In 24 April 2012, DONQ (Singapore)Pte Ltd is established.      

The Scratch Philosophy at DONQ   
Japanese French Bakery DONQ does not fail to draw the crowd at its Takashimaya outlet at B2-03 since its opening on 24 April 2012, with its amazing delectable spread of custard tarts, gourmet buns, bread, baguettes, pastries, both as feast to the eyes as well as to the palate. Now DONQ is really big in Japan, boasting of more than 180 outlets to date, and has its humble beginnings in Kobe back in 1905. 

The philosophy of "SCRATCH" - The bread craftsman at DONQ have the technology cultivated through a history that spans more than 100 years. In order to maximize of the flavor of flour from kneading powder to baking, we at DONQ completes the process no matter how much time it costs us.  This method is called "SCRATCH", and we believe that is the best method.
The Bakery 

The Bakery & Pastry Chefs 
Daily the Bakery & Pastry Chefs at DONQ churns out more than 100 types of tarts, buns, bread, pastries, using authentic, finest, freshest ingredients imported from Japan. 

The Breads, Buns, Tarts
The breads, buns, tarts range from savory to sweet, and portion sizes are pretty large. One unique feature to note about DONQ breads and buns is the presence of innumerable air pockets that makes the bread so fluffy and tasty. There are so many flavors to choose from and try out you'd never ever gonna get tired of chewing on DONQ breads, buns and tarts. Personally, I do not have any favorite flavors, because I find all of them deliciously satisfying. But if you must try I would recommend the custard tarts !

DONQ Bakery is located at :
391 Orchard Road, 
Takashimaya Food Hall, 
#B2-03 Ngee Ann City, 
Singapore 238873 
Opening hours: 10:00am – 9:30pm (Daily)

River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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