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December 03, 2021

Crafty Ramen

Miki and Jared Ferrall believe that sharing your day over a bowl of ramen is a great way to connect with people—and Crafty Ramen is all about connections. Together, this team created a food experience that kept folks connected, even distanced. Whether their guests dine in, order out, or sign up for a Ramen Subscription, they will be treated to a meal that’s hot, fresh, and best shared with good company!

Miki and Jared Ferrall

Crafty Ramen
craftyramen.com
17 Macdonell Street, Guelph, ON
276 King St W, Kitchener, ON

 Check out our previous collab!

Q: When did you start Crafty Ramen? Why did you start a ramen shop?

A: Jared and I opened our first ramen shop in Guelph, Ontario in 2017. I grew up in Japan and was obsessed with the Western culture - I actually met my now husband Jared, a chef, when I finally got to experience the West while on vacation in Vancouver. Jared and I returned to Japan together and spent time travelling the country learning all about ramen. Ramen is Japanese comfort food; people love the simplicity of it, and sharing your day over a bowl of ramen is a great way to connect with people. Coming to Canada, I found that I really missed Japan and Japanese culture - I wanted to find a way to bring the comfort of my home to Guelph. That is how Crafty Ramen was born. Ramen is all about regionality, so we took this classic comfort food and integrated some of the many different styles of ramen to make something that also represented ramen in Ontario...and here we are!

 

Q: How did you come up with the idea of ramen kits?

A: When COVID started we had just opened our second location in Kitchener. Suddenly we were left with a completely empty dining room, and needed to find some way to keep our kitchens busy. Ramen is also about a feeling, an experience of warmth and comfort, and being part of the open kitchen to watch how it’s made - so more than anything else, we needed to figure out a way to bring that experience into people’s homes in a different way. We also knew that there were a lot of our customers who wanted our food but weren’t close enough to our shops to access it. That’s when we had the idea for the kits. We started small by just delivering locally, and got incredible feedback; people really loved them. We slowly started growing, adding new kits, expanding to more than 40 cities across Ontario and even adding a ramen subscription service; we’re really proud of how the kits have evolved. We are able to connect more people to the Crafty experience than we ever imagined we could.

 

Q: What challenges have you faced since starting your business?

Hiring and training is always a challenge; at Crafty we live by the philosophy of Kaizen, which means ‘constant improvement.’ We have high standards for the work that we do, and we’re always trying to learn new things and be better. It can be difficult to integrate that thinking into a team environment, but we’ve been very lucky to bring on some truly fantastic staff. We have very strong Crews who understand the Crafty culture and handle everything they do with consideration and care to bring our principles to life.

 

Q: What aspect of your business makes you happy/proud?

A: There are so many things that make us happy and proud: when we see returning customers bring their friends, we know that we’re making a difference in their day; when I see our crew members growing with us as we grow, it makes me proud personally to see them succeed through the community we’ve created.

We’re also simply proud of how we do what we do, and the attention we put into every aspect of our food and our experience. We truly care, and you can see that in everything we make. The small details matter. In everything from our products, to how we train our employees, to our expectations of ourselves and one another - we’re proud of how our care shows up and defines who we are.

 

Q: How has the pandemic impacted your business?

A: It impacted every aspect of our business - how we’ve had to reshape it, and what it will look like moving forward. Meal kit production is obviously one big shift, but our take-out volume is also bigger than it ever was before, even after reopening our dining rooms. We’re adapting and reshaping our business constantly now - whether through an entirely new website, different research and development priorities, opening a new production facility, bringing on customer service, IT and marketing teams in completely different ways than we ever needed previously; the pandemic has absolutely made us transform all the ways that we bring the Crafty Ramen experience to our customers.

 

Q: What’s in the future for Crafty?

A: If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that there are no certainties...we never thought we’d ever be where we are now! That said, we do have plans for where we’re headed. Our goal in the coming year is to expand our kit delivery area, and take it across Canada (maybe even into the US) in 2022. We’re always working on new recipes and meal ideas, and new ways to work with our communities. We’re passionate about helping wherever we can and connecting people with new experiences that enrich their lives - our future is anything that supports more of that.

 

Grab your 2022 calendar and discover a whole year of deliciousness!

January
Bodega Henriette
February
Crafty Ramen
March
Roselle
April
FIKA Cafe
May
Mi Mi Restaurant
June
Isabella's
July
Tinuno
August
Wong's Ice Cream
September
Mengrai Thai
October
Formocha
November
Lai Wah Heen
December
mon K patisserie