Art & Culture

This LA Shop Makes The Most Amazing Mochi

Laura Lee
Apr 13, 2020

Running a family business is an incredibly special thing. Working side by side with your loved ones means that you get to pass down a family tradition, while sharing your unique story with the rest of the world. One small shop in LA knows all about running a family business. Fugetsu-Do Confectionery is a 117-year-old family-run shop in Los Angeles. Opening their doors in 1903, the bakery and sweet shop has been providing lucky LA residents with traditional Japanese sweets for over a century. Fugetsu-Do Confectionery makes two kinds of pastries, but the one they are renowned for is the ever-popular mochi.

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake primarily made up of mochigome, which is a type of glutinous rice. Sometimes, it is mixed with other ingredients like water, sugar, and cornstarch. This sticky rice is then pounded until it reaches a paste-like consistency, upon which it is molded into the desired shape. In Japan, the ceremony of making mochi is called mochitsuki. Another Japanese pastry offered at Fugetsu-Do Confectionery is called manju. While the shapes and sizes of manju vary, they are generally made of a mixture of rice powder, flour, kudzu, and buckwheat, and are stuffed with chestnut jam or anko, a filling made of sugar and boiled adzuki beans.

strawberry mochi

Getty Images/Irina Marwan/Moment

Fugetsu-Do confectionary has a lot to be proud of. Not only are they a century-old family business, but they are also considered the oldest shop in LA’s Little Tokyo neighborhood, as well as the oldest Japanese-American business in the entire country. Mochi is a traditional Japanese treat, and making mochi has been a tradition in the Kito family for many generations. One of the shop’s most popular treats is their “Rainbow Dango”, which are miniature pieces of rainbow-colored mochi. Anyone in LA who is looking for a unique and colorful treat will undoubtedly find what they’re looking for at this charming family-run sweet shop.