Tsunoda Stylings is a Japan-based agency that strives to create successful, responsive websites that are fast, easy to use, and built with the best techniques. At Tsunoda Stylings, we search for new and experienced small business owners looking to promote their businesses without breaking the bank! Not too long after we celebrated the new year, we received a rebranding opportunity request from a newly opened Japanese BBQ food stall in Brisbane, Australia!
Let me introduce you to Danny Buikstra! He is one half of the amazing duo that runs and operates the Charcoal Cottage! Read below to learn more about him and what the food stall plans to accomplish with their new branding services with Tsunoda Stylings.
Jasmine: Tell us a little about your background and how you came up with the idea to start a catering business.
Danny:I have been a chef for almost 10 years and have wanted to create a business of my own for quite some time. After traveling to Europe and Japan, coal fire cooking really took my interest, and I thought it would be a unique food offering for people if I could perfect it myself.
Jasmine: How did you come up with the name Charcoal Cottage?
Danny: My wife actually came up with the name. We were talking about how I wanted to create food like you might get from a cozy inn when food was cooked over an open fire (coals). So, by combining the cottage atmosphere with charcoal, the name was born.
Jasmine: What services/menu items do you offer?
Danny: Currently, we offer beef short rib, chicken thigh, and pork belly skewers all cooked using a signature tare, which enhances the flavor of the charcoal cooking. We also make grilled corn with miso butter.
Jasmine: What services/menu items would you like to add in the future?
Danny: We are working on adding other vegetables, including zucchini and mushrooms. Also, a signature meatball with more varieties of sauces and pickled vegetables.
Jasmine: What is unique about Charcoal Cottage?
Danny: At the Charcoal Cottage, we make traditional fire-cooked food more accessible with an inviting atmosphere. The BBQ is based on yakitori designs with inspiration taken from brick pizza ovens, custom-built using fire bricks and a steel frame. This one-of-a-kind design allows unique flavors to infuse each ingredient with fire and smoke and enhance each ingredient's natural flavors.
Jasmine: Do you ever plan to expand? Nationally? Globally? If possible?
Danny: Currently, our plans are to keep offering our food to the people and places that want our unique style and service. Perhaps in the future, we would like to have our own space where people could come to us, like a restaurant or cottage, of our own.
Jasmine: What is the thing you enjoy most about your job?
Danny: Seeing peoples’ noses draw them into our stall with the smells of our food and hearing how much they like the flavors after they eat reminds me of why I wanted to cook food the traditional way with fire. Also, juggling coals and meat to keep the temperatures and fires where they need to be is a fun and rewarding challenge.
Jasmine: What is the most difficult? What are the biggest challenges of working in the food/catering industry?
Danny: One of the biggest challenges is trying to stand out and offer something unique in an industry that already has so much variety and good products in it. The food industry is very competitive but can also be very supportive. After that, the next biggest challenge is feeding the large crowd that you have tried so hard to draw in.
Jasmine: What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you in regard to your business?
Danny: “Remember to make a profit.” It seems quite obvious, but when I get absorbed in the process of cooking and creating, I can sometimes forget that.
Jasmine: What advice would you give anyone wanting to start their own business?
Danny: Danny- Don’t rush the process. Take your time to try new processes and products, see how others operate their business, and don’t worry if things don’t work the first, second, or third time around.
Jasmine: How did you find out about Tsunoda Stylings?
Danny:I was recommended by Asuka. Asuka knew about my plans and knew that I would benefit from Tsunoda’s expertise.
Jasmine: Does your business give back (or plan to give back) to your community/charities? Are you active in any organizations/foundations/charities?
Danny:We are hoping to promote local produce from the community by finding nearby suppliers.
Jasmine: What are your goals for 2023?
Danny: As this is our first year, our goals are really to gain as much experience as we can and further develop as a new company.
Jasmine: Any closing remarks you would like to give to our readers?
Danny: I would like to thank Tsunoda Stylings for their expertise in developing a lot of the marketing tools we will be using, and hope to use them for future brand development as we grow.