Brighton, MI

Do Coffee and Sushi Go Well Together? Prof Chef Rolls at the Coffee Beanery in Brighton

Heather Raulerson

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Do coffee and sushi go well together? Well, Jason Tago of the Coffee Beanery in Brighton thinks it does and is willing to gamble that you will too. Starting on Monday, April 5th, the Coffee Beanery will be selling sushi rolls right along with coffee, teas, and fruit smoothies. The Prof Chef Rolls will be available in various combinations, and let me tell you; they are nothing short of spectacular!

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I recently spent an afternoon at the Coffee Beanery photographing and sampling the new sushi dishes, along with hearing all about Jason’s vision for adding the sushi business to Coffee Beanery and beyond. His enthusiasm about sushi and developing the business is infectious, and I was curious as to where he learned how to make the fantastic sushi rolls that I kept tossing into my mouth one after another. His story is as fascinating as the sushi rolls themselves. Jason came to the United States from the Philippines in 2016 with hardly anything but a drive to succeed. He earned his finance and master’s degree; however, that isn’t where he learned how to create the business selling delicious sushi rolls. His story takes him to a chance meeting with a guy working in a grocery store selling sushi.

Would you work for free for six months to learn a new skill?

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Jason started chatting with Bosco and asked him how much do you make selling sushi a week? Bosco said about $4-$6K a week. Jason was astounded as he was working over 80+ hours a week and only scraping by earning $900/week. He wanted to learn how to do that, so he just started showing up ready to work whenever he could while working another job. He would show up and say to Bosco, “Hey, I'm gonna help you today. Okay?” Jason ended up working with Bosco for six months for free, soaking up as much knowledge on working a sushi business as he could.

After that, Jason went to Texas and attended a Sushi Academy to become a certified sushi chef. He learned how to cut fish properly, food handling procedures, and customer service. When Jason graduated, Bosco was planning on returning to Japan and discussed with Jason the opportunity to buy his sushi business. But, Jason told him, “I don’t have the money.” Bosco said that he could pay him when he made money, which is exactly what Jason did.

Prof Chef Rolls as a Ghost Kitchen

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He has since sold that business and started Prof Chef Rolls. Prof Chef Rolls is a shadow or ghost kitchen that bypasses traditional restaurants’ fixed costs (rent, payroll, food costs). With the world changing to data-driven, search-optimized virtual restaurants, ghost kitchens are the future. A ghost kitchen is a great way to optimize and expand delivery service at minimal cost with a higher profit margin. With a ghost kitchen, you rent from a facility usually located in densely populated areas. From there, you get your brand onto an app like UberEats, GrubHub, or DoorDash, and then start getting customers, where you will send out orders from the rented kitchen space.

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You will be able to order Prof Chef Rolls online from Coffee Beanery on April 5th. They will have curbside pick-up as well as Grub Hub and UberEats. And don’t worry, there are more options to drink with your sushi than just coffee at the Coffee Beanery. They have lovely fruit smoothies, green tea, and Bubble Teas. Make sure to try the Mango Bubble Tea with whipped cream on top! AAA-mazing!!

What is the Future for Prof Chef Rolls?

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Online food ordering is not a trend that's going away anytime soon. Jason is banking on the predictions that up to 50-70% of meals will be take-out for dining by the end of 2021, with 34% of the customers spending at least $50 per order. His vision is to see Prof Chef Rolls Franchises pop up in Detroit and in metro areas all around Southeast Michigan and to secure an investor that believes in the sushi ghost kitchen concept. Suppose an owner of a restaurant wanted to add sushi to their menu. In that case, they could contact Jason at Prof Chef Rolls, and he would set up a comprehensive training program for them to successfully operate the sushi business. He would teach them marketing, bookkeeping, ordering inventory, how to facilitate curbside pickup orders and online ordering through digital platforms. With the online food delivery market expanding as more and more restaurants embrace technology, Prof Chef Rolls is a perfect answer for restaurants wanting to expand their product options.

Are you ready to try some great sushi?

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When interviewing sushi chefs, the true interview question is asking them to make sushi for you. Of course, then you have to eat it! Well, I can say from being not a huge sushi fan before I visited Coffee Beanery in Brighton, I am now a converted big fan! I ate so much sushi that day and even took some home for later. It was that good! My favorite kind is the Detroit Spicy (Spicy Crunch California) Roll. I could have eaten that all day long! If you are in Brighton, swing by the Coffee Beanery at the corner of old US-23 and Spencer Roads and try some of the Prof Chef Rolls. And if you haven’t tried sushi before, this is the place to go for your first foray into the sushi world! You won’t be disappointed!

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Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI
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