Challenge Dairy Products Inc.

LAKE MOON COMPANY BUILDING

The Lake Moon Company Building has a business that has thrived in the same Chinatown location for over 100 years. Kogetsu-Do, a Japanese confectionery which specializes in Manju, ice cream mochi and snow cones, was opened by Sugimatsu Ikeda and his wife in 1915 on Kern Street. The business later moved to its present location in the once-thriving Nihonmachi District (Japanese town) on F Street.

 

The family operated the business and raised three children until 1942, when the Ikedas were forcibly removed and detained because of anti-Japanese sentiment during WWll. The Ikedas worked out a deal with a Chinese family where the Chinese family ran the shop while they were incarcerated in Jerome, Arkansas and Gila River, Arizona’s internment camps.

Two years later, son Roy and Masao Ikeda and their wives reopened the family business. The family recipes were passed down from generation to generation, with Lynn Ikeda, third generation mochi maker, taking over the family business when her father, Mas, became ill in the 1990s.

Lynn, a criminology major, surprised her family when she decided to step up and learn the business. Today, she continues to produce her grandfather’s secret recipes while introducing new flavors like fresh strawberry Manju and chocolate mochi.

ADDRESS

914 - 920 F St

Fresno, CA 93706

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MOCHI ICE CREAM

Mochi, also known as a “rice cake,” is a traditional Japanese snack made from mochigome, a short glutinous rice. Mochi is a sticky rice dough that can be traced back to the Kofun Period (250 - 538 AD). By itself, mochi tends to be flavorless but once it is mixed with sugar and anko (sweet red bean paste) it becomes a delicacy. The most popular time to eat mochi is during the Japanese New Year since it is believed its long and stretchy texture represents long life and wellbeing.

Lynn Ikeda wakes up five days a week to create her grandfather’s secret mochi recipes. Throughout the years, she has added her own creations to the menu, including fresh fruit mochis and dark chocolate mochi filled with almond or macadamia nut toffee. Today, Kogetsu-Do is the last remaining Manju-ya in the Central Valley providing traditional mochi for Japanese New Year's and special Manju for community celebrations.