Last Friday, I became overwhelmed with anxiety and could not maintain my focus. I began breaking down. I felt less than human. I was done.

Then I began to feel feverish, out of place and emotionally-spiraling out of control. I stopped believing. The dream was over.

Mentally, I have been emotional before but I’ve always remained strong. Thankful for my past, it takes a lot to be broken. A lot has happened.

Writing about this may not be the best thing, but I only write this so that future me can remember where we came from. I hope you are enjoying the future. Please share any good details in the comments.

The fever climbed to 101F. So I canceled the weekend and got tested for covid-19. Five days later I received a message saying “F SARS CoV 2 RNA NOT DETECTED”. Needless to say, I was relieved.

But the damage had already been done.

Weeks of declining sales and mounting pressures to continually pivot and reassess my business have finally taken its toll. For I am not alone nor young nor dumb. I know when it’s time to say stop.

I’ve gotten quite good at failure in recent years and making people sad. Yes it sucks. I’m sorry. I’m just not cut out for this anymore. I don’t want to be the best. Just better.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support. You have given me a reason to keep trying my best. But there is a lot more than just what we see here now–lost business, a failed sale, an inadvertent promise, a false hope. There is always a deeper meaning.

Retail ramen kits were an immense joy, full of stimulating challenges and creative hurdles. But they were not the soul-saving answer to my impending doom. They were a means to pass time and feed the hungry. With great sadness, I have decided to quit the retail ramen kit game. So for now, there will be no more. Once again, I thank you for being there for me. Once again, I truly am sorry.

Off to the future.

8 Replies to “Untitled”

  1. I found the Ramen Shack about 4 years ago while searching for a nearby spot to indulge in my ramen cravings. As heartwarming as the sunset red was, I found the atmosphere at your shop to be even more so.

    When the ramen kits were launched several months ago, it was full of nostalgia and brought back memories of my visits to your restaurant. I remembered fondly the time you let me try a new variety of noodles you were experimenting with, how happy I was that I had an opportunity to see behind the curtain and what you were focused on.

    As tough as the subject is of this post, I’m grateful you are once again sharing a bit of your world with us.

    None of us know what our worlds will look like after the pandemic is over. But I have no doubt that one day I’ll be able to enjoy another bowl of your ramen, chit-chat about the future, and create new memories. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Of course we’ll be sad at first, where else can I get such delicious shoyu ramen??? But in the long run, things will always work itself out. I believe things happen for a reason and although this chapter in your life has finished, I’m sure new opportunities will present itself! I’ve personally appreciated every kit you made and it’s been a life saver especially during these times. Chef, I wish you nothing but the best health, best success and great happiness in all your future endeavors. What’s Jeffrey gonna do now?!!!! 🤔 Take care of yourself and your loved ones, and keep that passion for ramen strong! Until then, we’ll all be waiting patiently!

  3. Hey now. I’ve been following you for some time. Even before you started making these ramen kits. Before you released the first one. This is nothing more than a trial and an obstacle. Like all obstacles in life, you will endure, you will overcome. Do not be sad, be happy for the experience you’ve gained. The happy faces, the oohs and ahhhs as people slurped away a Friday and Saturday night. Let the broth you make warm your heart and know that you will return stronger, better, and more determined. Let me know if I can be of any help in any way.

  4. Appreciate you having the courage to share this. Many people see failure as purely negative, but failure shows us our limits, helps us reassess our priorities, and gives us clarity. I wish you the best as you spend time with your family, and I hope you can live less stressfully for now. Your dedication to your craft has been immensely inspiring throughout this time.

  5. There is no shame in stopping and moving on, especially when it’s about something like work. Family and health always remain top priority! Keep your head up and stay healthy! We look forward to seeing what your future holds for you, and we’ll be cheering you on. Btw, your ramen kits brought great joy to our family which was so important during this weird time. Thank you!

  6. Chef Keizo—

    You emanate passion in everything that you do—even something about this post is incredibly uplifting.

    All I hope is that years, maybe months from now you can look back at this and smile. But tomorrow, smile nonetheless, because today you are strong, courageous, inspirational, and so incredibly genuine.

    Thank you for everything and good luck.

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