Tsuji: It was around that time that I tasted your chocolates, so they were brand new! What made you decide to become a chocolatier?
Sano: My family has run a chocolate factory since my grandfather's time, but I worked in sales for three years after graduating from university, so I wasn't initially interested in the family business.
Tsuji: Oh, your parents' chocolate factory was started by your grandfather, not your father!
Sano: Yes, it was founded in 1942, 80 years ago.
Tsuji: I see, by your grandfather, that's amazing. That was long, long before I was born. He was a pioneer. So how did you decide to take over from your father?
Sano: When I first started working, I worked as a sales representative and was in contact with many customers of my grandparents' generation. During conversations, I talked about my parents who ran a bakery. One customer told me: "Before we got married, my husband and I used to go there as lovers"... Until then, my father was always very busy and we didn't spend much time together as a family, and I hardly remember him playing with me. I wondered what my father was protecting by working so hard. I didn't understand why he worked so hard and thought he could do otherwise. I was going through my teenage crisis. So I went to work elsewhere. But when I heard this story, I realised for the first time that the chocolate factory was a place of memories for some people. I understood the meaning of my father's and grandfather's persistence. And when the customer said to me, "If you don't take over, this shop will disappear, it's so sad. I challenged myself to keep the shop going until it was 100 years old.