Panetteria Ottimo Massimo
Panetteria Ottimo Massimo is a Italian bakery in Osaka, Japan. They specialize in traditional Italian recipes and custom-order breads. Their customized breads are based on customer specifications for special diets (like low-sodium) or food allergies.
Fillet helps Panetteria Ottimo Massimo to calculate nutrition and cost of their custom-made breads. Fillet’s automatic calculations help them to save time and effort, especially during customer consultations.
About Panetteria Ottimo Massimo
Please tell us, how did you get started as a baker?
Ever since I was in kindergarten, I was already saying, “I’m going to be a baker!”…Or so I’ve been told! Although I don’t remember what exactly inspired me to become a baker, I’d say my mom is my earliest inspiration. She was always making cakes and bread at home for friends and family.
One of my favourite memories is about my mom, her carrot bread and a little kid who did not like carrots. My mom had given some of carrot bread to her friend’s child for a snack. He tried it, was surprised, and announced, “I can eat carrots for the first time!” Later, my mom happily told me that she got an appreciative phone call from this child’s parents who called her to share this lovely story and thank her for the carrot bread.
Your work has a special certification for Italian restaurant quality from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, called the "Adesivo di Qualità Italiana". What made you decide to use traditional Italian recipes and to spread Italian culture?
In Japan, for some reason, Italian bread is often perceived as bland and lacking salt. Also, "panettone", a traditional fermented confectionery, is not well known. I’m ashamed that I didn’t know about it either until I went to Italy. And I remember how shocked I was when I actually tasted it!
To say that I’m spreading tradition and culture may sound like an exaggeration. I simply want to share delicious food.Learn more
Why did you decide to go to Italy to train in bread-making?
Italian food is delicious, and yet when it comes to bread, people usually think of France. Even teachers at technical culinary schools whom I spoke to will say that “bread is French! Or German!" So I did some research myself and I learned that Italy has the largest variety of bread in the world. I knew that I had to go to Italy and try it for myself. When I finally tried Italian bread, it was so good that I wanted to make it! And that’s what moved me to start training.
What is the story behind your shop’s name, and especially the black cat that inspired it?
It’s actually the name of my friend’s cat in Italy. I was chatting with my friend about what I should name my bakery, and their cat pounced on my lap! And so I thought, “I’ll name it after you!” In fact, their cat was named after the dog in “Il barone rampante”, the masterpiece by famed Italian novelist Italo Calvino. So when Italian people discover the backstory of my bakery’s name, they always ask, “Ah! That! But wasn’t it a dog?”
What do you pay special attention to when making your bread?
The dough has to be in the best possible condition. When you have multiple people working on it, it’s best to work based on specific times. Fortunately, I work alone, so I don’t need to move on to the next step simply because "the time has come". I move my process along only when the dough is in ideal condition.
Which of your menu items would you recommend the most?
It’s only available for four months a year, but it’s panettone! If you haven’t had it before, I’d love for you to try it!
Daily operations and future plans
How do you choose suppliers for your ingredients?
First I research different wholesalers, local stores and shops I find on the internet. Then I decide on the ingredients that are safe and secure. I try the ingredients myself to test if they taste good, whether I myself want to eat it, and most importantly, whether they’re good enough for me to share. Sometimes, because of ingredient quality, a product costs more…and some people get upset because it’s too expensive!
What is your daily schedule like?
I do preparations from early morning until late at night!
What is the most difficult part of your work?
It’s better now because the number of regular customers are increasing, but still, some people say to me, “Close your store!”, “Women can’t do this!”, “You’re just doing it for fun anyway.”, “You don’t know what you’re doing.” (I get a lot of dirty smears towards women that I can’t even write here.)
What is the happiest part of your work?
With a single word from my customers, “Delicious!”, I feel that all my hard work preparing the bread has paid off. It’s always a rewarding feeling.
This is especially true when I make customized, special-order breads: unsalted bread for people on a low-sodium diet, bread for people with allergies to milk, eggs, etc. When I receive appreciation from customers who come all the way to my store from far away, or customers’ families visit and say thank you, it makes me feel really happy and glad that I’m doing what I do.
What are some daily challenges of operating your business?
I work alone, so I have to manage and maintain my health. Also, getting enough rest when I need
Another challenge is developing new menus and giving advice to my customers. I want to create a relationship with my customers so that they can easily ask me for guidance.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
The number of things I want to do is increasing day by day, but I am currently looking to relocate to a new place. So, I’d say, the first thing I want to work on is expansion. I aim to create an environment that makes it easier for me to receive client consultations and inquiries. Also to systematize office work.
How Panetteria Ottimo Massimo uses Fillet
What is your favorite Fiilet feature and why?
The Nutrition feature! The ability to enter the nutritional content of each Ingredient. I needed to remake my Nutrition Facts labels because of new mandates, so this feature helped me so much!
Which Fiilet feature do you use the most and why?
The Menu feature. I often make fully customized breads, so the Menu feature is really useful during customer consultations. I can check costs and quote customers a price on the spot.
How has Fiilet improved your business operations?
I’ve definitely saved a lot of time! Compared to when I had to open Excel on my computer every single time that I needed to calculate costs.
Fillet is necessary for me because it makes it possible for me to compare ingredients in terms of Nutrition and Costs, which I do in every customer consultation about custom orders, and also with wholesalers.
Special thanks to Panetteria Ottimo Massimo and their founder, Ms. Yoshimura, for doing this interview with us.