TFB 032: How this Frenchman went from blog to bento box business

With Thomas Bertrand the founder of Bento&Co.

Our guest today is Thomas Bertrand the founder of Bento&Co – an online store specialising in bento boxes and accessories, based out of beautiful Kyoto, in Japan.

His story is the stuff you always hear about with online businesses and bloggers but you rarely meet anyone that it has happened to. Thomas is from France but was living in Japan and in 2005 set up a blog, back when very few people were blogging, and certainly very few Frenchmen were blogging in Japan! He built a huge following and turned the blog into an awesome business.

Thomas’ story has a really organic and authentic feel to it – well it should, that’s exactly what it is. He built an audience first, with compelling content – a blog about the unusual, or inspiring things he encountered in Japan. He then started selling to that audience.

Later he opened a shop so Bento&Co had a physical presence and then he started moving into wholesale and began opening up the international market to a whole range of Japanese products. It’s safe to say, he’s had phenomenal success.Now timing is everything here, and Thomas was always ahead of the curve, he was textbook perfect in when he set the blog up and when he started using Shopify to sell to his email list, but what is really fascinating to see is how the different elements of his story lent themselves perfectly to social media, and then TV and mainstream media.

Let’s listen to Thomas Bertrand – from blog, to bento boxes, to a booming business.

Find out more about Bento&Co here and on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

About Alistair Clay

Alistair is a former national journalist with 20 years’ experience working in the media and PR. He is the founder of UK healthcare agency Arc Seven Communications and a registered member of the PRCA.