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Press Release

A New Team of Executive Leadership at St.Cousair

SCOO Parent Company Announces Plan for the Future

June 27, 2018

Iizuna, Nagano St.Cousair Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Iizuna, Nagano Prefecture) held its general shareholders' meeting on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018, in which a new team of executive personnel was decided. Ryozo Kuze resigned as President and CEO and was reassigned as Representative Director and Chairman. Ryota Kuze was elevated to the position of President and CEO, having previously served as Representative Director. Managing Director Naoki Kuze was also promoted to the position of Executive Vice-President.

Executive Directors

Name New Title Former Title
Ryozo Kuze Representative Dir.
& Chairman
President & CEO
Ryota Kuze President and CEO Representative Director
Naoki Kuze Executive Vice President Managing Director
Yasukazu Yamada Managing Director
(Director of Business Division)
(Director in Business Division)
Hidehito Kanda Director
(Director of SCM Division)
(Director of SCM Division)
Seiichi Kawahara Director
(Dir. of Administrative Dept.)
Manager of Internal Audit Office
Hideaki Imamura Outside Director Outside Director
Yoshihiro Yamamoto Outside Director Outside Director

Statutory Auditors

Name New Title Former Title
Sachie Yamaguchi Auditor Auditor
Masashi Akutsu
External Auditor External Auditor

Directors Junji Yamaoka and Motomi Shimodaira retired prior to the change decided by the Board of Directors. St.Cousair offers its deepest gratitude to Mr. Yamaoka and Mr. Shimodaira for their service to our company.

New President & CEO Biography

Name Ryota Kuze
Date of Birth March 15, 1977
Place of Birth Nagano, Japan
Education March 2002: Completed Major in Electrical Engineering at the University of Electro-Communications
March 2009: Completed Major in Innovation Management at Shinshu University Business School
Employment History April 2002 Joined Seiko Epson Corporation
March 2005 Resigned from Seiko Epson Corporation
April 2005 Joined Madarao Highland Farm Co., Ltd. (St.Cousair)
April 2006 Promoted Director of Management Support
July 2006 Promoted Director of Management Support and Corporate Planning
August 2008 Promoted Executive Director, Management Support Division
August 2011 Promoted Senior Managing Director
August 2012 Appointed Representative Director
June 2013 Appointed Representative Director of Madarao Highland Farm
May 2017 Appointed President of Madarao Highland Farm,
Appointed Director at St.Cousair,Inc.
January 2018 Resigned as Representative Director, Madarao Highland Farm
June 2018 Appointed President and CEO

New Executive Vice President Biography

Name Naoki Kuze
Date of Birth December 31, 1978
Place of Birth Nagano, Japan
Education 2004: Graduated University of California, Davis
Major in Viticulture and Enology
Employment History February 2004 Joined Madarao Highland Farm Co., Ltd. (St.Cousair)
April 2006 Promoted Director of Sanctuary Division
August 2008 Appointed Company Board of Directors
February 2010 Appointed President, Seikyo Commerce and Industry Co., Ltd.
December 2012 Resigned as President, Seikyo Commerce and Industry Co., Ltd.
August 2011 Promoted Managing Director of Sales at St.Cousair
April 2017 Promoted Executive Director at St.Cousair
April 2017 Established St.Cousair, Inc.,
Appointed President and Representative Director
June 2018 Assumed office as Executive Vice President at St.Cousair

Business Succession and Basic Policy from the Founder of St.Cousair

On June 27, 2018, we made one decision. We decided to go back to the basics of customers satisfaction by shifting away from a strategy centered on business growth - which emphasized the opening of new stores and introducing new products - and instead change to a strategy devoted to steadily refining and strengthening our classic products that our customers have loved for many years. We will commit ourselves to focusing on "Current Stores, Current Products and Current Customers." We will strive to maintain our status as a brand trusted by customers, with an eye on our customers' viewpoint and on the development of safe and secure products. Through this, we will seek to improve our brand power.

Looking back, when Mayumi (wife of St.Cousair founder Ryozo Kuze) made and served apple jam for customers having breakfast at the ski lodge we were operating, she had done so with the intent of creating something healthy for her family and for beginning a closer relationship with the customers. This marked the beginning of what became St.Cousair.

For over 40 years since then, we have been chasing a number of dreams, often uphill or on uneven ground, and facing numerous times of difficulty. But there was always a light shining in the distance, leading us to salvation. We still today hold on to these dreams, hoping to continue for another 40 years of developing brands, products and stores and working on new goods created by talented people.

Continuing for the next generation of our company under the leadership of the incoming President and CEO Ryota Kuze and the Executive Vice President Naoki Kuze, we will focus on the following measures:

"Returning to Our Roots" "Improving Our Brand Power" (excerpts)

  • We will continually refine our classic products with our product developers, raw material purchaser, store staff and throughout the company.
  • We will communicate our product development story to the sales floor, and from the sales floor to the customer
  • We will expand the development of Gift Items
  • We will strengthen our commercial wholesale sales
  • We will enhance our Online Store

From "Kuze Fuku & Co." in Japan to "KUZEFUKU & SONS" in the US;
From Retail to the Development of Business Wholesale

St.Cousair,Inc. (SCOO) has recently begun the development of a business wholesale model, using existing St.Cousair and Kuze Fuku & Co. products for wholesale in the USA.

In July 2018, SCOO launched a new brand, Kuze Fuku & Sons, along with a related production base and is currently developing a related sales base. The "Sons" in Kuze Fuku & Sons is, of course, in reference to the Kuze family siblings Ryota and Naoki, who are now carrying on the mantle of their family's company and the dreams that came with it. Already, Kuze Fuku & Sons' Banno Dashi Soup Broth has been adopted by a restaurant in the US, and delivery of the product will occur in mid-July. This Banno Dashi is a retail product from Kuze Fuku & Co., known as "the Japanese Gourmet Store" in Japan, and has been used in non-retail, business portions at the company's Kuze Fukudo cafeteria in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. This same product was introduced at food expositions in the US and will be provided to the restaurant in the US in mid-July. This product has a longstanding good reputation and is seen as having a promising potential.

Meanwhile, we are promoting the expansion of sales channels, not only with the Kuze Fuku & Sons brand, but also through OEM sales negotiations for SCOO company-owned products.

Having years of experience in retail manufacturing, with some exposure to wholesale as well, SCOO's new brand Kuze Fuku & Sons will present a new challenge, in which we devote our time and energy to promoting wholesale manufacturing in the USA.

What began in the 1970s with Ryota and Naoki’s mother making homemade jam for guests at the ski lodge they ran has since developed into the creation of the St.Cousair brand and the Kuze Fuku & Co. brand. Through all the difficulties and challenges, the sons have seen it all, and will continue their parents’ dream of providing safe, quality food to customers around the world.

History of St.Cousair Co.

1975 Pension KUZE ski lodge opens in Madarao Highlands, Niigata Prefecture
1979 While running the ski lodge, manufacture and sale of jams begins
1981 Pension KUZE closes and is sold
1982 Madarao Highland Farm Co., Ltd. established
1988 Head office, jam factory built in Iizuna Town (formerly Samizu Village)
1989 Restaurant St.Cousair opens. Grape cultivation for wine begins
1990 Winery, Shop and BBQ house built
1999 First directly operated St.Cousair store opens in Karuizawa
2005 Company name changed to St.Cousair Co., Ltd.
2013 Acquired St.Cousair Forest in Shinano Town,
First Kuze Fuku & Co. store opens in Chiba
2017 St.Cousair, Inc. established in the USA

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