If you’re curious about the manufacturing process behind the popular Japanese treat, then you’re not alone. Millions of people enjoy the delicious snack, but how does it get from bakery to consumer? Here’s a look at one factory’s manufacturing process. It all starts when the cookie is baked and placed on a baking plate. After baking, the cookie is transferred to a receiving area where a mechanical arm grabs the cookie and transfers it to a paper strip dispenser. Then, the strips of paper are sucked onto the cookie using a vacuum. After that, the cookies are pushed to two mechanical fingers that bend and fold the cookie into a half-moon shape.
In Oakland, California, Alicia Wong runs a fortune cookie factory and store with her mother. She is involved in every aspect of the business and is ambitious and creative. The factory employs several people and has increased production hours during Lunar New Year to meet demand. This is not the only specialty cookie Alicia manufactures. The factory also offers custom cookie orders. It is able to create special cookies for birthdays, corporate events, and even X-rated cookies.
After graduating from college, Alicia went to work at the factory as a factory hand, decorating fortune cookies. Her mother worried about the backlash that would come from showing off the cookies in public. Ms. Wong didn’t like attention and didn’t want people to make judgments about her, which might turn off her parents. However, she decided to stay on and continue the business, and her business has exploded.
Alicia Wong grew up in Piedmont, California, and is a UCLA graduate. She is a wife and mother of three. Alicia spent her summers in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, where she worked for her mother’s Fortune Cookie Factory. Now, she co-owns the Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory with her mother. The two women use the factory to promote Asian culture and break down stereotypes about Asians.
In California, the fortune cookie has been a staple of the San Francisco tea scene for over a century. The cookie is named for a Japanese immigrant who opened a tea garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park around 1900. He was fired by the city’s anti-Japanese mayor, but was reinstated by the next mayor. Hagiwara says that he was inspired by a Japanese fortune cookie called a Tsujiura Senbei, which dates back to the 19th century.
The San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden has a rich history. In 1906, a Japanese immigrant named Suyeichi Okamura started a store in San Francisco called Benkyodo and supplied the Japanese Tea Garden. Makoto Hagiwara began baking fortune cookies in 1904 with the help of a young Japanese lady named Susi Hashimoto.
The original Japanese immigrant Makoto Hagiwara created the fortune cookie after designing a tea garden in San Francisco. The Japanese were known to call fortune cookies “fortune tea cakes” until World War II, when Chinese immigrants stepped into the country and turned the cookies into desserts for American consumers. The history of the fortune cookie goes back a lot further, but the name “fortune cookie” has remained popular for decades.
In the mid-19th century, Japanese confectioners began producing fortune cookies for the Japanese tea gardens in California’s Golden Gate Park. Makoto Hagiwara, the owner of the Japanese Tea Garden, purchased the cookies and engraved his initials on them. Up until World War II, fortune cookies were known as “fortune tea cakes” and were mainly consumed in Japan. However, many people believe that Chinese immigrants took over the business when the Japanese were interned. Eventually, they were made into a popular dessert for the American population.
In 1906, the Benkyodo bakery in San Francisco first produced the fortune cookie. Later, the owner started selling the cookies to Chinese restaurants in the United States. It wasn’t until fifty years later that the fortune cookie would become a household name in the U.S. Suyeichi Okamura’s fortune cookie business would expand to California. In fact, the company’s fortune cookies were sold to Chinese restaurants across the country, but the Japanese food wouldn’t become as popular until the early 1990s.
A famous café in Tokyo also sells fortune cookies. While the American fortune cookies are widely known, Japanese bakers are aware of their roots. Hagiwara brought Japanese technology to the United States. Many English-language articles about the Benkyodo fortune cookie have mentioned the Japanese company. Gary Ono, an American writer, visited the Souhonke Inariya factory in 2017 and reported on the history of fortune cookies in Japan.