Food & Drink

Kokoro–ing up a storm in Surbiton for Asian takeaway chain’s 10th anniversary

By Lauran O’Toole
May 22 2020, 16.25

Food chain Kokoro is a south west London success story.

Having opened its first branch in Kingston in 2010 the company has grown to have 28 stores across the country.

Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary it is obvious that the combination of hot food and sushi has been well received.

Founder Rak Park said: “We take pride in sourcing fresh ingredients, cooking on the premises every day, so that we can offer freshly cooked food to our customers.

“Back in the days before Kokoro, the easy takeaway options were limited to mainly sandwiches and fish & chips. I wanted to introduce good Asian food including sushi.” 

Kokoro started on the high street of Kingston with only five staff offering Asian style food at affordable prices. 

Kokoro which translates to ‘heart’, ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ now has more than 400 employees. 

The newest store will be in Surbiton due to requests from customers wanting a new shop in their neighbourhood. 

Mr Rak said: “Surbiton is a very good neighbourhood and we were getting lots of enquires so we have been looking for a place to open our shop in Surbiton for the past seven years with no luck. 

“It is closer to Kingston and many of our customers already know us and we are looking forward to its opening.”

However, like many companies Kokoro is suffering from the outbreak of the coronavirus heavily affecting sales, pushing back the opening of the Surbiton branch and operating business at a minimum level. 

Jinsun Kim, regional franchise consultant said: “How this lockdown and virus are going to affect us is still unknown but one thing is for certain that the majority of hospitality industries will suffer greatly. 

“We are not as big as companies such as McDonald’s but that is when you get lucky with loyal customers and can survive this major blow.”

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