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Nearly 100 people attended the soft opening of Sangkaya’s first store in Japan in western Tokyo’s popular Kichijoji district on June 20 before it officially opened the next day. The Malaysian brand of coconut-based sweets and more was launched in 2014 by Mike Mok, with the goal of “Making Healthy Eating Pleasurable.” The company’s signature product is its coconut gelato. Made from milk and water extracted from carefully selected coconuts, with no extra coconut oil added, the resulting frozen dessert is vegan, preservative-free and can also be enjoyed by people with lactose intolerance. Most importantly, though, the gelato is absolutely packed with flavor despite its very simple ingredients. One taste of it and you will understand why the coconut is often called a super fruit.Sangkaya also offers flavor variations on its original coconut gelato, including gula melaka palm sugar, Iriomote Island brown sugar and Alphonso mango, as well as nongelato treats like coconut shakes and tea from BOH Plantations.

Although Sangkaya products are also available in other Japanese cafes, their specialty Tokyo outlet has a chance to become Japan’s go-to destination for all things authentically Malaysian. This marks another step on the road toward increased trade between Japan and Malaysia. According to Niqman Rafaee Mohd Sahar, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp.’s trade commissioner in Tokyo, Malaysian exports to Japan grew by 19.4% between January and May. With Sangkaya’s presence in Tokyo, those numbers can only go up.

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