ingredients magazine
japan sage market
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japan sage market

The best gifts come in small packages, and that is certainly true about this historical Utah business on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City. Tucked neatly inside of a converted gas station, the small store packs a huge inventory of purely Japanese fares. Unique in the fact that it only carries Japanese goods, Japan Sage Market stands out amongst the numerous Asian markets in the city.

Owned and operated by Miyuki Cawley, Japan Sage originally started out over 100 years ago in the old Japantown. Cawley bought the store from Carl Tohinaka, who bought the store from his parents in 1982. Carl’s father worked at the original Japan Sage Market in Japantown from 1943 until he bought it from the previous owner in the 1960s. The Tohinakas and their store were forced out of Japantown by the Salt Palace in 1973 along with most of the other Japanese businesses in that area. Uprooted yet determined, the Tohinakas moved the Market to its current location, 1515 S. Main Street.

Miyuki came to Salt Lake directly from Okinawa, Japan with her late husband, Marine Staff Sargent James Cawley. Sgt. Cawley was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and became the first Utah marine killed in combat operations. Finding herself a widow and in an unfamiliar land, Miyuki opted to remain in Salt Lake for the sake of her children. After studying accounting and working as a personal assistant to Yoshiko Tada, owner of Kyoto Restaurant, her sister-in-law convinced Miyuki to buy the Japan Sage Market in 2005.

Miyuki was ready for the challenge, and Carl quickly realized that she is perfect to run the century old market.

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