What I thought to be a playhouse when I first saw it around 1997 turned out to be a bakery full of beautiful stories! I’ve passed by it many times to meet my Filipina friends and acquaintances but never had the chance to stop by. The roses around the small, yellow structure are very captivating and refreshing to look at. In 2010, I never thought I will live near it and even buy delicious bread almost every weekend after my private tutorial just a block away. One Saturday afternoon, I met a familiar couple, Pastor Makiko Arase & wife Yumi, going to the place. I learned from them that the owner’s daughter goes to their church. Great time then to know better the family-owned Pomu Bakery!

Whenever I buy at this bakery, I was given extra bread or cake. Then the daughter-staff talked to me and even followed me outside when I bid goodbye. Last year on May 31, my 2 students were just emotional in talking to me about this shop. I even blurted out like a sympathetic query if it got burned or there was an accident happened inside. I didn’t get the story right and we just proceeded to our target lesson for the day. A few days later, I went out to check the shop but it was closed. When I went to my private students’ house, I just learned that Pomu Bakery will not open anymore.

I checked Pastor Makiko Arase’s Facebook timeline and there I read what happened to the well-loved bakery. He wrote, “The mother decided to start a bakery business to create a working place for her two mentally challenged children. Then the father joined it after working for a bank for many years. The love of the parents has touched the hearts of many people. I appreciate your prayer for the family.”    I responded his post, “Sad to see Pomu Bakery closed on May 31 and it was first reported to me by my students. It’s very near my schoolhouse and whenever I buy bread there, the owner’s daughter talks to me and I’m given extra cake…My neighbors, students & I will surely miss their tasty bread and cake.”

Reposting a blog here to know more about this shop and the yummy bread and cake they baked and sold: https://megumiboxy.exblog.jp/26869139/

From the stories of my students, it was a big event on its last business day. Indeed, it’s an emotional closure of a shop that its purpose served well to the owners’ mentally-challenged children.  The family and their business were a real blessing to the community. This last blog for this month of February featuring Tachikawa City’s Landmarks is a simple tribute, recognition and expression of my appreciation & gratitude to Pomu Bakery.    

May the memory of this shop and the family behind it will inspire others to take care of people with disabilities (PWDs). Social entrepreneurship of this kind must be encouraged. It takes the whole community, the people in the city, to rally around equal opportunities, total acceptance, and holistic support without bias on physical condition, race, color, socio-economic status, educational background, nationality, etc. Oh, how I wish I can keep the shop’s area and maintain the structure like a light on the hill.

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.   Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14~16

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