Our Story

After closing our restaurant of 17 years, we decided to have a space where we can share our passion for food and products we love.  Many of our food ideas come from the time we ran tanpopo restaurant but many are inspired by our everyday life as well as from our visits to north woods and overseas.  

We believe in sustainability and preserving our heritage as much as we can in our busy urban lives.  We love making things from scratch, crafting products using local wood and making traditional food using local and good quality ingredients and to share them with you.  

We wish that this site will guide you to work with more fresh and good quality local products and to have more cooking/crafting time with your friends and families.  

Happy living!!

Koshiki Yonemura Smith

I was born and raised in a small island off Kagoshima, Japan by Norwegian-American mother and a Japanese father who practiced self-sufficient lifestyle.  After moving back to US and graduating from University of Minnesota, I decided what Twin Cities needs is a neighborhood Japanese noodle shop.  In Spring of 2000, together with Benjamin Smith, we opened Tanpopo Noodle Shop. 

I love teaching and have taught many Japanese cooking classes at local cooking school, sushi workshops at Tanpopo kitchen and provided consultation work a new Japanese restaurant at the Minneapolis International Airport. I am always interested in working with creative people and small businesses.  To work with me and my husband, click here.  

I live in St. Paul, Minnesota with my husband, two young boys, three chickens and our dog, Buttercup.



Benjamin Smith

I'm from Minnesota. 

I spent a period of time skiing and studying engineering in Colorado and then traveling. 

When we opened Tanpopo Noodle Shop, it was mostly in diy undertaking. We did much of the architectural design, remodeling, woodworking, and of course the food ourselves. Despite, a lack of culinary training, I have about 17 years of trial-by-fire cooking experience and took on the ramen, kimchi, pickle and dessert making roles at Tanpopo. I love small businesses and believe they are the fabric and character of the places we live.

I hold a high regard for nature, farmers, crafters and makers of the world.