By Kate V., 5th grade

Have any of you Edison students tried Ume? Well, if you are regretting the fact that you have not had Ume yet, you unfortunately cannot order bento boxes anymore because the 4j district has a contract with Sodexo, the food supplier. The contract said they were not allowed to let other companies /people cater to the 4j district.

However, it’s not as bad as you think. Ume will be serving shaved ice and their Japanese cuisine at Amazon Pool this summer! I interviewed Mama Ume (a.k.a. Helen) about Ume in general.

The last week they delivered Ume, I arrived in the office with a paper and a pencil. On the table, there were piles of bento boxes and a box full of paper bags. Inside each bag is a napkin, a fork (duh..), some nori and some candy. Mama Ume gave me a chicken bento box as people streamed in. That day, more than a third of the school ordered Ume and I had to wait until everyone went until I started the interview.

First, I asked Helen, “So, how did you get the inspiration for Ume’s name?” She told me that at first, she and her business partner Ray thought Ume was like “you and me”. In Japanese, it also means “plum” or “prosperity in all”. I asked her other questions, including things like who was in the company (Ray and Josh, the only deliveryman), where they got their ingredients (a combination of the Sunrise Asian Market, beef from Painted Hills and Co. and tofu from Portland) and what they will do this summer at Amazon Pool. I learned that they will be serving their food and shaved ice (which I have mentioned) and they have closed their food cart.
However, at the time we did not know that this was the last delivery of Ume, so I was sure that I would see Helen again soon. Unfortunately, they are not catering to our school (as I said) but they will be at Amazon (as I said)!