Alphagel pioneer Taica opens Marugame Udon noodle franchise shop in Phnom Penh

The Japanese noodle restaurant “MARUGAME UDON Toul Tompong Branch” is opened by Taica Corp. in Phnom Penh on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Taica )

TOKYO, NNA - Japanese industrial material maker Taica Corp. has opened a franchised Marugame Udon noodle shop in Phnom Penh, expanding its business into the restaurant sector in Cambodia, which is growing as a consumer market driven by its steady economic growth.

The 86-seat restaurant, named the MARUGAME UDON Toul Tompong Branch, was opened on Friday in the Cambodian capital’s central district of Cham Karmon with a shop area of about 180 square meters. Taica also plans to operate more Marugame noodle shops in Cambodia in the coming years.

It is operated by Taica’s wholly owned Cambodian subsidiary, Taica Fine Dining (Cambodia) Co., which was founded in November 2018 with a capital of $2 million.

In order to launch the new shop, Taica has signed a franchise contract with the Cambodian unit of Toridoll Holdings Corp., which operates Marugame noodle shops in Japan and abroad. The subsidiary, Toridoll (Cambodia) Co., opened its first Marugame noodle shop in Cambodia in 2015 and the second last year. The franchised shop will be the third Marugame noodle establishment in the Southeast Asian country.

Taica, which manufactures and markets materials for shock absorbers and vibration dampers, moved into Cambodia in 2012, setting up a plant for production of its main shock-absorbing material, “αGEL (Alpha GEL),” in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, Taica spokesman Shun Yamashita told NNA in an email.

“We used to position Cambodia as a mere production base. But we thought it necessary to reconsider the country as a market for businesses using local products for local consumption,” the official said. “We have decided to move into the restaurant business among others because it is expected to generate needs almost perpetually.”

According to Yamashita, the noodle shop will use locally sourced food ingredients as well as Marugame’s original materials in an effort to help invigorate the local economy. Taica’s Cambodian subsidiary also plans to help Japanese food and restaurant franchisers to establish footholds in the country in the future.

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