March 9, 2017

McDonald’s. Starbucks. Coke. How EPE shares the same winning strategy.


It all starts with one single location. There was a first McDonald’s in Los Angeles, a first Starbucks in Seattle, and the very first Coke was served in Atlanta, Georgia.


1st McDonalds
In 1937 Richard and Maurice (Dick and Mac) McDonald opened their first restaurant in Arcadia, Ca and called it the Airdrome in 1937. This is in 1954 when Ray A. Kroc signed a deal with McDonald brothers to become their franchising agent and opened his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois.


In 1886, Dr. John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist and inventor of patent medicines, sold the first Coca-Cola at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.


In 1971, Starbucks opens first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.


They all started with basically one product, supporting local customers and needs. Then they all expanded into new regions and countries where hamburgers, coffee, and soda were not just the norm, but in some cases, completely counter cultured to the people who lived there.  Yet all three companies grew within a few decades to span the globe and spread a locally made product and its appeal to every country and society in the world.


The key as I see it, is simple.  All three companies sold the exact same high quality product, in the exact same environments as they did when they first started, yet simultaneously, all three companies also adapted to every new country and market they entered. They expanded into new countries and cultures, but kept the same look, feel, support, and great products as the day they started in local United States communities.  All three companies learned how to blend their products into the local culture’s needs, and wants.


From the iconic golden arches of a McDonalds that tells people all over the world what to expect when entering the store (where by the way you can now buy a Coke in more that fifty flavors), to the exact same mermaid logo’d Starbucks cup held in the hand of millions every morning, people identify their past good experiences with these products and immediately feel comfortable buying them anywhere they are in the world.


McDonalds Sweden
McDonald’s in Sweden
McDonald's in China
McDonald’s in China
McDonalds Japan 2
McDonald’s in Japan


EPE’s first location is in Tokyo, Japan. It is a small, single story building behind an old warehouse south of downtown. In 1973, Yamashiro san started producing the first EPE products there, with a focus on exacting designs and high quality materials.  From that single Tokyo location, since then, EPE has expanded to over sixty locations in seventeen countries in the span of forty-four years.


Most importantly, just like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Coke, all EPE sites have one thing in common – the exact same products, service, and support as we offered at our very first location on the first day we opened.  


EPE also has embraced the local cultures and communities that we have expanded into.  Along the way we have been introduced to great people, learned new ideas that made us better, and adapted our products to fit the needs of the local business needs.