Hey is all that mochi for me poster close up

Earlier this month, I was in charge of putting together a fundraiser for Laurel and Quill’s Japanese school.

I threw everything together in a week, and we really just had two weeks to sell.

The school already does a really successful mandarin orange fundraiser in the fall, and a tamale fundraiser in the late spring. What, tamales? Yep, not Japanese, but they make a really good fundraiser, and everyone loves them. This city is pretty multicultural.

I thought though that we should try selling some Japanese mochi and manju, as we have one local shop in the city that makes them fresh.

I love mochi poster close up

Quill is an incredible young artist. She spends a lot of time drawing and writing. She’s also incredibly shy, so I had to beg for permission to use some of her drawings to decorate a couple of posters for the fundraiser.

Luckily she has most of her drawings saved digitally, so I just pulled a couple of them out and gave them captions.

I thought this girl looked lovely, and seemed to match the dreamy spirit of Valentine’s day, which was near the pick up day. With all those flowers around her, it  just seemed like she might start plucking the petals off at any moment, and instead of saying, “He loves me, he loves me not,” she would be saying, “I love mochi, I love mochi not…”


Hey is all that mochi for me poster with order forms

This second drawing really cracks me up. We were in a time crunch, and this one was a little more difficult to come up with a headline that fit the theme and mood of the picture. It also already had the words, “Too Good To Be True” on the bottom.

With the ponytailed character extending a hand out, here are some of the sayings I initially thought of:  1) Ta Da… mochi!  2) Have some mochi!  3) More Mochi!    All epic fails….. I needed to take a break.

A few hours later “Hey, is all that Mochi for ME?!!” slid into my mind. It matched the happy prankster, and the characters all around him seemed to be scowling or laughing at him.  Also, for all the mochi to be for him would certainly be “Too Good To Be True.” It was approved by Laurel, Quill and the Blue Dinosaur, so it was a go!

Speaking of the Blue Dinosaur, I really have the thank him for his help. He had some rare time off from work, and I put him to work making my flyers for me.  He’s just so much better and faster at it than I am! 😀

I love mochi poster order forms

The peanut butter and chocolate filled mochi types seem to be the most popular, so we did 4-packs of some of those, some bite sized fruit flavored mochi, and a standard box of 1 dozen assorted filled mochi and manju.

Both mochi fundraiser posters with order forms

Of course each poster had to have order forms with their matching pictures. (Thanks, Blue D.)

I went to the dollar store and spent $5 for cardboard, metallic purple wrap, polka dot manila folders, and a couple of clear plastic envelope type holders, which I cut up.

Everything went together quickly with tape and staples. Found some stickers in the kids’ sticker drawer (which they have outgrown), and stuck a bunch of those babies on.

The goal was to make the posters eye catching, as  they were to be put on the school bulletin boards.

Assorted mochi and manju wrapped

Here’s what the dozen filled mochi and manju looked like.  They came in a cardboard pie box, which was wrapped in white paper, and tied with purple and red ribbon.

Each piece was individually wrapped to maintain freshness.

Assorted mochi and manju unwrapped

Here they are unwrapped. I love the Valentine ones! Those tops were made with clear and colored, sweetened kanten.

Mmmm….so soft and sweet.

Assorted mochi and manju, unwrapped, white background

Top row (left to right):  Green and White Fukashi Manju with Smooth Red Bean; Sakura Mochi (sakura leaf flecks) with Smooth Red Bean; Kuri Manju with Lima Bean (white bean); Yuzu Mochi with Lima Bean. 

Middle row (left to right):  Uiro Mochi (firmer texture) with Lima Bean; Yakibotan with Whole Red Beans; Strawberry Fukashi with Lima Bean; Coffee Manju with Lima Bean.

Bottom row (left to right):  Strawberry Mochi with Lima Bean; Yomoji (Mugwort) Mochi with Smooth Red Bean; Mochi with White Bean; Shiso Mochi with Smooth Red Bean.



Rainbow row of mochi
Filled mochi, in a vibrant rainbow of colors.

There’s nothing like fresh, soft mochi, still warm to the touch.

Plate of filled mochi with bowl of mochi bites in the center

The colors help to identify the fillings.

Laurel would say, “I’ll have one of each please!”

flavored mochi bites

Tender Raspberry, Lime and Strawberry mochi bites.

Little kids love these.

Smooth pb mochi cut in half, close up

Smooth, sticky peanut butter…my favorite.

Peanut butter chocolate mochi cut in half

Smooth peanut butter with chocolate chips…

Much, much better than a certain candy that starts with an “R”.

Chocolate lover's mochi

Chocolate Lover’s Mochi

Chocolate mochi with Chocolate Ganache anyone?

Quill’s favorite.

Strawberry jam peanut butter mochi, cut in half

A newer variation– Strawberry Jam and Smooth Peanut Butter… my favorite too!

Cut crunchy and smooth pb mochi with pink camellia

Green: Crunchy Peanut Butter;  Turquoise: Smooth Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter and Mochi…made for each other. <3

We did pretty well for this last minute, short fundraiser. Didn’t want to do it too close to Girl’s Day (March 3) , when the shop is at it’s busiest.

Next year we’ll be able to plan farther ahead and do a longer selling period.

Many thanks to Linda Nakatani, owner of  Osaka-Ya. Stop by sometime and be delighted!