Foundation of first-class architect office "Tetsuya Shimpo Atelier"

We chose the name "Atelier" because we wanted to design not only architecture, but also everything related to daily life.


Birth of waffle cake

From the perspective of architectural design, we wanted to create "low-cost, high quality" products that were relevant to daily life. Waffle was what came to mind, which our founder, Shimpo, used to enjoy on the streets of Europe when he was there. In Japan, waffles were not yet well known as a sweet, so we named the product "waffle cake."


Opening of the first store

On December 1st, we opened a waffle store in the second floor of an apartment in Mukonoso, Hanshin area. The name was "René Lalique." With its black box-like exterior, it was an unusual storefront for a sweets store. At that time in the confectionery industry, there were very few stores with the concept of "one item, many kinds (20 types)."


From René Lalique to R.L

With the opening of our store in Tokyo Ebisu Mitsukoshi, we changed our store name from "René Lalique" to "R.L." We wanted to promote the waffles to the world while keeping the "spirit of craftsmanship" we lerned from René Lalique, a glass craftsman. R.L reads "ale-el" in French, in reference to his birthplace.


The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

Following the earthquake, the store in Hanshin was half destroyed and the factory temporarily stopped production. We were shocked by the tragic situation around us, but we thought, "This is the time we should not look down!" And we continued to do what we could, offering free waffles at our stores and bringing them to evacuation facilities for the disaster victims. At this time, we realized once again the significance of our work to support people's lives. Waffles can bring smiles to their faces!

(Photo provided by Kobe City)


Started online sales

We began online sales at the dawn of Internet shopping. In 2002, we opened a store on Rakuten Ichiba, and two years later, we won the "Shop of the Year 2004" Sweets Category Grand Prize (first time) in the newly established Sweets Category within Rakuten Ichiba food category. The following year, we won the "Shop of the Year 2005" Grand Prize (Double Year Award) in the same category. Subsequently, we opened stores on Amazon in 2009 and on LINE Gift in 2016, continuing to expand our sales channels as the e-commerce market grows.


Birth of COROCORO waffles

While selling petit cream puffs and puddings in addition to waffle cakes, we realized that "our mission is to provide delicious waffles!" So we developed a new baked sweets, returning to our roots. That is the COROCORO waffles.


Development of refrigeration technology

In order to deliver our delicious waffles to the customers in the freshest condition, we begain improving the dough and cream, along with the development of quick freezing technology. We believe it will also help reduce food loss. Also, in the Great East Japan Earthquake that occured in the same year, we used our experience from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and sent a message of encouragement from Kobe to the affected areas in the form of COROCORO waffles, as something we could do right away.


Japanese waffles for the world!

We opened a store in GRANSTA Tokyo in Tokyo Station, the largest station in Japan. Also in the same year, we opened our first overseas store in Shanghai Takashimaya Department Store (China), realizing the first step in our global connection we had envisioned since the beginning.

In addition, in the April 2012 issue of our free paper, which we have been distributing since 2004, we started introducing photos of waffles served on vintage Scandinavian tableware. The relationship between the wood and ceramic cultures in Scandinavia and Japan has been very deep, and the vintage tableware created in Scandinavia over 50 years ago makes the "Japanese waffle" in our daily life more attractive.


From physical stores to online stores

Since 1991, R.L has operated more than 130 stores in various locations, focusing on face-to-face service. To realize a more advanced form of sales, we are also working to strengthen our web stores. With our product's shape suitable for delivery, we aim to deliver it to customers around the world in the fresh and delicious state by the improvement of quick-freezing technology.


The COVID-19 outbreak

Due to the spread of COVID-19 from 2019, people's actions were severely restricted. Despite the unseen fear and anxiety, we began to steer our course in the direction we need to go. As sales in real stores became increasingly difficult, we were quick to adjust to remote working and further enhance our online stores.


Celebrating our 30th Anniversary

We are moving forward in the tunnel toward a new future,
adjusting to a new lifestyle that has never existed before.

R.L has continued to open stores in various parts of the country
in response to changes, from "stores in town" to "department stores" to
"shopping centers" to "train station facilities." And by
enhancing our web stores, we feel much closer to our customers.

As we celebrate 30th anniversary, we will continue to deliver
the delicious "Japanese waffles" throughout Japan and the world.