Father's Day is June 16

It's been over six months now since Yoko and I started our shop in Oakland, and we'd love a motivated team member to join us! We're ready for a star intern to help us grow and be a part of the inner-workings of Umami Mart. FUN! Here's the description below -- please forward to anyone who may be interested!


Umami Mart, an international food and drink blog, shop and Japanese barware importer, seeks a marketing intern to assist in overseeing the online shop. This position will be an unpaid part-time internship, with potential for part-time hire. Yoko and Kayoko will work closely with the intern, who should have a keen interest in learning about e-commerce; and with a passion for photography, writing, food and design.

Responsibilities include:
- Photographing all new products, including glass, ceramic and stainless steel
- Writing descriptions for new products
- Manage Facebook / Twitter / Instagram for new products and campaigns
- Communicating with online customers about their orders
- Oversee packing and shipping orders
- Help brainstorm marketing campaigns for the online shop and execute them
- Ordering products for the shop
- Oversee the email list

- Expertise in photographing and lighting, color correction skills and experience a must
- Comprehensive expertise with Photoshop and Illustrator
- Knowledge of graphic design would be awesome!
- Access to digital camera and laptop preferred
- Would love if you lived in the East Bay
- A positive attitude and good sense of humor!

We’re looking for a dynamic self-starter to join our team -- someone who is ambitious, motivated and enthusiastic. We hope that this person is an avid reader of the blog and have attended our events. Because this is an unpaid position (but we will cover your BART fare!), it is important that our interns are truly interested in Umami Mart, while pursuing their own interests on the job.

Email shop@umamimart.com with your resume and a short blurb about yourself and what you hope to accomplish with us. Cheers!


  • Yes! I want to be an umamimart intern. Does it mean I get to drink sake all day and look through catalogs of cool stuff? Occasionally gift wrap a precious tea cup and dust the ice cube trays?

    I can only work Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Peko Peko bento distribution time. So like noon to 12:30.

    A few questions about the position:
    1. Do I get a free cute apron?
    2. Will I get to go on a buying trip to Japan?
    3. Does a buying trip to Japan count as vacation time?
    4. Will you teach me to speak Japanese (I think it will really help you guys if I learned)

    Please feel free to call me for an interview and I would be happy to provide references.

    Love, Allison Hopelain

    allison on

  • @Nicole,

    After reading your link, it is clear that we are doing everything legally. We hope that our interns learn about running a small business like ours and acquire skills that will be beneficial to their future career paths.

    Have you ever interned? I have, and so has Yoko. It is an invaluable opportunity to get your foot in the door to a company, and learn about an industry that you might be interested in persuing as a career.

    When I was an intern at an art magazine right out of college, I was ecstatic. It was impossible to find a paid position in the arts without any work experience. I never once thought, “I should be getting paid for this,” while I was interning. My mentors were taking the time to teach me valuable tools I needed to build my resume and I was thankful. Eventually it paid off, as I ended up getting a full-time position there.

    We hope that this internship position at Umami Mart is beneficial for someone who is interested in a business like ours. Having an intern is a luxury, and as your #4 states, we are “deriv(ing) no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.” We are grateful to anyone who would be interested in interning with us, and we hope to share our knowledge with him/her and vice versa.

    Kayoko on

  • Love you site but this is a job description for what should be a PAID position! I’m tired of everyone and their cousin milking free labor out of naive/enthusiastic/desperate young people.

    It is also illegal. See #4 of the following:


    Just thought you should know..

    Nicole on

  • @Allison You are our ideal intern. Start this Tuesday?

    Kayoko on

  • Check out this post that is much more eloquent about the topic than my 3 AM musings.


    thanks again.

    Nicole on

  • I understand your position that interning and volunteering can eventually lead to paid work. I just thought that your description was laughable and asking too much for no pay. I had also recently had a conversation with an artist friend about how no one wants to pay for ANYTHING anymore and as a result only those with privilege are able to accept certain opportunities because they are the only ones who can afford to work for free. So I got a bee in my bonnet and wrote my comment.
    That said, I actually never had the opportunity to intern because I always needed to be getting paid to survive! I come from a working class family so I never had the luxury of a financial cushion that would enable me to spend my time working for free even if it might lead to a job. I had to eat, pay rent, take care of family, pay for school and more all on my own. I was, however, able to get an entry level job at the coolest record label in Seattle back in the day, and work my way up the ladder. I’m probably much older than your clientele (and actually have no interest in the position — sorry for wasting your time, and mine! egads!). I guess I just come from an era when there was such a thing as paid entry level work, and those days are sadly over. It also saddens me to see this generation chip away at the labor gains of the past and show the same lack of respect for those at the bottom as any old multi-national corporation. (I digress..) Try to at least provide a little stipend because there might be some talented kid out there who is eager to learn but just can’t afford to work for free. Thanks for responding.

    Nicole on

  • wow, wish this is in new york :P

    Chuck on

  • Hi Kayoko,

    I just wanted to thank you for the civil discourse. I usually try to stay away from the comments (have you ever read the comments on SFgate? Really scary and nutty to put it mildly). However, your thoughtful responses have given me great respect for both you and your business.

    I hope you find someone soon, and if I think of anyone I’ll send them your way.

    All the best,

    Nicole on

  • @Nicole,
    Are internships for the privileged? I am not sure. During my internship at the art magazine, I had a full time job as an office assistant at an architecture firm. But I obviously had higher ambitions than just being an administrator, and I wanted to pursue the arts. I was willing to take time to work for free in order to get my foot in the door in the art world. It paid off for me as that internship led to many museum jobs throughout NYC.

    I agree that in many instances people do not want to pay for things, and I get just as upset with you about it. It is more apparent than ever for me as a small business owner that goods and services must be paid for in order to keep the business running well.

    That said, I think internships are valuable for those who want to learn a thing or two in their desired industries. We do provide transportation costs and hope to be able to pay a part time wage at some point.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Kayoko on

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