He arrived in Fukuoka in 1990 and opened his first business by 1993! The now famous “Off Broadway” was followed by other less known business ventures of event production, import/export and countless others, making Luis a serial entrepreneur and a Fukuoka “lifer”
“But business is not my first love. I started with a volunteer group (Fukuoka International Friendship Society). We focused on solving problems of assimilation and acculturation that affect the foreign community in Fukuoka. We were well received, learned a lot and the group opened many doors for me that lead to establishing my company.” he told us.
Fast forward 30 years later, Luis has become one of the most well-known and respected members of the international community in Fukuoka. Luis thinks that some who look at his success from the outside may not see the hard work that went into it.
Many also may not know that it took him 15 years after starting his company to get approved for his business visa! Despite ups and downs, he says that his friends, team members and the amount of respect and positive reception he has received over the years keep him moving.
By pure chance, Luis inherited “Fukuoka StartUP”, a Fukuoka group that he renamed “Business Casual.” The support group meets every Tuesdays, 6PM, at Off Broadway in Tenjin.
While Luis also offers professional business consulting services, Tuesdays at 6PM is free advice! (Note: with one drink order, of course)
Luis cannot stand seeing opportunities not taken. So if you have a business idea and need advice, make sure to pitch it to him and the other members of the weekly meet-up!
A crowdfunding campaign was necessary to keep Off Broadway alive. “We are so grateful to our local supporters and our friends around the world for their sacrifice. Letting us know that Off Broadway is important to them keeps us going, keeps us innovating and re-inventing ourselves.”
“Staying positive is the key”.
“In our current times, people are willing to pay a little extra to get a desk and a plug.” says Luis.
The classic internet café is seeing a revival. Except that nowadays fast wi-fi and the internet is available almost everywhere.
In 2020 Luis re-branded his Bayside venue into Broadway Cafe, uniquely located, offering indoor & outdoor seating and portside view at Fukuoka Bayside Place.
Think Space offers inside seating, outside seating, self-service drinks, snacks, wi-fi and of course a place to plug in your laptop or tablet.
He thinks that Fukuoka still needs a lot of things, and those with an open mind have the chance to create and change.