Meet Ken-kun, the smart and hard-working business boi who has taken Twitter by storm in Japan after he was filmed diligently serving one of his many customers at his very own sweet potato stall. Now, there are many dogs with jobs in the world; leading the blind, chasing down criminals and sniffing out drugs and explosive just to name a few. But it’s not often you’ll find one manning (dogging?) a food stall and greeting the customers.
The 3-year-old Shiba Inu works in Sapporo City on the island of Hokkaido and has it pretty easy, really. Customers have to simply choose the roasted sweet potato that they would like from the white box, and leave 100yen ($1 USD) as payment. Think of Ken-kun as a kind of store greeter.
When somebody approaches, Ken-kun pops up his sweet little face to say hello and make sure the transaction goes smoothly. That being said, it is a trust-based system, so he’s not gonna jump out and chase you if you don’t pay up.
The stall is covered in colorful and artistic signage, with one sign explaining: “Because I am a dog, I can’t give you change.” Tips are appreciated though, with all proceeds going toward extra treats for the canine customer care worker.
The roasted sweet potatoes are known as yaki imo, in Japan and are the ultimate winter street food. You will see these stalls popped up all over the place, much like we have roast chestnuts in Europe or the U.S. I think I’d prefer one of these to be honest!
The sweet potato is an extremely popular food in general and can be found served in a variety of ways, much like Bubba from Forest Gump with his shrimp. There are: sweet potato chips, sweet potato pastries, sweet potato cakes, sweet potato candies, sweet potato breads, sweet potato caramel corn, sweet potato KitKats…You could even try sweet potato ice cream!