In 2013, I did a research project on a successful local ramen shop in Cambridge, MA (Yume Wo Katare).
At the time, it was relatively new, extremely small and not particularly well known. I wanted to understand why, despite these hurdles, it had successfully developed such a loyal, passionate fan base. To see for myself, I put on my "ethnographer-hat", interviewed their customers and ate a ton of noodles. Here's what I learned: