Ivan Orkin’s journey began with a dishwashing job at a sushi bar when he was 15. After graduating, he moved to Japan and quickly cemented his love for everything Japanese. Ivan was anxious to start a food-related business in Japan, but was unsure of which direction to take. It was his wife’s suggestion that he open a ramen shop. This move seemed destined for failure, in a country where ramen enjoys a cult-like status. Not only did he succeed, but it also became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo — an unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner. In 2010, he opened a second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus. In 2012, Ivan returned to NY, hoping to open a business back home, while continuing to operate his two shops in Tokyo. His first venture in the US, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, opened at the Gotham West Market on 11th Avenue in November of 2013 to huge crowds and critical acclaim. Soon after this, he opened his US flagship, Ivan Ramen, at Clinton Street on New York’s Lower East Side. Slurp Shop, unfortunately, closed during the pandemic in 2020.