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mochiicecreamfounder.jpegFrances Hashimoto, "one of Little Tokyo's most influential business leaders" and founder of mochi ice cream, passed away last Sunday from lung cancer at age 69, reports the LA Times. Hashimoto expanded Mikawaya — her family-run business of Japanese pastry shops — around LA and it was here that she eventually launched her now ubiquitous Japanese dessert, rice cake and ice cream or mochi ice cream. [EaterWire] photo

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