Jonathan Cloutier, Lao Kombucha, Canada
Q: When did you first discover kombucha?
A: When I first drank kombucha, I wasn’t even aware that it was kombucha. Back in 2015, I was working as a plumber, and while changing a bath, my client offered me a bottle. We were talking about tea, and he told me that this was a fermented tea beverage.
Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?
A: In 2016, I was eager to start a company for some years and one sunny day of March, a friend and I were sitting on my balcony, I was talking about tea and he was talking about fermentation. Our passion brought us to an obvious topic, kombucha. So we started looking around to find what was on the market and as a «tea geek» I was shocked at how the kombucha companies were dismissing the most important ingredient in their product: the tea. So, we decided to start on this entrepreneurial journey of brewing high quality kombucha that flirts with the world of sommellerie by putting impressive and delicious tea at the forefront of our products.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha?
A: My favorite kombucha is more of a flavor type than a specific one. I really do like rustic flavors. The one that reminds us of the forest, the earth and the wood.
Q: What is your former/current other life or career?
A: Back in the days, my dream was to be a firefighter but as I’m totally deaf on the left side and partially on the right, I don’t have any sense of sound direction. So I end up being a plumber instead. I’ve been working in this field for 9 years before quitting everything to start LAO.
Q: What is a saying that you live by?
A: He who stands on tiptoe doesn’t stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far. – Lao Tzeu, Tao Te Ching