Lotao started with a wonderful adventure: After many busy years as a tourism manager weighed down with responsibilities, I set off for Asia to clear my head for some fresh thinking.
In the Mekong delta in Vietnam my heart took flight as my eye gazed over the endless expanses of rice paddies. At once I grasped the value, unknown in Europe, of this wonderful plant. Later that evening I met a woman who showed me a rice field shimmering in luminescent green. I was struck by the pride and tangible passion that this woman invested in her arduous labor in the rice fields.
Over the following weeks I had more and more encounters of the same kind in the course of my travels. People revealed the secrets of the different varieties of rice that they prepared for me, and shared their knowledge of the plant. Interest grew into fascination, and fascination into enthusiasm. I extended my knowledge to become a “risolier”, a rice expert. Out of my search for forgotten rice varieties and methods of preparation developed my passion: Lotao.
With the establishment of Lotao a new journey began, a journey that continues to be marked by curiosity and enthusiasm in tracking down hidden culinary treasures. In conversations with producers and co-operatives the “tree of life”, the coconut palm, came up time and again. As with rice, countless foods—for many the staff of life—are created from the coconut.
In the “Coconut Triangle”, which extends from Sri Lanka to Indonesia and the Philippines, I found what I was looking for. And so Lotao now also offers coconut blossom sugar, coconut oil, coconut puree, and a very special gourmet delicacy: kaya. This cream is a favorite throughout Southeast Asia but until now has hardly been known in the West.
From its beginnings in 2009 as a one-man startup, Lotao has developed into a young and dynamic company whose future is in the hands of an enthusiastic team. Together with our partners—producers, retailers throughout Europe, and our suppliers— and by investing our energy and devotion we want to make our vision a reality: to pass on knowledge of distinctive and surprising, forgotten and unappreciated foods to people who appreciate the exceptional.
We invite you to accompany us on our journey. The Lotao team’s travel trunks contain extraordinary tales, very special products, and the confidence that they will stimulate joy in culinary experiment. You will discover that Lotao is not part of a multinational concern, but a dedicated team of food enthusiasts that gains satisfaction in offering high-quality, responsibly produced foods.
CEO and Founder, Lotao