From Otaru with Love
When we first opened our store in June 1998, our goal was to show our interpretation of Western confectioneries for the people of Otaru. Our philosophy behind our products: ‘constant innovation on making our desserts taste even better’, along with unconditional support from our strong local community; it didn’t take long for us to be beloved by tourists from all across Japan. Soon our small town North of Sapporo became a hot spot for sweets for visitors whilst in Hokkaido. However, long before we were able to expand our franchise into different cities in Japan, and later into multiple countries in Asia (and now in Toronto), we faced a common problem for our customers travelling in and out of Otaru: they were not able to bring back LeTAO desserts for their families outside of Hokkaido!
Due to our original intention of creating our cakes and chocolates for daily consumption, we did not anticipate the importance of portability within our products; instead we focused on sourcing fresher local produce, dairies, and importing high quality Mascarpone cheese from Lombardy to make them tastier. We realised LeTAO now caters more than just to Otaru and its visitors, but owe a responsibility to the rest of Japan, and possibly even more in the future. So we had to make a change.
At that time, it was commonly thought that once a cake was frozen it would spoil after thawing. But thanks to our research team that spent 3 years in reviewing our recipe and developing a 3D freezing technology suitable for our goodies, LeTAO is now able to deliver desserts to customers that remain just as fresh as long as it’s frozen for 3 months, with guaranteed freshness of 1 day after it’s completely thawed. Include the addition of 12 hours thaw time, customers were now able to travel accordingly to bring Fromage Doubles for their families waiting at home.
Our 3D freezing technology is specialised to freeze our products as evenly as possible. While conventional freezers are blasting cold air in either one or two directions, ours is four directions while our desserts are spinning 360° on a rotating tray. This allows our cakes to freeze evenly, retaining ideal levels of moisture to ensure quality and correct texture. And even more incredible, this all happens in 3 seconds, resulting in our products tasting as fresh as possible once defrosted. The LeTAO staple Fromage Double, made of a layer of baked cheesecake with rich cheese flavor and a layer of unbaked cheesecake that is light and milky, is now delivered nationwide along with our other products.
Without support from our community as well as feedback from tourists and travelling customers alike, LeTAO would not have been constantly innovating its products or have grown into Japan’s most beloved confectionery brand. It is an exciting chapter in our company’s history, as we continue to develop our freezing technology so families in Canada are also able to enjoy the spectacle that LeTAO in Otaru has started in Japan.