The beginning of Lao Kombucha goes all the way back to 2013, when Jonathan flew to China for a period of nine months. His goal: intensive training in a martial arts school. After a few weeks of intense physical stress, his body finally begins to get used to this new rhythm of life and he ultimately decides to take a little break and visit the surrounding area. In the small town of Muping, he discovers an ancestral Tea House. Back in Quebec, Jonathan used to consume tea as a go-to drink everyday, but without really paying attention to it. Thus, while talking with the owner of the tea house, Zhang Wei, he learned a lot about the subject: all the tea families, the terroirs, as well as tea production and consumption techniques.

Jonathan Cloutier co-fonder Lao Kombucha
Tea Ceremony, Camellia Sinensis, traditional Chinese tea

Since then, Jonathan went to see his friend Zhang Wei every weekend until he left and a new ritual had just taken shape in his life. So he becomes fascinated by the way Chinese drink theses little leaves. During the ceremony, everything plays a very important role on the final result: the temperature of the water, the quantity of leaves, and even the container in which the tea is infused. Throughout each infusion, the tea is transformed and reveals different flavors. A new passion for Jonathan’s was born during this time.

Upon his return to Quebec, Jonathan shares his new knowledge of ancestral Chinese tea traditions with Vincent, who is passionate about fermentation and had already won several amateur brewery competitions in Quebec.
This is how Lao Kombucha takes shape in 2016 and sells its first bottle in April 2017.
It’s only after several months of preparation, research and development and installation of the brewery in Charlesbourg, Quebec City that Lao Kombucha finally sells its very first bottle in April 2017.

Jonathan Cloutier co-fonder of Lao Kombucha Quebec
Propriétaire Lao Kombucha
Propriétaire Lao Kombucha


Less than a year after the start of LAO, the rapid growth of the company led Vincent and Jonathan to wear more hats than was humanly possible. Kim and Philippe, who had already been involved with the distribution and representation in the Montreal area from the very beginning, officially joined the two entrepreneurs as partners in October 2017.

Creative and passionate, Kim is an assumed yogi. She loves everything about personal development, spirituality and past lives. For her, meditation is a source of infinite self-knowledge. If she is not in her room performing healing rituals, you'll find her in the kitchen experimenting with her latest Pinterest discovery. She loves everything about vegan cooking and has more than one trick in her bag. Unable to follow recipes, she ends up (almost always) impressing her guests. This is how Kim acquired her title of Spiritual Marketing Guru.

Organized and full of resources, Philippe always finds a solution to everything. Inspired by life in general, he constantly needs to work on a project. Recently, he discovered a passion for numbers and administration. The results and the precise calculations motivates him to go always further. It is perhaps for these reasons that he particularly loves all the stories about ancient civilizations and the secrets of our universe.

Thanks to a common love for the kombucha and knowing that Lao is a high-end product that is here to stay, Kim and Philippe did not question themselves very long before joining Lao. They hope to fulfill themselves as individuals, but also as entrepreneurs, while being able to share with the world an exciting product with a message of authenticity and quality.