Exquisite Desserts From Hokkaido, Japan Since 1998
Every 10 seconds, someone enjoys a LeTAO product. Each year, our master bakers make over 25 million of our most beloved cheesecake, the Double Fromage. Our business has expanded into new countries and our product range has grown but where we came from will always be central to what we do…
Otaru, A Haven For Artisans
Our story began in the beautiful canal city of Otaru. Founded over fifteen-hundred years ago, Otaru looks out over Ishikiri Bay on Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido.
Being hidden away as it is, and with picturesque waterscapes and traditional buildings at every turn, Otaru has always been seen as a means of escape. Through the centuries, Otaru became something of a haven for artisans of all types.
A Search For Something New
Our founder, Kawagoe, was drawn to Otaru for many of the same reasons - he saw the city as the perfect place to begin his own experiments in gastronomy. You see, Hokkaido is known for its love of desserts and sweet treats. The problem, in Kawagoe's mind, was that many of the traditional Hokkaido desserts tended to follow strict and somewhat predictable rules.
Kawagoe’s urge to create something new saw him fold Japanese approaches to texture and the balancing of flavours into western classics. His first creation was a cheesecake: the earliest iteration of our famous Double Fromage. Realising he had created something special, Kawagoe defined his vision: to make Otaru the home of Western-inspired but undeniably Japanese desserts.
The Amiable Tower of Otaru
In June of 1998, the first LeTAO bakery was opened in a majestic tower right at the heart of Otaru. When it came to naming the tower, our founder took inspiration from his explorations in France calling it La Tour Amitie Otaru - LeTAO - or The Amiable Tower of Otaru.
The LeTAO Philosophy: Nostalgia meets Modernism
Our aim is to make exquisite sweets that are a source of delight and happiness for all of our customers.
To do this we create gastronomical experiences that blend nostalgia and modernism.
The familiarity of classic sweets creates a sense of comfort that contrasts with modern ideas around presentation, flavours and textures.
Just as our founder set out to do over 20 years ago, we continue the search for something new.