view from Mt. Ono, minami-Kyushu, kagoshima prefecture
THE PEOPLE BEHIND IKKYU
Driven by passion
What chances we had to meet here in the beautiful southern part of Japan all together ? From Italy, France, Switzerland...and of course Japan, our passion for simple, beautiful things and a certain taste made things easier surely.
After travelling all around Kyushu and meeting with such great green tea growers, we decided to bring them together under one brand, to give them the visibility and appreciation they deserve. We took this challenge all together and tried to combine Japanese tea culture with Italian design, Swiss precision...and of course French taste.
Italian and Swiss national, speaks French, Italian, English, German and little Japanese. Started drinking green tea back in Switzerland more than 12 years ago as a way to relax and enjoy the preparing time of a good matcha while listening old records.
Thanks to his deep interest and love in green tea Aldo has been able to visit all the main production areas from Kyushu, talking and working directly with city and government officials and most importantly with the many producers of all the regions.
I took several years to build a network covering all of Kyushu regions but these are blessed by the richness of encounters, friendship and discoveries of the Green Tea inner world.
Hobbies:Reading, travelling and...Photography...the same shared passion with Stephane that brings you the pictures of IKKYU.
joelle sambuc bloise
I used to be more of a coffee than a tea person. Take me to Italy and you will find me at the nearest café for my espresso shot!
However, in my daily life, things have changed when I discovered the pleasure of authentic Japanese green tea. It's not just about the amazing balance of delicate and complex fragrances, or the health benefits of green tea.
I have fallen in love with the steady yet powerful feeling of increased focus and constant energy that comes with each single cup. Whether I am working, chilling out with friends or practicing aikido, I can't do without green tea anymore!
Hobbies: Aikido, movies, reading and writing
Born in Paris, Stephane comes to Japan in 2005, after working for 5 years in the Silicon Valley. He meets his wife Minako in Fukuoka and launches with her an online shop dedicated to French products that they still operate as of today.
In 2009, along with his brother in France, Stephane sets up a webportal for antique dealers, proantic.com. Today, Proantic is the largest antique online shop in Europe. He starts working with Aldo and Joelle on the complete design overhaul of Proantic. Afterwards, they decide to pool their expertise to set up Ikkyu.
An adept of aikido and kyudo, Stephane has been drinking Japanese green tea every day for more than 10 years. Stephane is in charge of the technical development of the website and makes sure that each customer can enjoy the best online shopping experience.
Hobbies: Aikido, Kyudo, Photography and reading
Minako wears many hats: she is our precious interpretor, she makes sure that everything runs smoothly for Ikkyu in Japan and her advice is always wise.
She was born in Amakusa, a string of islands off the coast of Kyushu and the flora and the culture of her region have no secrets for her.
An IT engineer who runs her own online shop (decofukuoka.com), Minako has also a delicate palate that has astounded many tea masters.
Practicing kyudo (Japanese archery) and aikido, she has the patience and will required for Ikkyu.
The real boss of IKKYU, has been drinking green tea from his younger age and became our CEO in 2015.
Hobbies: Eating, sleeping and playing loudly at 3 AM