Today, TOIRO celebrates its 10th year! The number 10 is especially significant for TOIRO's founder. TOIRO means "ten colors" in Japanese and it references the wide variety of dishes that are comprised when 10 people of 10 different backgrounds use a single donabe. When Naoko-san first came to Los Angeles, she was amazed by the vast array of cultures that inhabit this great city. It's no coincidence that TOIRO established itself in a city as diverse as Los Angeles. Below is a special message from TOIRO owner, Naoko Takei Moore, a.k.a. Mrs. Donabe.
10 years ago, I went to City Hall alone and quietly had my company incorporated. Fast forward to now, I am so grateful for what TOIRO has become. It all started with one donabe... the Kamado-san.On August 27, 2008, I started my company, TOIRO. It started with this amazing hand-crafted cookware called Kamado-san, a donabe rice cooker from Iga, Japan, and my passion. Nothing else. I was totally blown away by the quality of the rice cooked in Kamado-san, so I simply wanted to introduce it to people in the US. I created the TOIRO website myself with the aim to sell just this one product. I had it shipped from Nagatani-en (an 8th generation pottery family who makes Kamado-san), Iga, Japan, and sold them out of my home.
Without advertisement, just by word of mouth and cooking classes in my home kitchen, everything grew organically. My mission has also grown to spread the wonderful Japanese food culture and healthy lifestyle through donabe and Japanese home cooking.
Going fast forward, my company kept growing steadily, I eventually published the DONABE Cookbook 3 years ago, and opened my first brick-and-mortar shop in West Hollywood, last year. Now my shop introduces hundreds of artisanal donabe, tableware, and kitchen tools from all over Japan. Nothing could have been achieved without the love and support by so many people (yes, you!). So, I am really thankful to each one of you.
After 10 years (plus more years since I met Kamado-san), I still cook rice in the very same Kamado-san everyday, and I receive the same excitement every time. The moment I open the lids to serve, the sweet aroma and shiny look of the rice and beautiful flavor and texture makes me so happy. It never gets old. Kamado-san changed my life and makes it so happy.
So, I want to celebrate TOIRO's 10-year anniversary with you and Kamado-san.
Naoko Takei Moore