iLola (part of NPC’s cohort in Incubator Alley)

August 21, 2023

Q: What’s the origin story of your company?

A: 10 years ago, we heard from customers who told us that loose leaf tea was too cumbersome. They knew it was better than tea bags (no bleach, no microplastics, better tea etc.) but it was cumbersome. During COVID lockdowns, iLOLA founder Su-Mari took these complaints and put a plan in motion to resolve this issue – the loose-leaf Tea Disc™.  Over the next 3 years she worked on developing the Tea Discs and establishing a brand. The result is pre-measured loose leaf tea bound together in a microbial probiotic binding in the form of a Tea Disc. This is one of the few major innovations in tea since ‘the tea-bag’ over 120 years ago.

Q: What’s the best thing anyone has said about your product so far?

A: In 2022, we were chosen by Oprah for her Christmas list. We’ve also been featured in the Robb Report, Reader’s Digest, and we won USA Today’s 10 Best as voted by our customers.

Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about building your company so far?

A: We are continuing to develop, scale and expand in all areas of our product and business –  refining, innovating and developing the tea of tomorrow.  Being part of this innovation is incredibly exciting, and what’s more rewarding is we get to do it all as a family.

Q: What are the top 1-3 things that you’re focused on right now?

A: We are focused on scaling our processes, redesigning some packaging, and expanding our distribution channels.

Q: What is your key objective in attending CHFA?

A: Being in Canada, we recognize CHFA as the go to place for all brands and products operating in the natural food space. It is always extremely rewarding connecting with old and new friends who have similar mindsets when it comes to how we make food and build our businesses.