Samuel and Sara were amazed to discover such cultural elements while living in Japan. It was during their respective stays in this beautiful country, thanks to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), that they were exposed to the country's long-established traditions and introduced to a way of life more closely tied to the land. In Japan, many foods are only available in season and people still maintain a relationship with their local craftsmen, notably by eating local rice, ordering tofu from a local manufacturer, and buying fruits and vegetables at local farmers' markets. Seasonality, freshness and the mastery of Japanese craftsmanship result in tasty food. Thus, Japanese cuisine tends to emphasize the true taste of the products by incorporating subtle flavours and limiting processing to certain methods, such as fermentation.
The few years spent in Japan really changed their lives, and although they are back in Canada, they are still pursuing their quest for a lifestyle more in tune with the seasons. Despite Quebec's strong gastronomic culture, the presence of many Asian products and the undeniable popularity of Japanese restaurants, the reality remains that locally available Japanese products do not stand out. Following their last trip to Japan, Samuel and Sara have made it their mission to improve the supply of quality Japanese products in Quebec and are convinced that people here will appreciate them at their true value.
This trip allowed them to (re)discover artisanal soy sauces, local sea salts and citrus products that only grow in certain regions of Japan. In October 2019, this new adventure officially got underway, with the launch of a company importing Japanese artisanal products, aimed at introducing Quebecers to this beautiful and rich artisanal culture.
Located in a small mountainous hamlet near Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, Daikō Shōyu is a local family-run business producing shōyu [soy sauce] since 1852.
The current head of Daikō Shōyu, Kensuke Ōsugi, represents the 6th generation of soy sauce brewers in the family and is one of the few still using the traditional method of production in Japan. This method consists of fermenting soybeans and wheat innoculated with kōji in Japanese cedar barrels and expose this blend called moromi to yeasts living in the surrounding environment.
It was during her stay in Japan that Sara discovered Daikō Shōyu, the brewery being located in a small rural village where she practiced Japanese tea ceremony. Since her return from Japan, she and Samuel can no longer do without the products made by Daikō Shōyu.
Aware of the broader environmental concerns and the impact of our activities on the planet, Tokusen is committed to implementing a number of measures to limit its carbon footprint, namely:
- To use carbon neutral carriers whenever possible;
- Purchase carbon credits from certified organizations to offset the emissions generated by the transportation of our goods;
- Diligently selecting packaging solutions to reduce the amount of materials and printing ink used and prioritizing packaging made from recycled materials and which are reusable.
The quality of the products we offer our customers cannot be maintained without healthy ecosystems. We hope that these humble measures will contribute to the collective effort to preserve the environment in which we live.