We came together at the beginning of the pandemic when our everyday lives were affected by the coronavirus outbreak. For many of us, our worlds, our work, and our social relationships were changing, and we wanted to create something new and meaningful for our families and our communities to be proud of and embrace.

As Asian Americans growing up in the U.S., we rarely saw ourselves reflected in popular books and media. When we look specifically at children's books that foster an appreciation of Asian American heritage and influences on American life, we see even more gaps. We created our first book, R is for Rice, to celebrate Asian cultures infused in daily American life! Join us on a journey through the alphabet with the ABC’s of Asian American foods!

At JKL Teahouse, we are proud of our multiple Asian heritages, and we are proud to be Americans. Our mission is to inspire a broader definition of “American” by offering products that reflect Asian Americans and the impact of Asian communities on American life.

Our Team

Nithin Jilla

is an educator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He came to the US when he was 8 from India. He loves to travel, brew kombucha, cook, hike, and create new things!

Joanna Kong

is a proud second generation American whose parents immigrated from Taiwan. She is a lawyer, changemaker, world traveler, wife, dog mom, and auntie.

Susan Lew

is a public health professional, freelance writer, musician, songwriter, activist, and mother. When her kids were small, Susan found very few children’s books and products that centered on Asian American subjects, so she’s thrilled to be a part of JKL Teahouse today!


Christine Diaz

Christine is Designer and Illustrator based in Northern California. She loves french fries and matcha flavored foods and is the founder of Matcha Paper Co.
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