About the Founder

A California resident and a native of Japan, Ayako Iino has set out to introduce to Americans the art of Japanese preserved food making.

As a child, Ayako grew up eating her mother’s traditional Japanese pickles and preserves. She started making her own preserves when she relocated from Tokyo to a small village in rural Japan, where she learned traditional food practices hands-on from families that lived in the area for generations. Every grandmother from each household had a slightly different method and a recipe for making umeboshi. Ayako absorbed everything from how to assess the ripeness of the plums on the trees to proper storage of the final product.

A pursuit of studies in macrobiotic cooking eventually brought Ayako to Northern California and she began her career as a cook after completing her studies. She gained culinary experience at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Oliveto in Oakland, and Boulette’s Larder in San Francisco, and currently cooks for private clients.

Her chance discovery of local Ume Plum orchards some time ago rekindled her passion for making umeboshi and consequently led her to establish Yumé Boshi in 2013. She combines traditional methods and modern culinary techniques to produce high-quality umeboshi and other uniquely flavored Japanese preserved foods. Ayako serves as the guardian of the quality and the authenticity of all of Yumé Boshi products.