Our Story


A simple concept. Elegantly crafted. Sustainably produced. 

We believe in simple, beautiful, value-driven products. In an increasingly complex world filled with value chains that add little true value, some products stand out for their natural elegance, purpose and impact. Folia leaf plates are one of them.

Made from nature’s simplest ingredients - fallen leaves, heat and water -, each of our plates holds a unique story of craftsmanship, environmental stewardship and sustainable value creation. 

In the remote hills of Assam, Northeastern India, the leaves fall naturally from the Areca nut palm plant. From there, they are hand collected and brought to a local village processing facility where they are sorted, washed, cut, shaped and steam-pressed at over 100 degrees centigrade.

The final product is what you hold in your hand: A 100% compostable, biodegradable and chemical-free leaf plate that offers a one-of-a-kind organic dining experience guests will never forget. 

This entire process directly supports low-income rural producers through the development of community-owned micro enterprises. Through our partner, Tambul Leaf Plates, we sell custom steam press machines, along with training, capacity building, and a 100% buy-back-guarantee for the plates directly to rural entrepreneurs.

Our products are simple. Our model is simple. Our mission is simple. The way nature intended.

                    

Jonathan Kalan
Founder & CEO, Folia
San Francisco, CA.
hello@foliaware.com

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you produce these yourself?
We work directly with Tambul Leaf Plates Pvt. Ltd., an award-winning social enterprise based in Assam, India. It is jointly owned by the Areca palm leaf plate producers of Northeast India and Dhriiti, a nonprofit development organization that has been working with these communities for over a decade.

Is there any harm to the trees when these plates are produced?
None. The sheaths fall from the Areca palm naturally. During the flowering process the sheaths widen and fall from the tree along with the leaves. They cannot be plucked from the tree, as those sheaths cannot be used for production.

Can we use the leaf plates more than once?
Our plates are so sturdy that many people think they are permanent plates and bowls. Since they are completely natural - no chemicals, preservatives or external coating -, we do not advise our customers to reuse them.

Are these plates hygienic? Is it really safe to eat from leaves?
Leaf plates have been used since ancient history.  Even so, we take all safety precautions. Our production process ensures that every sheath is intensively cleaned and heated to above 100 degree centigrade, killing any possible bacteria and germs.

In addition, we also ensure we comply with the following standards:

  • PhytoSanitation: Passed
    To be imported into the United States, every one of our containers must be fumigated and tested for safety before it is shipped out. This means that the plant material of Folia’s products is safe for contact with food. 
  • FDA & USDA Inspection: Passed
    When entering any United States port, all shipments are spot checked by the FDA and USDA to ensure they meet health and safety standards. Our Folia products are approved by the FDA and USDA upon entry into the US.
  • SDS Quality Control Testing: No toxins or chemicals found
    SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. We regularly test our products against their rigorous standards, to ensure full compliance and safety. 

Are leaf plates available in different shapes (square, rectangle, bento boxes?)
We are currently working on a line of square plates, as well has to-go bento boxes. Have something in mind? Let us know!