Danny founded Bokksu in 2015 to introduce foodies around the world to authentic Japanese snacks and teas only found in Japan. He developed his passion for Japanese food and travel during his four years living in Tokyo before moving back to NYC in 2013. Before Bokksu, Danny finished the Postbaccalaureate Studies in Computer Science program at Columbia University in 2014 and received an M.A. in Sociology and a dual B.A. in Psychology and Communication from Stanford University in 2008. In his spare time, he is an avid rock climber who loves to get into fierce battles with friends over board games.
What inspired you all to create this company?
During the 4 years I lived and worked in Japan, I immersed myself in the culture, traveled all around the country, and stuffed my face with all the local snacks along the way. After returning to NYC, I suddenly lost access to the authentic snacks I had discovered and soon ran out of my suitcase supply of snacks due to my friends’ insatiable appetite for them. I tried searching online for more but soon became frustrated with only finding mass-produced snacks commonly found in Asian marts and seeing the mainstream one-dimensional portrayals of Japan such as geisha and pokemon.
Determined to bridge people around the world to the multifaceted culture and food of Japan, I created Bokksu: an e-commerce and media platform that directly partners with artisanal snackmakers to deliver gourmet Japanese experiences through authentic storytelling and curated snack boxes.
What distinguishes your company and product in the market?
We are the only company that directly partners with 200-year-old family snackmakers across Japan to deliver their artisanal snacks and stories to the world, which in turn sustains their culture, craft, and history. We are also the only subscription box that produces a 20+ page Culture Guide magazine every month which details the makers’ stories, products’ origins, and cultural significance of that month’s theme. We’re now taking our content to the next level by filming a web series documentary about five of our snackmakers across Japan from Sapporo to Kyoto in order to share more authentic Asian stories worldwide and to showcase our makers’ incredible family traditions. We plan to release the first episode in early 2020.
In short, Bokksu’s competitive edge goes beyond our box of delicious snacks: It’s our investment into and innovation on producing rich content, bridging authentic culture, and building passionate online communities.