If You Can’t Get to Japan, Bokksu Is a Good Start
The subscription box is packed with good snacks
One of my favorite things to do when I visit another country is to stock up on snacks that I wouldn’t be able to find back at home. Packaged candies, spreads, cookies, and chips just seem to taste better when you haven’t been eating them for 20-plus years. Though I have not yet been to Japan, I recently found myself in possession of many Japanese snacks thanks to Bokksu, a subscription kit founded by Danny Taing.
Taing developed an obsession with Japanese snacks during his time living abroad. “When I moved back from Japan to NYC I naturally brought along a huge suitcase full of my favorite snacks I discovered during my time there,” Taing told me in an email. “After just one housewarming party, my friends ate all of my snacks, and I couldn’t find an easy way to replenish them anywhere.” Taing tried several existing Japanese snack subscription services, but quickly realized they weren’t selling the types of snacks he’d fallen in love with, ones that were “regional and made by small family-owned companies.” That frustration eventually turned into Bokksu.
Taing told me that each Bokksu box is curated around a theme (August’s was “Japanese Summer Festivals”) and celebrates small businesses by partnering directly with local makers throughout the country, “so our delicious snacks and teas can’t be found anywhere else”—outside of Japan, of course. “We have a really fantastic sourcing team that is continually working hard to develop relationships with local snack and tea makers in Japan.”
To date, Bokksu has shipped over 1 million snacks worldwide, and Taing hopes to triple that number by the end of 2019. The company staff is growing too, which means they can get a bit more creative in-house—he told me the team is currently working with artisanal makers in Japan to create Bokksu’s own line of snacks and teas. Right now they’re developing a persimmon candy made using real fruit. Taing's main goal with Bokksu is still to share the same joy he experienced eating Japanese snacks. “A lot of customers tell us that their Bokksu reminds them of their own time in Japan, which has been really encouraging since it means we are also delivering on our promise,” he said.