Founder Stories

Bokksu

If you live in New York, you know that “delivery service” today refers to more than just your local pizza shop. From hand-picked assortments of men’s clothing to inexpensive grooming gear, there’s a subscription-based delivery service for practically any product you could imagine — but somehow, Bokksu still provides something that isn’t available anywhere else.

Founded by Danny Taing, ’14SEAS, in late 2015, Bokksu sends its users a collection of authentic Japanese snacks, each one curated thoughtfully around a monthly theme. January’s snack box was built around the Japanese symbol “Maru,” for instance, which means “circle.” Each snack in January’s box is meant to recall both the shape of symbolism of Maru, and while not every customer will recognize the significance of each box’s theme, Taing promises that they will appreciate its taste — and that every box will be filled with premium snacks that people in Japan actually eat.

Taing was inspired to start the company while living in Tokyo, where he dove into the local culture and “ate everything in sight.” When he moved to New York to study computer science at Columbia, Taing realized it was difficult to find many of the unique dishes and spices that made Tokyo dining culture so unique. He set to work thinking of a way to combine his passion for Japanese culture with his computer science and web development skills, and soon enough, Bokksu was born.

Taing credits the Columbia Startup Lab not only for its “amazing office space,” which provided him with a level of credibility he wouldn’t have had working out of his bedroom, but also for the opportunity it granted him to meet and collaborate with other founders. Even if not all of them had a company that was directly relevant to Bokksu’s mission, Taing notes that he was able to quickly find answers to often esoteric questions by asking other founders at the Lab for help.

In the near future, Taing plans to grow his team and more thoroughly establish Bokksu’s brand presence in New York. In accordance with his goal of making Japanese snack food more mainstream, Taing is collaborating with Japanese celebrity chefs, as well as the NYC cultural nonprofit Japan Society. As Bokksu continues to grow, Taing hopes to create more original web content on the topics of Japanese food and travel culture.  

In the meantime, if you’re looking to get your snack on, Bokksu is happy to accommodate you. You can subscribe for a monthly delicious curation on Bokksu’s website.

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