A little about me: When I was about nine, my dad (a Marine on deployment) sent me and my brother an unexpected package from Japan. It was full of the craziest snacks and candy I have ever seen. Nine-year-old me was in awe. Everything was so much different than what we think of when we think about snack food.
About a year and a half ago, I remembered that package and I wondered if a company sent out surprise international snack boxes. Surprisingly I found nothing. Not a thing. So I set out to make it reality. I quit my boring dead-end job as a bartender and sold my car for business capital. For the past year I’ve been developing the website from the ground up. The premise is simple. Every month you get a box of snacks from a completely different country and you will never know which one it is until it arrives. I think its pretty cool.
I’ve dedicated the past year and a half of my life to make this happen. It’s been a great learning experience (and sometimes frustrating) and its finally complete.
I’d love to answer your questions about International snack food, web development, starting a business, ANYTHING. AMA!
Simple Proof: https://www.snackcrate.com/proof/
Link to SnackCrate’s website for those interested: www.snackcrate.com
Any regrets on inviting all of Reddit to crash your site on Day 1?
NOT 1. I knew something would happen. Its my baby but you have to push it out into the world eventually.
What’s the thought process behind pricing? That being for snacks 4 = $14 8 = $29 16 = $49 Do you get anything better for getting one 8 snack order rather than two 4 snack orders?
The larger boxes have a higher quantity and more expensive snacks. Japan for instance: the $49 box contains green tea kit-kats. For a bag of candy bars they are ridiculously expensive. Retail of about $7.99. We can afford to put that kind of thing in a more expensive box. We couldn’t put that in a $14 crate. Hope that makes sense.
Probably a stupid question but how do you procure the snacks from smaller, more restrictive countries with export laws?
Not stupid at all. Luckily I haven’t run into that problem yet. Our first SnackCrate is from Japan and import laws aren’t an issue really. Our country road map looks good for the next year and we shouldn’t have any issues with procurement.
Realistically we will never get anything from North Korea. I imagine the snacks would be interesting tho!
How did you pay your bills for the last year and a half with no job?
I had to move back in with my parents. (I’m 25). It wasn’t glamorous by any means but they were supportive and helped me out when I really needed it.
I love international snack subscription boxes. What sets you apart from Universal Yums, MunchPak, GrubBox, etc?
Variety. I’ve spent months seeking suppliers that have unique stuff. They might have some of the things that we have but they won’t have everything.
Secondly I think its important to try things from the same country at the same time. When you have a chocolate bar from Japan and another from Germany in the same box you don’t really get the feel of a place or its food culture. Thats just my .02
So does the package come with a description of the contents? Anyone with a food allergy will need the ingredients translated.
Each SnackCrate comes with a description of whats inside. For those with allergies we can definitely provide a list of ingredients as its written on the package. I would caution that some countries food labeling laws are not as strict as the U.S. (some are more strict) and anyone with a severe allergy should research the product thoroughly before consuming them.
If we find something we love in our snack crate will there be an option to order more of those?
Definitely. Send us an email and we’ll get you more of exactly what you want.
Does every box include the same stuff? Like if I purchased one for me, one for my SO, would we receive the same stuff in that month?
Each SnackCrate from the same country contains the same snacks. The larger boxes each contain the snacks from the smaller ones as well.
My first comment is why use your personal Reddit account for this company AMA? You want people to associate your personal opinions on things with your company? Dangerous thing to do.
Exactly. I wanted people to know that I wasn’t jumping on reddit for the sake of promotion. If people disagree with something I’ve said previously…. oh well
Where did you start? Starting a business seems very daunting and overwhelming, where did you even begin to make a footing? How soon after you felt faith in this idea did you go to the extent of quitting your job and selling your car? Have you gone through any college classes, or what kind of background have you had in business before attempting this endeavor?
Thank you for your questions. I started with the website. I have a Software Engineering degree and thats what Im comfortable doing. After I fleshed out the web design and branding I focused on packaging and product.
I quit my job before I started working on this. I really got tired of helping someone achieve their dreams. I wanted to achieve my own. I can’t tell you that it was the smartest move. I had very little income this past year. I took side jobs building websites and helping other people with their business endeavors.
Three months ago I sold my car (A Subaru BRZ, “World Rally Blue”). I loved it. It was my dream car. But I had to sacrifice it to get the money to buy the snacks and packaging. I drive a motorcycle now. Cheaper and still just as fun.
Why do you claim “About a year and a half ago, I remembered that package and I wondered if a company sent out surprise international snack boxes. Surprisingly I found nothing. Not a thing.”? I mean there are already companies that ship boxes of snacks and there already companies that ship international foods.
I meant in the format that I envisioned. Sorry I tried to keep the bio short. My vision was A new country every month without prior knowledge of what it will be.
How many people work at your business at the moment?
Just me myself and I 🙂
Is AMA the new way to get free advertising for a new company with a shaky business model now?
I did an AMA to promote my company. There is no denying that.
However, starting a business is something that many are working on, thinking of, or otherwise having a tough time getting started. I think that in itself is a reason to do an AMA.
I also worked very hard on this. For an entire -year and a half- this is what I did full time. I made very little to no income. As i mentioned I had to sell my car to finish the job. By not sharing this with anyone I would be doing myself a huge disservice.
This is absolutely ingenious. I wished I lived in the United States right now, just so I could test it immediately. Do you plan on covering different countries, in the future?
Our website can only handle orders in the U.S. right now. If you send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) I can get a shipping quote for you.