In Japan, omiayge is a custom that began with pilgrimages to the Shinto shrines and has transformed into a tradition—something expected between family and friends: When you return from a trip, it’s expected that you bring back omiyage, a gift or souvenir box filled with local artisanal snacks.
Danny Taing took this Japanese custom international with Bokksu, a gourmet snack box that features exclusive artisanal snacks and baked goods from local makers and prestigious Japanese brands.
“During my time in Japan, snacking became not just a way to satiate hunger but create ritual, slow down, and create community by sharing. Through being introduced to unique Japanese snacks, I discovered inspiring stories of the snack makers and the traditional recipes behind each one,” he says.
After living in Japan for many years, Taing was disappointed that he was unable to continue enjoying his favorite snacks after returning home. And so the idea for Bokksu was born. The company, which just celebrated its second anniversary, offers different themed boxes each month and snacks are curated and hand-picked to match that theme.
June, for example, featured snacks from Japan’s fourth largest city, Nagoya. The box included caramel sandwich cookie pieces, mini red bean crackers, kinsyachi chocolate and more. A Tasting & Cultural Guide is always included so subscribers can learn about the story and flavors of each item in the box.
Bokku offers a “classic” and a “tasting” option, so subscribers can choose the number of snacks they receive, as well as the frequency of the box delivery. What began as Taing, “bringing snacks in three large suitcases from Japan back to the U.S.,” is now sold in 100 countries around the world—and, for many of the snack companies they work with, marks the first time with products have been shipped overseas.