148 // Danny Taing // Founder & CEO - Bokksu // The Asian American Dream, In A Box!
Danny Taing, Founder & CEO of Bokksu, shares his journey from academia, tech, and eventually to founding Bokksu, a direct-to-consumer snack subscription and e-grocer highlighting snacks from Japan and beyond. Learn more at Bokksu.com and @bokksu everywhereMeet DannyDanny Taing is the Founder & CEO of Bokksu, a New York and Tokyo-based D2C snack subscription and e-grocer that delivers authentic Japanese food and lifestyle products to over 100 countries. Providing Japan’s traditional makers with a platform to share their goods with a global audience, Bokksu is helping to support, preserve, and promote their craft, while making it easier for the rest of the world to discover, buy, and love authentic Japanese goods.The son of Cambodian-Chinese refugees, Danny was born in NYC and raised in NJ. He received a dual Bachelor's in Psychology and Communication, and a Master’s in Sociology, all from Stanford University. He then worked as a marketing strategist at Google HQ. After that, he relocated to Japan for a position at Rakuten. It was there, during the four years he spent living and working in Tokyo, that he developed his deep love of Japanese food and culture (as well as met his wonderful husband). Following Rakuten, Taing returned to New York to study Computer Science at Columbia University. Inspired by his passion for Japanese culture, Asian-American representation, and entrepreneurship, Taing founded Bokksu in 2015 with $5,000 of his own savings. Utilizing every skill and contact he had, Taing was able to go from concept to launch in just three months, without an additional penny of outside funding. And he sold through his first run of boxes in less than a week. Today, the company is valued at $100M and employs a staff of 50, 80% of whom are BIPOC, female, and/or LGBTQ+; a metric Taing is particularly proud of.In his spare time, Danny is an avid rock climber, fierce board game competitor, and, along with his husband, anime binge-watcher.Meet BokksuBokksu delivers authentic Japanese food and lifestyle products to customers around the world. Founded by Danny Taing in 2015, the New York and Tokyo-based D2C company partners with traditional makers throughout Japan to share their craft with over 100 countries via its snack subscription service, curated market of premium lifestyle goods, and online Asian grocery store. By providing Japan’s traditional makers with a platform to share their goods with a global audience, Bokksu is helping to support, preserve, and promote their craft, while making it easier for the rest of the world to discover, buy, and love authentic Japanese goods. Bokksu is a proudly LGBTQ+ and AAPI-owned company.Connect with Bokksuhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/bokksu/https://www.instagram.com/bokksu/https://www.facebook.com/bokksuhttps://twitter.com/bokksuhttps://www.tiktok.com/@bokksuThis episode is supported by Penguin Random HouseThis month and every month, Penguin Random House invites readers to uplift AANHPI stories and #RepresentAsianStories! Thanks to our friends at Penguin Random House, I added Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Know My Name by Chanel Miller, and Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho to my Asian American Book Shelf. We're also excited to read My Monster and Me by Nadia Hussain to our kids and to cook up amazing meals with recipes from Korean American by Eric Kim. For more incredible books by AANHPI authors, visit PRH.com/RepresentAsianStories! From page-turning fiction to hilarious memoirs, there's a book for everyone. Go to PRH.com/RepresentAsianStories to explore the lists!Today and everyday, support Asian American Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander authors and storytellers.// Support Dear Asian Americans:Merch: https://www.bonfire.com/store/dearasianamericans/Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/jerrywonLearn more about DAA Creator and Host Jerry Won:LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerrywon/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jerryjwon/// Listen to Dear Asian Americans on all major platforms:Transistor.fm: http://www.dearasianamericans.comApple: https://apple.dearasianamericans.comSpotify: https://spotify.dearasianamericans.comStitcher: https://stitcher.dearasianamericans.comGoogle: https://google.dearasianamericans.com Follow us on Instagram</s