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

EDIT: Well guys its been fun. Ive been at this for 3 hours. I will be happy to answer any and all questions in the next few days. Just keep posting them. Thank you everyone who sent me gold as well. I never thought this would happen and it has been a blast. The website should come back up in the next few hours when the traffic isn't of biblical proportions. In the meantime you can hit us up at www.facebook.com/snackcrate.

EDIT 2: Shoutout to the guys (and girls) at DreamHost. They are trying their hardest to wrangle you in Reddit.

EDIT 3: Website is back up and running.

Comments: 2684 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

wee0x1b1959 karma

Is AMA the new way to get free advertising for a new company with a shaky business model now?

thecly2042 karma

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 could I would be doing myself a huge disservice.

KrizhekV1118 karma

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?

thecly1541 karma

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.

KrizhekV2153 karma

Totally does make sense. This information should be front and center when someone is selecting sizes. In fact I couldn't find anything that states that this is the case.

thecly2098 karma

Thank you for the feedback. You are absolutely right.

RidiculousIncarnate332 karma

Consider something like this for your customers. Not every month or anything but just a primer so they know roughly what they are getting value wise for their money.

'crate' businesses like these are a neat idea but also notorious for not maintaining their value vs cost to the customer.

I would recommend giving people a little peek behind the scenes to tell us WHY we should buy your product over the alternatives.

That aside, good luck!

thecly210 karma

I will definitely be doing that. Each country has a page that explains exactly what will be in it. The website is tough to see because reddit has clobbered it but its there. On social media we will also be showing some stuff off for the next months.

tahlyn143 karma

You should probably explain that somewhere on the webpage because a lot of people are going to think the pricing is odd (usually the larger packages are slightly cheaper rather than more expensive).

Vermitax249 karma

Maybe he should stop calling them by numbers and instead use a descriptive word. Like Luxury Box or Rich Men's Chest.

thecly173 karma

lol. I don't think "Rich Men's Chest" would work (or appetizing for that matter) but I see your point.

waspocracy63 karma

tea kit-kats

Oh god these are good. If anyone has a chance of trying them, do it.

How did you come up with that retail price? I've found them for about $1 USD or less depending on area. Or does that include the shipping?

ugottahvbluhair27 karma

OP said that was for a bag of them. Maybe that is the difference?

thecly160 karma

They typically are not sold except in a 12 pack bag of minis. Most places try to get away with selling a mini kit kat for $1. I think thats an absolute rip off. We send the whole bag. :)

kogeliz759 karma

I love international snack subscription boxes. What sets you apart from Universal Yums, MunchPak, GrubBox, etc?

thecly1247 karma

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

shitlordcaligula610 karma

Any regrets on inviting all of Reddit to crash your site on Day 1?

thecly422 karma

NOT 1. I knew something would happen. Its my baby but you have to push it out into the world eventually.

aspohr89503 karma

So does the package come with a description of the contents? Anyone with a food allergy will need the ingredients translated.

Edit: A word

thecly601 karma

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.

HumbleUK48 karma

is this open to the UK to buy aswell?

thecly66 karma

Yep. Shoot us an email: [email protected] I'll get you a shipping quote. (all orders outside the us are prepay only)

DeadlyRadiatedBanana311 karma

Probably a stupid question but how do you procure the snacks from smaller, more restrictive countries with export laws?

thecly513 karma

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!

Crazc290 karma

Nice website. It's not a new idea, but the way you're doing it is. When you do add more countries to the country list, I expect that you will get many more customers.

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?

Would you consider adding a US option to the country list (if you didn't plan to already) for people outside of the US? I know quite a few people I want to send some American candy to, but this would be even better.

thecly280 karma

Thanks for your kind words! Each SnackCrate from the same country contains the same snacks. The larger boxes each contain the snacks from the smaller ones as well.

The U.S. SnackCrate for people outside the U.S. is something I've thought about since day 1. It will happen. Not sure when, but it will.

XcockblockulaX53 karma

Hijacking comment for a sec but you may want to activate visual composer ( your shortcodes are showing)

thecly76 karma

Reddit has hugged the site. Not much is showing correctly. Im pulling about 1000 page views every 30 seconds. The volume is staggering when its visualized.

Bleezy79227 karma

You really thought your website could handle the reddit hug?? lol

thecly68 karma

No. But I never thought it would come to that. Hopefully things will calm down and it will all be golden again.

zangetsu355173 karma

What kind of car did you have?

thecly309 karma

A 2013 Subaru BRZ

SirWaldenIII130 karma

What do you use to commute now?

Inb4 rollerskates

thecly199 karma

I have a Zero FX electric motorcycle.

hadeharian141 karma

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.

thecly121 karma

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.

Godspeedingticket134 karma

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.

internetalterego27 karma

My guess is that an established account has more credibility than a brand new throw-away account created specifically to promote a business.

thecly10 karma

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

katapad115 karma

How many countries are you planning to include snacks from?

thecly144 karma

Any country that has something interesting to share. If I can do them all, I will.

usernamepanic104 karma

How did you pay your bills for the last year and a half with no job?

thecly183 karma

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.

drakins87 karma

I kinda skimmed over the comments. If we find something we love in our snack crate will there be an option to order more of those? :)

thecly101 karma

Definitely. Send us an email and we'll get you more of exactly what you want.

crookedculture4767 karma

This seems like a very interesting and creative business idea, and I fully support what you're doing! My question for you is 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 willing to tell us about your entrepreneurial adventure! :)

thecly74 karma

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.