What is Snaktak?
Snaktak is a new business with a novel mission. We want to fight global depression by promoting a healthy diet, strong communities, and connections to nature.
If that sounds far-fetched, read the book Lost Connections, by Johann Hari. He went on a global journey to find the most illuminating research into what causes depression and anxiety.
Hari’s discoveries were shocking, even to the writer himself. It turns out, the chemical-focused story about depression is only a small part of the truth.
The growing consensus among experts is that depression is a symptom of a broken society. Weak communities, pessimistic narratives, and junk values sold to us by greedy corporations leave us feeling depressed and helpless.
I wanted to start a business that does good for the world. So I decided that addressing the global depression epidemic is a pretty good goal.
What are Dirtballs?
Dirtballs are a delicious healthy snack inspired by the summer I spent farming in Fiji.
We ate dates during the day for energy, then picked fresh coconuts and papayas at the beach to recover at the day’s end.
Once I returned home, I made some date-based oatmeal cookies for some bake sales. On the way to the sale I had the idea to call them Dirtballs just to see what happened.
The original Dirtballs sold out first at all 3 bake sales, and I realized I had something special. A few months of recipe experimentation later, I had created the most delicious snack I’d ever tasted.
I hate all the garbage people sell us disguised as health food. When you look at the ingredients on many mainstream “healthy” snacks, you can usually find at least 3 forms of sugar.
Dirtballs prove that you don’t need any of that nonsense to create a mind-blowingly delicious product.
Eight ingredients, nothing extra, and a fun name on top of all that.
Early on, a lot of people told me that no one would ever buy a snack called Dirtballs. My growing customer base, and a few dedicated repeat customers have proved them wrong though.
I’m tired of the same old boring stuff and I want my work to be an example of how unique, unconventional thinking can lead to great success.
Who runs this?
I never expected to be running a snack food business, and it was a strange route that brought me here.
In high school I was in a specialized digital arts program. We learned photoshop, flash, 3d modeling, and some art fundamentals for 2 hours a day.
That rigorous arts training was the most fulfilling part of high school, so I decided to study Animation/Illustration at SJSU after graduating.
For 2.5 years I threw myself into those studies, and I excelled. I had a lot of fun and my creative skills grew immensely during that time.
Unfortunately, my depression was growing severe and I was on the verge of attempting suicide. I was self-medicating and overworking myself to deal with the pain, and I was on the road to total self-destruction.
Shortly after passing the portfolio review required for upper-division classes, I had the first of many existential crises because I realized the career in animation I was working so hard for was not how I wanted to spend my life.
So I changed my major to journalism and re-entered the cycle of overwork and self-medication in pursuit of a different career.
Eventually though, while reading Das Kapital by Carl Marx I realized that Journalism’s business model was not suited to performing the primary social purpose of journalism and had another major existential crisis.
Marx, and the other business books I was reading, along with the time I spent with me school’s enbtrepreneurship club, inspired me to start my own business.
So I abandoned journalism and moved to Eugene to start this business.
I have a lot to learn still and a lot of growth ahead of me. This business is the most meaningful and fulfilling thing I’ve pursued, though, and I’m happy you’re here to be a part of it.