A Joke That Went Too Far: Snacklins and The Journey to Snack Revolution

Snacklins launched in 2016 with an idea: make people’s lives 1% better. It doesn’t seem like much, but in founder Samy K’s view, it’s what the world needs. Starting with a handful of local accounts in Washington, D.C., Snacklins grew quickly with the support of avid customers. They added more accounts across the Mid-Atlantic during their first year, dominating those before expanding to the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. In less than two years, Snacklins is now available in close to 1000 accounts across the country, including Thrive, Whole Foods, Lucky’s, SaveMart, and many others! We sat down with Snacklins creator and founder, Samy K, to talk about the path from a joke to the snack aisle.

Snacklins Founder Samy K catching a few of his product

How did this all begin?

It started as an experiment, this fun, little challenge between me and my friends to make vegan pork rinds. But it quickly turned into an obsession. I found myself spending all of my time testing out different recipes and production techniques. I ended up making these puffy, crispy chip things made from yuca, mushroom, and onion that everyone loved. I was terrified. This was all supposed to be a big joke.

What motivated you to start your business?

I started Snacklins to make people’s lives a little better in little ways. We want to take snacking moments from dull, complacent, and boring, to fun and adventurous. We want people to enjoy that escape from routine through a kick of flavor.

Snacklins won’t change your life. And it’s not going to give you wings or X-ray vision (unless we’ve really messed up the recipe!). But it’s full of flavor. It’s made from real stuff that anyone can understand. And it’s only 80 calories for the whole bag.

How did you pick Snacklins?

I love snacks and so does everyone else! Snacks are easy. Snacks are understandable. Everyone can enjoy a snack.

Snacklins re-brand: coming in June 2018

What is your biggest business accomplishment to date?

Continuing our growth and our new re-brand.

What does your typical day look like?

Everyday is different. I spend most of my time on the road running around. It could be a trip to NYC for 500 lbs of yuca, dropping by a store to check out shelves, swinging by another business to talk collaborations, or just sitting in the factory doing mounds of paperwork. It’s not glamorous and definitely not easy, but it’s worth it when you see people enjoying your product and buying it over and over again.

What does success look like to you?

Selling to Beyonce (not for the money, but so if I ever see Beyonce walking down the street, she’ll know me by name).

Snack or sculpture?

What was it like pitching your first buyer? Any tips?

It’s nerve-racking the first time, but after a while it becomes second nature. Don’t be long winded, the longer you talk, the worse it is for you.

To ring in Spring, we are featuring a different plant-based entrepreneur every week! Check back in next week to hear from another Union Kitchen maker (or two!) about their philosophies, struggles, and successes.