The Early Days
(that's Jo in the middle)
As a Korean kid growing up in the Canary Islands of Spain, Jo was constantly asked "Where are you from?", "Korea? Where is that?", "Are you North or South Korean?" So, from an early age, he made it his mission to promote Korean culture to non-Koreans.
Sharing Korean Culture
A little later, Jo was living in London, UK and created a Facebook Group to stay in touch with his Spanish-Korean friends. A few years later, the start of the Hallyu (Korean) Wave had grown the group to over 100,000 members, 99% of which were Latin Americans. They came because of their love for K-pop, K-dramas, and Korean culture in general and because they wanted to interact with Spanish-speaking Koreans! Jo took this as a chance to promote Korean culture to Latin Americans.
Teaching Korean online (in Spanish)
As the admin of the Facebook Group, Jo got asked three questions over and over that inspired his journey.
Are you Korean? Really?
Question #1: "Are you Korean? Really?" This made him question his identity, but also become more proud of his Korean roots.
Question #2: "Can you teach me Korean?" At first, this confused Jo, but he decided to teach Korean lessons in Spanish and was surprised that over 200 Spanish-speaking students from all over the world signed up.
Question #3: "Can you send me stuff from Korea?" By this time, Jo was working in Los Angeles, USA and his students constantly asked him to send them things like snacks, beauty products, and fashion items from Korea. He came up with the idea of snacks in a surprise box - his students loved the idea.
Based on these experiences, Howard (a friend of a friend), David (his intern), and Jo started SnackFever, a Korean snack subscription box service, back in 2015 in Koreatown Los Angeles. They challenged themselves to start with only $500. They named it after DramaFever, whose founders are Jo's friends from the Canary Islands and original members of the Facebook group above. Just like DramaFever, they wanted to offer something fun and addictive!
The Daebak Company
In 2017, they made the tough decision to move to Korea and start shipping all over the world. It was their first time living in Korea, so it was a scary decision. Once in Korea, they changed the company's name to The Daebak Company. "Daebak" literally just means amazing, great, awesome, or jackpot.
Our mission is to inspire, empower, and unite the global Hallyu community by delivering the best (and "daebak") experiences while promoting Korean culture.
Our vision is to become a multi-channel platform for the Hallyu community to discover, celebrate, and enjoy everything Korean.
We've made many mistakes over the years, but luckily we've had the best members who have been very forgiving. As you can see, we started knowing nothing, but with a clear mission and vision. As we move forward, we will work harder to provide the best service for our members. Don't worry; we're friendly people. If you're not happy with our service or have any kind of feedback, feel free to let us know. Our goal is to improve - and to make you happy!
Jo Jang, Howard Cho, and the Daebak Team
p.s. We're always looking for talented people to join our team in Korea. If you're interested in becoming part of the Daebak Team, feel free to send us a cover letter and resume (CV) at firstname.lastname@example.org.