Last spring, Ome Enebeli and her daughter, Daniella, were at Denver International Airport when COVID restrictions caused a change in plans. The mother and daughter were waiting to board a flight to Florida to take a cruise, and they received a phone call explaining that the cruise had been canceled. After the call, they returned home and spent lockdown reminiscing over old vacation photos, daydreaming of trips to come.
Travel is one of the mother and daughter's favorite ways to bond, and it is a key element of their first business venture, Snack Voyage
: a snack subscription service that offers customers a boxed array of sweet and salty treats from around the world. Each delivery provides a bite-sized vacation best enjoyed from the comfort of home.
Snack Voyage was Daniella’s idea. The sixth-grader at Aurora Quest K-8 dreams of being a food scientist and shares her love of snacking with her mom. They have such similar reactions to food that they often comment in unison when they get excited about a snack. “She just yells 'Jinx!,'” Ome explains.
In May, Daniella went to Ome with the idea to look for international snacks to package and ship to families in the metro area and beyond. She explained that she wanted to share her passion for travel and snacks with others.
“It hit me that it wasn’t just about her,” Ome says. “She wanted to share her passion with other people. I wanted to bring her idea to fruition.”
Although the Enebelis come from a family of entrepreneurs, Ome says she’d never personally tried to start her own business venture. However, she knew one thing: To start a business, one has to work hard, a lesson she learned at a young age from her mother, who owns a number of businesses in Nigeria. So she and Daniella got to work doing research.
Each box contains twelve sweet and salty treats, along with country facts and flag souvenirs.
Courtesy of Ome Enebeli
They learned about popular snacks from different countries and how to source them. They learned about those countries’ cultures and histories. And they learned how to balance their vision for the company (especially Daniella’s) with the practical realities of the time and money they were willing to commit to the project.
The result is a subscription service that is about more than just eating — even though that’s the half the fun. Customers choose between two monthly delivery options: the country box, which offers immersion into certain snacks and facts of a specific country; and the assorted box, which gives customers a sampling of snacks from around the globe. Each box contains twelve snacks that range from sweets such as chocolates, wafers and cookies to salty delights like chips.
Also included with the box is a boarding pass for customers to rate snacks, a tourist guide to getting to know the countries, and a souvenir such as the country’s flag. You might even find information about national dances, like the samba in Brazil. And a trivia game informs subscribers about national foods, official languages and fun facts, such as how the first letters of the four United Kingdom countries — Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales — correspond with the cardinal directions on a compass.
So far, Snack Voyage has highlighted Germany, Korea, Israel, the United Kingdom and Brazil. “Our plan is to source from as many countries as possible,” Ome explains. “We don’t want to present the same snacks every month. We want to bring you something new every time. We’ve just started; there are 195 countries [in the world]."
Ome says that Daniella has many plans for how the business can grow. The preteen creates all the graphics and helps with Snack Voyage's social media page. And they both sample each kind of snack before including it on their menu. It’s a bonding experience, because in so many other ways, the mother and daughter are opposites. “I’m loud. She’s modest. We have different tastes in fashion, in hairstyles,” Ome says.
But snacks and travel bring them together, and that’s the experience they want to provide for others by bringing the taste of the world home.
To order a monthly subscription, visit the Snack Voyage website