Sort-of Secret: Snack Edition, a delivery service for hard-to-find treats like apple-flavoured Fanta and Dunkaroos cereal

Sort-of Secret: Snack Edition, a delivery service for hard-to-find treats like apple-flavoured Fanta and Dunkaroos cereal

A series that shines a spotlight on the city’s hidden edible gems

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The sort-of secret: Snack Edition, an online delivery business that caters to novelty-seeking snack enthusiasts
You may have heard of it if: Internet sleuthing for hard-to-find snacks led you to the website
But you probably haven’t tried it because: It’s a relatively new, one-woman operation

Before founding Snack Edition, Reema Aviles made a hobby of sampling snack food (or as she calls it, junk food—a phrase she uses without a hint of derision) from all over the world. Whether travelling IRL or scouring the internet, Aviles would search high and low for delectable prepackaged treats she hadn’t tried before. Of course, do something enough and you’ll develop a knack for it—in this case, enough to start a business that benefits snack aficionados everywhere. “This feels like it was meant to be,” she says.

Aviles poses with a selection of what Snack Edition currently has to offer

Snack Edition is a one-stop shop for globally sourced snacks that are difficult—or, in many cases, impossible—to find on the shelves of your local grocery store. Canadians make up the majority of her current market, so Aviles focuses on items you’re unlikely to locate in this neck of the woods. She has around 50 full-sized snacks on offer; among them are tasty novelties like white chocolate Oreos, black truffle Lays, Krispy Kreme cereal, apple-flavoured Fanta, shrimp cracker Cheetos and Cap’n Crunch maple-flavoured syrup (that is quite bafflingly the colour of toilet bowl cleaner). As Aviles works her long-honed snack-tracking skills and collaborates with suppliers, the selection is regularly updated.

“My goal is to make snacks from around the world accessible to people who would otherwise have to pay an incredibly inflated price for them—if they could even find them at all,” Aviles says. And, she takes requests: if there’s a faraway snack you can’t stop craving, reach out. If she can find it, it just might pop up on the site.

Before the pandemic, Aviles worked full-time as an eyelash technician. The personal care industry was hard hit by Covid restrictions, giving her the impetus to shift gears. She started putting together snack packs for birthdays and other events, and around last April, started an online delivery business with her best finds. At the outset, profitability was a challenge—without a network of suppliers, Aviles was forced to buy products at retail prices and resell them for little to no profit. Over time, she developed relationships with wholesalers, which gave her the freedom to expand her library and sell her wares at fair but sustainable prices.

It’s not all about the unfamiliar; nostalgic snacks are some of her bestsellers. When she started the business, Dunkaroos cereal sold like hotcakes. (Dunkaroos—bite-sized cookies that came with a little tub of icing to dip them in—were discontinued here back in 2018, much to the chagrin of Canadian millennials.) For Aviles, a Middle Eastern variety of Molto—pre-packaged croissants with hazelnut filling—evoke her memories of growing up in Egypt. “I love being able to offer products that help people relive their past,” she says.

You can buy individual, full-sized snacks from her website, but for a regular dose of novelty, consider subscribing to the surprise pack. Each month, Aviles curates a box that comes with eight snacks and one drink. “The surprise pack gets you a wide range from our selection, from all over the world,” she says. “It’s always changing.”

For now, Snack Edition is a one-woman show—Aviles handles everything from graphic design and marketing to dealing with suppliers and packing orders in her Cabbagetown home. Hiring an extra set of hands is not out of the question for the future, but her shorter-term goal is partnering with a delivery service (look out for Snack Edition on your favourite delivery app in the coming months).

Aviles’ message for would-be food entrepreneurs: don’t be afraid to stake your claim. “There have been difficult days when I thought this wouldn’t work out, but I’ve been overwhelmed with support,” she says. “If you have even the smallest entrepreneurial bone in your body, I say it’s worth a try. Don’t let fear hold you back.”