U.S. Marine Corps Major
Dax Snacks LLC
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY by two canny cooks, Dax Verdia was initially drawn to culinary school after high school, but his overwhelming sense of patriotism and love for country ultimately led him to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in 2000. Among Dax’s deployments was a combat mission in Kuwait in 2003.
After graduating from The City College of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Dax worked for FedEx. However, his continued call to duty and service led Dax to become a police officer in 2010.
Looking back on his military career, Dax realized that there was another type of service involved- the service of food! Throughout his international travels, Dax had seen undeniable evidence that food is a main driver in bringing people together. Looking further back, Dax again took inspiration from his family recipes and, incorporating his own weakness for chocolate and sweets and also a focus on healthy lifestyle choices, created Dax Snacks.
After hours and hours of experimentation, Dax delivered the first batches of
Cookies that represented healthier versions of timeless classics that used natural, organic ingredients and that struck a satisfying balance of delectable and healthy.
Though another military assignment would temporarily slow Dax’s roll (er- cookie), as soon as he returned from his latest service abroad Dax went right back to serving family and friends and has since gone on to grow his cookie company to an international entity, thanks in great part to a veteran entrepreneur course sponsored by Veteran Future Labs and to the love and support of his inspirational family and fellow Veterans.
With what branch of service are you affiliated and what is your rank?
I am still currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, I am a Major with prior enlistment time where I held the rank of Sergeant.
Dax Snax LLC specializes in a variety of gluten-free or vegan cookies with natural ingredients that are mostly organic, [all] non-GMO, and [that use] fair trade sources where applicable. The company produces baked goods through a commercial kitchen for retail via health food stores, cafes, fitness gyms, farmers markets, e-commerce, and wholesale.
What prompted you to launch it?
I have been making these cookies since about 2014. In sharing these cookies with friends, family, and coworkers, I [received] nothing but rave reviews and [was urged] to sell them. I was hesitant at first, [but] then I decided to dip my toes and try local farmers’ markets. I received great feedback and gained some exposure. After taking a two-part virtual entrepreneurial course hosted by the Veterans Future Lab…I decided to work on a full startup launch.
How has your military life educated and influenced your business life?
I learned the importance of relationships [and how to] seek them out, be genuine, and let growth begin. Next, task organization- being able to envision the end [goal] and then break down into parts what needs to be done to get there.
What do you hope to do with your business?
I want Dax Snax to grow and become a household name Wheaties, Cheerios, Oreos, and Eggo Waffles were for me growing up. I do not have celiac disease or ingredient sensitivities. However, I do believe in the “health is wealth” mantra. There are many people like me that want to take care of themselves and still be able to enjoy delectable treats. I hope to bring this snack freedom to all, but most importantly to those with restrictive diets.
What advice would you give other Veterans looking to own a business?
Do it! If you have a passion, craft, skill, or idea that you can bring for others to be part of, go for it. It is a lot of work and there will be challenges, but it is well worth it because it is your creation and throughout the process, there is satisfaction in building something.
What is the most important thing you want people to know about Veterans?
What I think is advantageous about Veterans is that we have a common background of boot camp and/or Officer Candidate School. I know that no matter what part of the country or world you were born in or grew up in, we went through the exact same training. We have done something that only about 1% of the population do- follow through and join the military. I think that says something whether you did four years, 34 years, or somewhere in between. We’ve had values instilled in us. We’ve been given the tools and path to lead our peers or subordinates. We set an example for others to emulate. We sacrifice time away from family and friends. We accomplish missions with minimal or no supervision. That is the Veteran way!
Dax Snacks LLC Official Web Site: www.daxsnax.com
Matt Robinson has never served in the military, but is proud of his nation and wants to support others who have sacrificed so much so that he and others might enjoy the privileges of American citizenship. Matt has over 20 years of experience in education and also as a writer, editor, and communications expert. If you know of a Veteran who runs their own business or who needs writing and communications support
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