CEO, Dang Foods
Vincent Kitirattragarn, 31, launched Dang Foods in 2012 after his mother gave him a recipe for Miang Kum, a Northern Thai dish that requires toasted coconut. At the time, he was cooking experimental dishes for the SF Underground Farmer’s Market. Vincent made the dish, tasted the toasted coconut, and then immediately called his family in Thailand to find more because it tasted so dang good. Dang is named for Vincent’s mother – it’s a popular women’s name in Thailand as well as the word for the color red.
Vincent is a New York City native who started his career research environmentally and socially beneficial products for the City of New York. He moved to the Bay Area to work with GoodGuide, a natural product ratings company headed by a UC Berkeley Professor. There he helped create rating systems for hybrid vehicles, food and beverage items, recycled paper and other categories. His academic background includes two engineering degrees from Cornell University and five years of sustainability and natural product research across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Dang Coconut Chips are sold in 7,000 locations around the US, including Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Stop n’ Shop, The Fresh Market, Sprouts, CVS, Amazon and many independent grocers. The coconut chips are made of sliced copra (coconut meat), seasoned and toasted to perfection. The toasting process caramelizes the sugars and creates a wonderfully buttery umami flavor from naturally occurring aromatic coconut oil. It’s a wonderful snack and a healthy alternative to fried chips, dried fruit and nuts. For home cooks, it’s a versatile topping that can be used to enhance ice cream, yogurt, salads, oatmeal and baked goods.
Vincent holds both Bachelor and Master of Engineering degrees from Cornell University and currently resides in Oakland, CA. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and received a SOFI Gold award for “Best Snack” for Dang Original Recipe Coconut Chips.