About Dan-O's Seasoning
Dan-O’s Seasoning is changing the world one table at a time by offering the best all-natural, low-sodium seasoning products on the market. Our goal is to provide you with real flavors to make healthier food choices without ever sacrificing taste.
Dan-O-Myte • Dantastic • Put Some Dan-O's On It
Good things are born out of necessity, and the origins of Dan-O’s Seasoning are no different. Back when Dan Oliver, the founder of Dan-O’s, was in college, his mom gifted him a few cuts of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Being a young, inexperienced cook, he wasn’t sure what to do with it.
According to Dan-O, “The next day, my buddy and I started throwing some spices on it…and wow, that chicken was good. After that I started playing around with the recipe,” and the seeds that would become Dan-O’s Seasoning took root.
“Any time for the next 15 years that I cooked chicken for friends and family, I used a variation of that spice recipe we came up with that day.”
Dan-O spent years refining the recipe into what it is today while working in the professional sector as his day job.
He ended up leaving that job, though and decided to become a bartender. Except, there was one problem. The bar had no bartending jobs open! So instead, he took a cooking job. “I loved to cook, so I said ‘Okay, this is just temporary,’ and took the job.”
Eventually, he’d move on to bartending at the same establishment, but he would still make his not-yet-famous chicken for patrons. “I’d never even thought of selling it. Every time I made chicken with the seasoning on it, we would sell out, but I never thought of it as a legitimate business idea,” Dan-O said.
With a few years behind the bar under his belt, he decided he wanted a more traditional lifestyle than the late nights bartending. “I was always thinking of trademark or ‘million dollar’ ideas,” he said. While trying to figure out what path he should take next, he brought some leftover chicken in for a bar regular he knew. After trying it, he told Dan, “Dude, this is the best chicken I’ve ever had in my life. Why aren’t you selling [this seasoning] to everyone in the world?” That was one of the early versions that sparked the now famous Dan-O’s chicken thighs recipe.
When he went home that night, Dan-O’s was all he could think about. He scoured Google and Youtube to learn all about what went into making an FDA-approved product he could sell in stores. And thus, Dan-O’s was born in April of 2015…though it would take Dan-O a few more years to perfect his product. After over a year of modifications, logo designs, and finding the beloved mascot, Little Danny, the first bottle of Dan-O’s was sold in August of 2016. “It took me all that time to figure out the label design, come up with Little Danny, weigh out and modify the recipe…I probably modified it near 200 times to get it perfect,” he explained.
It was during that time that Dan-O realized his seasoning wasn’t just delicious, it was low sodium and all-natural. He took the sugar out and realized he had a product that could change the world.
After another year and a half of development, the new and improved (and healthier) Dan-O’s Seasoning was launched on June 1, 2017.
Changing the World, one bottle of seasoning at a time.
When Dan-O’s first started, it was a shoestring budget and Dan-O was working hard to break even each month. That’s how he discovered that Dan-O’s was a hit at trade shows and flea markets. At his first flea market, he went in hoping to sell around $1,000 worth of product and sold over $3,000!
So, Dan-O followed the money and began traveling all over the country to tell people about his low-sodium, sugar-free, healthy alternative to traditional seasonings. And, most importantly, letting people try Dan-O’s for themselves by sampling at shows. Toothpick Timmy, Dan-O’s beloved sidekick, came into the picture in March of 2018. They met in a bar, Dan-O let him try out some seasoning, and Timmy was hooked from then on.
You probably know Toothpick from his role helping Dan-O creating TikToks.
When COVID-19 hit the country at the start of 2020, Dan-O realized his main source of profits – trade shows – might not be able to happen for a long time. So he joined TikTok and started making cooking videos.
“I was doing anything and everything I could to sell Dan-O’s and help it survive. Things had just started going really well, and then Covid hit,” he said. “That’s when I said, ‘Okay, time for plan B,’ and I started making two or three videos a day, going on live streams, and all of a sudden…it started to click.”
At first, he wasn’t getting a ton of views, but all of a sudden, one of his posts went viral. “All of a sudden I was like, oh, okay, we’re getting sales off of this. I’d said I needed to make $200 a day to survive this, and all of a sudden we’d grown to doing a few thousand dollars a day. It just kept growing. I couldn’t have done it without Toothpick, that’s for sure.”
Today, Dan-O’s is widely known on TikTok, but it’s also made its way to every state in the lower 48. You can even find it in some grocery stores in Kentucky and on Amazon and Walmart.com now! Throughout all the success, Dan’s mission to change the world through healthier eating hasn’t wavered.