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Gay-Owned Cookie Company, Wunderkeks, is heading to the Oscars!

LGBTQ-owned cookie company Wunderkeks has exploded in popularity thanks to its delicious cookies and celebrities.

Hans and Luis have had two exciting years. The couple, originally from Guatemala, eventually settled in Austin, Texas and opened their bakery, Wunderkeks, which specializes in cookies and has become known for its amazing and elaborate packaging. 2020 turned out to be the worst – and unexpectedly the best – year for the duo, offering them unthinkable challenges and remarkable rewards. Passport had the chance to sit down with this dynamic duo to discuss their lives, their business and their upcoming involvement in Hollywood’s biggest night, the Oscars.

So you are both from Guatemala. How did you end up in Austin?

Hans: I started cooking in my mother’s kitchen about ten years ago. Then, a few years ago, I had to take almost a month of vacation days or risk losing them all. With all this free time, I decided to bake a bunch of cookies for everyone. I ended up with 1,000 cookies that I had to give away. My family told me I should sell them, and before you know it… It was a business!

Eventually I met Luis and we fell in love. He helped me grow the business and we continued to grow closer and closer until we finally decided to get married. In 2018, we took a vacation to California. And it was crazy because, when we were there, we saw a lot of homosexual couples, and even homosexual couples with children! We had never seen this before…except on television.

Luis: To give you an idea of ​​what it’s like in Guatemala for the LGBTQ community, last Friday the nation banned same-sex marriage and demanded that schools teach that heterosexuality is the only “normal” way to live.

Hans: We decided we had to move to America. Austin, TX seemed relatively close to home, was a good place for fairly affordable rent, seemed to have a lot of life, and felt like a good city overall. So, we chose to move to Austin, and it was great!

Wunderkeks is known for its fun and dynamic packaging

Living in Austin is what prepared you to cook for South by Southwest (SXSW), the huge cultural and entertainment festival held annually in the city. You were chosen to bake cookies for the festival in March 2020… which ended up almost destroying your business. After SXSW was canceled, you ended up with 25,000 cookies and a massive revenue loss. But from what I understand, something amazing came out of this experience?

Luis: Yes, the original focus of our business was retail. We intended to sell our cookies in grocery stores. To help create publicity, we decided to have a pop-up store at the 2020 SXSW festival. Then, just days before the event, we received notification that SXSW had been canceled and the whole country was on the close point.

Luckily we have a background in marketing so we came up with the idea to sell the cookies online and hopefully earn some income and recoup our losses. We had a super basic website because online sales weren’t what we were focusing on. We thought of a fun idea to post images of the screw emoji on social media to basically say “we got screwed” and then shared our story about all the remaining cookies.

Locally, it seemed to spread quite quickly. We started getting sales for our cookies which was very helpful. Then somehow actress Busy Phillips saw our tweet and then retweeted it around midnight. Two hours later, in the middle of the night, we suddenly had 700 orders!

We immediately had to create a better website that could handle all the increased traffic. In a few days, The Wall Street Journal contacted us, followed by vanity lounge, vogue, SCS, and more. We had suddenly gone viral…all thanks to Busy Phillips! In three weeks, we had sold 35,000 cookies.

Have you ever had a chance to chat with Busy Phillips and thank her for spreading the word?

Luis: We were doing! We were able to chat a bit on Instagram. She even posted a video of herself eating our cookies which was super cool and sweet. We ended up sending her a gift basket of stuff from Guatemala as a thank you. But I still don’t know if she is aware of the importance of the role she played in saving the Wunderkeks!

And it seems that success has been raining down ever since?

Hans: Yes, fortunately, the success did not stop. We continue to be amazed at how lucky we are. Over the summer, we partnered with LoveLoud, an LGBTQ nonprofit created by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. It all happened because he ordered our cookies and he loved them. Once he found out the business was gay-owned, he said he wanted us to get involved with LoveLoud! It’s been such a crazy experience since 2020.

And now Wunderkeks is heading to the Oscars. Tell me how this opportunity came about!

Hans: Yeah, a local reporter asked to come see our kitchen just to see what it looked like, and she ended up staying for two hours! We had a giant chat and had a wonderful time. Later that night we get a text from her and she says she knows Lash Fary – the guy who packs the Oscar goodie bags!

She said she told him all about us and our story and he was dying to work with us. I emailed Lash, and he said he already had cookies for the bag but was wondering if we could make another type of pastry.

We decided to make our famous brownie recipe, which is super fudgy and everyone loves them, so we thought these would be perfect. And being the Oscars, we knew we had to dress up for the occasion, so we decided to cover the tops of the brownies with gold leaf, which makes them look absolutely gorgeous!

Wunderkek’s golden brownies are heading to the Oscars

And what about after the Oscars? Your brand has almost become synonymous with celebrities at this point, with so many big names falling in love with your extravagant boxes and delicious pastries. What’s next for you guys?

Well, we have a really exciting collab coming up…but we can’t talk about it just yet. I think the official information is released the first week of April. But it’s very cool and that Is involve another celebrity! I really wish I could say more, but if you can’t wait to find out, follow our Instagram over the next few weeks as we share all the information!

For more information or to purchase your own cookies, visit their website.

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Gay-Owned Cookie Company, Wunderkeks, is heading to the Oscars! was last modified: March 30, 2022 by Keith Langston