Baking cookies for the holidays as a family tradition impressed friends so much that it became a business, says Hans Schrei, Co-founder of Wunderkeks, a brand that bakes and ships cookies nationwide.

Hans looks back at that time as stressful because the business grew too fast. Thankfully help arrived with the arrival of his co-founder Luis Gramajo.

The pair met via the Tinder dating app in their native Guatemala. Luis, who had a photography business at the time, saw the potential in Wunderkeks but also could tell Hans was struggling.

“I immediately thought he was exhausted and needed some help,” Luis says. “Thankfully, with photography, my hours were very flexible. … He trusted me, and we started working together very well. … We didn’t force anything to happen, but we started noticing that his strengths and my strengths were very different, and they complimented each other.”

Wunderkeks got started in farmers’ markets, which provided the two with all the customer feedback they needed.

“You had direct contact with your customers, and you can do lots of market research,” Luis says. “You can ask them what flavors they want, what product size… they can even look at them.”

The brand started in 2019, but ironically, the COVID pandemic triggered the fastest growth. The pair was poised to have a pop-up store at South by Southwest in Austin, but the event was canceled at the last minute because of the lockdown. The cookies were already made, so Hans and Luis pivoted and promoted it all social. Thanks to retweets, orders came flying in.

The pair says they learned early on that the key to success was focusing on one product and doing it well.

“We like to ask people, okay, let’s try this cookie and tell me if it’s the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had,” Hans says. “Then we’re like, Oh, my God, I give you that one. It’s delicious.”

In Part 1, Luis and Hans talk about:

* Gratitude for the support they gave each other when creating the business.
* How they met via a dating app.
* How their complementary skills helped.
* The pros of using farmers’ markets.
* How a canceled pop-up store helped trigger growth.
* The focus on a single product.

Join Ramon Vela and Hans Schrei as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

For more on Wunderkeks, visit:

This episode is also brought to you by Sendlane.

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