Episode 148
March 7, 2023

Cookies Changing the World

with Hans Schrei, Founder and CEO of Wunderkeks

About this episode

Joining the show today is Hans Schrei, a passionate entrepreneur who is using his business to create safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, one cookie at a time. Hans is the Founder and CEO of Wunderkeks, a company that not only sells unbelievably delicious cookies but sees every sweet treat as a pathway to the rituals that allow us to connect with one another. In our conversation, Hans reflects on his upbringing in Guatemala and the challenges of being queer in a conservative Catholic society before recounting his journey as an entrepreneur and the story of how Wunderkeks went from being sold at farmer’s markets to gaining massive online orders, practically overnight. Hans also shares some of the key lessons he’s learned from fundraising and leaves listeners with the one piece of advice he believes is imperative for founders to persevere and thrive.

This episode is sponsored by

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About: 

  • [02:46] Hans’s experiences of growing up in Guatemala, the challenges of being queer in a conservative Catholic society, and why he moved to Austin, Texas.
  • [12:57] Why Hans was drawn to entrepreneurship from a young age and the satisfaction and difficulties of owning your own business.
  • [17:14] Misconceptions that people have about entrepreneurship and the immense dedication, grit, and care it takes to persevere and succeed.
  • [26:18] The founding story of Wunderkeks and the tweet that earned them 700 orders overnight (and 25,000 by the end of the month!)
  • [29:55] How an Apple iOS privacy update helped Hans and his partner uncover their ‘why’.
  • [32:17] Hans and his partner’s decision to be a proudly queer company, the homophobic backlash that followed, and the messages of encouragement they received.
  • [36:02] How Wunderkeks embraced the idea of becoming a safe space for consumers and the privilege of always being in a space where you can be yourself.
  • [41:35] Hans’s experience with fundraising, the importance of viewing your company from the investors’ perspective, and how they found a clear and successful strategy.
  • [48:15] Separating yourself from the business and the importance of becoming more comfortable with other people getting involved in your company.
  • [51:47] What’s next for Wunderkeks and Hans’s advice for young entrepreneurs today.

To Find Out More:

Wunderkeks

Hans Schrei on LinkedIn

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Quotes: 

“[In a strict Catholic country] you spend a lot of time code switching which is so exhausting — you're asking yourself, ‘Am I passing?’ all the time.” — [0:04:12]

“I have a complicated relationship with my home country.” — [0:05:23]

“One thing that I really appreciate about my parents is that they never tried to make me into something that I was not.” — [0:06:44]

“[With being an entrepreneur] I'm still asking myself every so often, ‘Why the hell do I do this to myself?’ But for the most part, it is good. It's exciting.” — [0:15:53]

“Some people really fall in love with the idea of being an entrepreneur, and they ‘think I'm gonna be my own boss’, [but that is] the furthest [thing] from the truth.” — [0:17:23]

“Particularly in the food space, you can tell when someone is winging it. It's not gonna work. They're not gonna make it. You have to really be willing to walk through fire for what you're doing.” — [0:17:32]

“In my space, in our space, in the retail space, it's very easy to forget that what you're selling is a luxury product.” — [0:37:22]

“How the hell did this company crash? They raised $100 million. And it's because they didn't have a plan.” — [0:44:16]

“You need to learn to put yourself in the investors' shoes and say, ‘That is what they're looking at.’” — [0:46:45]

“Get a therapist if you're a founder, because it's super rough and the level of self-doubt is so big.” — [0:53:00]

Read the transcript

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