AUSTIN, Texas - Founders of the LGBTQ-owned Austin cookie company, Wunderkeks, paired up with Love Loud, and despite getting homophobic pushback, they’re using it to bring awareness to struggles they’ve faced.
"We really admire what [LGBTQ-owned businesses] do and being LGBTQ-owned is hard, so they are out there being successful," Gramajo says.
"What really amazes us is that something, somewhere, helped us keep our cool when the whole 'South By' and the pandemic thing happened, and instead of panicking and saying 'ok, I guess we're going to fly back to go to Guatemala', we somehow managed to turn around the situation without panicking," Hans Schrei, Gramajo’s business and life partner, co-founder of Wunderkeks says.
"This was a time where there was no toilet paper at target and it was like a ghost town. It was horrible," Schrei adds.
They scrambled quickly to come up with a second plan, with a little help from social media, their cookies and story went viral.
"It was amazing how everything changed for us in a year," Gramajo says.
This year, in 2021, they're dodging new challenges.
"It's the first time that we're doing something for Pride and we felt a little guilty in the beginning. We didn't want to rub it in anyone in anybody's faces because that's what brands do. They usually do that," Gramajo says. "Then we thought about it and we were like, ‘you know what? we are LGBTQ-owned, we should celebrate Pride! we have the right to do it.’"
The couple was excited until they started getting feedback, some people in support, others spreading hate.
"We have gotten so many emails of people that they don't want to buy the cookies anymore, or they say no to the cookies because they don't support homosexuality," Gramajo describes.
They say the comments were hurtful at first, but they see things differently now.
"So, on the bright side, that's exactly why we're doing this because we still need to create awareness. We didn't even think that we had to, but yes, you still have to create awareness and you still have to show the world that being a minority is just your superpower," Gramajo says.
While their mission started with cookies and treats, things have changed.
"With all these that we're doing, we can make a change. I think that's our goal and if we do that, we're going to be giving to the new generation in a way more than we expected," Gramajo explains.
A goal to be there for those who need community while giving others a different perspective of what Pride means.
"I used to have a teacher who compared being gay to being left-handed. Which is just, you are left-handed. If you are left-handed, you can pretend not to be left-handed and you're going to be miserable. It used to happen to me, but the only thing it says about being left-handed, is you are left-handed. That's it. So I think it's a very accurate comparison," Schrei says.
For the rest of Pride month, Wunderkeks is giving back a dollar of every dozen cookies sold to help empower LGBTQ youth.
They've also teamed up with fellow Austin LGBTQ-owned business, Lick Ice Creams, for a special strawberry lemonade rainbow ice cream flavor this month.