Renson and Caroline Blanco are the co-founders of BAKE SOME NOISE, a bakery and brand based in Los Angeles, California. Their focus is simple: to disrupt corporate cookie America with their unconventional yet creative approach on what the popularized snack should be. They offer local delivery, curbside pick-up and ship nationwide. Their delicious cookies can also be found on Postmates, UberEats and Doordash.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
BAKE SOME NOISE co-founders Renson and Caroline Blanco (“BSN”): Entrepreneurship is trusting your gut feeling, which often enough could be unconventional. It means taking risks, establishing your own set of rules that will serve as the foundation for your business, and being resourceful and mentally tough- all at the same time. It’s utilizing the knowledge you gained from past experiences, whether it’s from a previous job or business endeavor, and applying it to your business now. In entrepreneurship, there really isn’t anyone telling you what you’re doing is right or wrong so it really comes down to just believing what you’re doing is best for your business.
Tell us about your first experience with entrepreneurship.
Renson Blanco: DJ REN – My earliest experience of entrepreneurship is from being a DJ, which is actually where the name BAKE SOME NOISE came from. This started in high school and progressed all the way through college and my early adulthood. With being a DJ, you, yourself, are the business. You are your own brand and everything you do in the beginning, from booking gigs to marketing, is all done by you.
Caroline Blanco: CarePkg – I had a hand-made jewelry business that gave a portion of all proceeds to help women and children in need. It taught me a lot about myself. It showed me that I could build something for myself while helping others. It gave me my first taste of complete control over my life and where it could go.
What is your company’s origin story? What is the biggest reason you started your business? What did those early days look like and teach you?
BSN: BAKE SOME NOISE started as an idea to create something that was a reflection of ourselves that we could share with the world. To be honest, it was just something that we would jokingly talk about from time to time. But the more we traveled and shared this idea with friends and family, it became more evident to us that we could actually do this. BAKE SOME NOISE was finally born in December 2020 out of our one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles with a Kitchen-Aid mixer we bought from Target.
We started BAKE SOME NOISE without any knowledge of baking or running a food business, but what we did know was that we loved eating cookies and critiquing them. We traveled to New York often and anyone who has been there knows how big the cookie scene is. Even to this day, there are new players popping up with their own spin on cookies. With LA being our home but lacking the same kind of love for these desserts, we figured we’d give it a shot and see if we could represent the West Coast with our own version.
Without the proper tools, space, and most importantly, skills, you can only imagine how challenging it was just to start. We knew what we wanted for our brand visually and what we wanted our cookies to taste like but executing that wasn’t easy. We went through lots of R&D before settling on the cookies we offer today. What we learned from this whole experience was to do one thing at a time and do it well, better than anyone else could. Keeping this in mind, we poked around a little bit but ultimately settled on only offering cookies on our menu (aside from a few beverages)!
What do you wish you knew when you started? Is there anything you would do differently?
BSN: We wish we knew the fundamentals of starting a food business. If we had someone to guide us through the process, we feel like we would’ve had a smoother start. Since we didn’t know anyone who could offer advice and steer us in the right direction, we made so many mistakes. At the same time, making all the mistakes ourselves actually helped us in the long run. There is something about learning the hard way that really stuck with us since the only people that were affected were us. A lot of big lessons were learned in the beginning that we still value today. So, looking back, we wouldn’t have done anything differently.
What does “success” look like for you? We’d love to hear your biggest, boldest dream? What do you think will help you achieve it?
BSN: Success is being able to provide for people but not just financially. Being able to provide new opportunities for others through BAKE SOME NOISE is one of our biggest goals. To us, not only providing jobs, but providing an environment for people to realize their dreams, is as important as monetary success. Also, being able to inspire others and show them that it’s okay to choose a path less traveled. If we could achieve this, then we would consider ourselves successful. Our biggest and boldest dream is to not only be the BEST cookie in the world, but to have brick and mortar take-out windows and trucks worldwide! With time, consistency and confidence, we believe we can accomplish this. You can’t be the best cookie in the world if you don’t already think you’re the best!
What is your superpower as an entrepreneur? What is your proudest and darkest moment so far?
BSN: Being able to connect with people, remain resilient, and have selective hearing are oddly enough all superpowers of ours. So many people voice their opinion and will tell you no, but we always take that as – just not right now. Earlier this year, we were approached with an opportunity to partner with a well-known film studio and theme park in Southern California. As with any product-based business, scalability can be problematic. We were excited for this opportunity, but we also knew we couldn’t deliver. Simply put, we just didn’t know how to scale that fast.
Our proudest moment is starting our business during the pandemic and actually making it out alive. All of Los Angeles was shut down during this time so I guess it’s safe to say it probably wasn’t the smartest time to start. It was a humbling moment for us and every day we’re so thankful we’re still here! We’re just about to cross our two-year mark and it still feels like we just started.
What are your personal driving principals, your top values?
BSN: Authenticity and being able to provide for our families sits at the top for us. We place a lot of value on having patience and treating everyone fairly, even when times get tough.
How have your personal principles and values shaped your company’s values and principles?
BSN: They are really one in the same. We never felt like we needed to create something for the sake of being profitable. BAKE SOME NOISE is authentic to us and that goes for us as people and as a business. We’re big advocates for treating everyone fairly, which is why no one is referred to as “my employee” and it’s ingrained in our head to never say, “they work for me.” We’re all on the same team and we value every single person just like family.
What’s it like to work alone or with your partners?
BSN: Working with our partners is motivating. It’s tough doing something alone, so to be able to collaborate and hear different opinions and ideologies really brings us to the core of why we started BAKE SOME NOISE. Working as partners and still being able to effectively communicate has been very vital to our growth. Building a business is a long road so you better be able to sit back and hear each other out, get over the speed bumps and enjoy the ride.
Do you have a mentor? Tell us about what makes them valuable to you and your business?
BSN: We do not have a direct mentor with BAKE SOME NOISE but we have met many people along the way who have helped us think differently and provide advice on how to grow our business. So in a way, we do have mentors.
What role does mentorship play in your world (as a mentor or mentee)?
BSN: Mentorship is key and we can speak on this heavily because as we mentioned, we didn’t have this when we first started. There wasn’t anyone whom we could ask questions. It was either we trust our gut and start, or we don’t. There was no voice of reason. Because of this, one of our life goals is to help others reach their own dreams, and a way we could do that is through mentorship. We like to think that people are always watching, and you never know who you could be inspiring. To this day, we are constantly inspired by our peers, whether they are established or just starting out like us.
Many entrepreneurs continue to perfect their daily routines to support their work and greater vision; would you mind sharing your morning routine or a regular ritual that grounds your work each day?
BSN: Routine is very important, and we try to be consistent, even when it seems redundant. We start every day with self-care – exercising, meditating, and spending time with our two dogs. We skip breakfast and have our first meal at lunch. Even though routine sounds boring and repetitive, it actually helps with our focus throughout the day. Knowing that we started our day off doing something for ourselves helps us crush the work that needs to get done the rest of the day.
What are you reading or have read?
BSN: Currently reading: “Think and Grow Rich” and “Four Hour Work Week”
We also listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks on car rides. One of our favorite podcasts is “How I Built This”.
Where do you go for inspiration?
BSN: We love to travel and get a lot of inspiration from the new people and cultures we come across. Our daily inspiration, believe it or not, comes mostly from social media and the internet. We find a lot of amazing brands, foods and ideas that we wouldn’t have thought otherwise that open our eyes to new ways of doing things. We try to think of ways to implement this into our business.
Do you have a favorite quote, mantra, or words of wisdom to get through the tough days?
BSN: We have a list of these that continue to fuel us but two of our favorites are: “Success is Sweet After a Bitter Pain” and “JUST TRY”. Self-doubt is one of the biggest threats to your goals so why not just go for it? At the end of the day, you can always go back to whatever you were doing before.
What is a problem that keeps you up at night?
BSN: We wouldn’t call it a problem but we are constantly thinking of ways to grow BAKE SOME NOISE. It’s challenging to formulate the exact steps to get us to the “next level” in our business. This conversation happens almost daily over dinner and sometimes continues until we turn off the lights to go to bed. It’s like a revolving door; I don’t think we’ll ever stop thinking about it.
How do you think about helping others through your work?
BSN: One of our ongoing goals is to give back to our community. That could be through donating our time, or donating our product for charity. We’ve done this a few times now and everytime we do, we always talk about how good it feels. One of the great things about BAKE SOME NOISE is that there is no age limit – everyone can enjoy it!
What advice do you have for fellow (and aspiring) entrepreneurs building and leading teams?
BSN: We live by the belief that you should treat everyone with the same respect and acknowledgment. Everyone in the company is “part of the team”and not just an employee. Of course, there are leaders because you need that position in terms of structure, but no one is below anyone. We often say it – everyone should be able to pick up a broom and sweep if needed. You never know if the next big idea for your business could come from the person packing the orders, so why not hear them out?
What kind of an entrepreneur do you want to be known as – as in, what do you want your legacy to be?
BSN: We want to be remembered as entrepreneurs who really built something out of authenticity and had a lot of fun doing it! We didn’t reinvent the wheel with BAKE SOME NOISE but what we did do was make it our own. Starting a business is hard but keeping the momentum going is even harder. With that, we ultimately want to be remembered as those guys who are living proof that you can do whatever you want, but the first step is getting out there and trying. We know there is a platform for everyone, you just have to find it. It’s not going to be easy, but you don’t know what you can really accomplish until you “just try.”
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