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ChipMonk Baking

A specialty bakery brand that makes low-carb, gluten-free, and keto snacks and desserts.

  • Latinx-Founded
  • Clean Ingredients
FOUNDER Jose Hernandez & David Downing
HEADQUARTERS Houston, TX
ChipMonk Baking

Behind the Brand

ChipMonk Baking was founded in 2019 by Jose Hernandez and David Downing, roommates living in Houston, Texas, out of their apartment kitchen. Despite being an extremely health-conscious person and a certified personal trainer, Jose was genetically predisposed to and later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As a result of his diagnosis, Jose decided to treat his condition holistically through food and immediately eliminated processed carbs and sugar from his diet. Instead, he adopted a low-carb, high-fat diet that lowered his blood sugar and insulin resistance.

While this newfound diet managed his diabetes, Jose had to give up many foods he loved to eat. One day, due to a strong desire to reintroduce baked goods into his diet, Jose discovered a whole new world of low-carb, alternative ingredients on Google. He decided to try baking some cookies using almond flour and monk fruit and shared them with David. David was shocked at how delicious they were and immediately saw business potential in the product. They took the same cookies to their office to sample out, sold some the next day, and the idea for ChipMonk Baking was born.

Initially, Jose and David kept their full-time jobs but decided to commit to the business fully if they reached $10,000 in monthly revenue. They continued baking from home, sold cookies at farmer’s markets, joined a commercial kitchen to open their online store, and successfully hit $14,000 at the end of that year. In addition to raising some money from family and friends, they raised an additional $150,000 via crowdfunding to expand into a larger production facility for increased output capabilities. Today, the ChipMonk team continues to self-manufacture their better-for-you cookies while frequently documenting their “behind the scenes” on social media. They are on a mission to bring dessert back to those struggling with diabetes, celiac disease, or for anyone pursuing a low-carb, ketogenic lifestyle.

Meet the Maker

What has been your most unforgettable moment (good or bad) while building your company? - +

JOSE: There are countless unforgettable moments when you're running a start-up, both good and bad. One that sticks out, in particular, is the article published in the Houston Chronicle about my health journey. We had so many orders come through the website that we spent three days baking and packing orders with various Costco runs. It was an incredibly exhausting, yet rewarding experience. The best part was that it was all Houston-based customers.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? - +

JOSE: In my free time, I like to maintain my health, both physical and mental, through various outdoor activities. I go camping and hiking whenever I can, but will usually spend time rock climbing, practicing yoga, working out, or playing sports/games with friends.

What is an essential part of your daily routine? - +

JOSE: Before bed, I make sure to decompress my mind with some light reading and then I stretch my body for 10-15 minutes. It helps me sleep and ensures I wake up energized and ready for any and all challenges.

What is your biggest pet peeve? - +

JOSE: Slow drivers in the left lane, but who doesn't. My biggest pet peeve is when people make claims without any proof or experience in the subject matter, especially when it comes to health and food. There's too much misinformation.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? - +

JOSE: I went to an all-boys catholic school for high school.

What do you want to be remembered for? - +

JOSE: My amazing line-up of dad jokes and sarcasm for every occasion.

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