For about two decades in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Columbus Bakery served New Yorkers mouthwatering cookies. Now, these classic cookies are
distributed as “Chipz Cookies.” Luke Pascal and Boogie Dash met at the Dwight School, where they both attended Middle School. Their ventures include Spontaneous Reaction Records, Chipz Cookies and a Food/Media Conglomerate, “A Dirty Napkin.”
Luke and Boogie have the entrepreneurial spirit flowing through their veins. Luke (Lukas) is the son of Restaurateur Vincent Pascal. Boogie (Damon, Jr.) is the son of entertainment mogul Damon Dash. Luke and Boogie were gracious enough to take some time to talk about carrying on the business legacies of their fathers, what it’s like to be young and independent business owners as well as their efforts to connect this novelty product with their nightlife ventures.
Walk us through the transition from the cookies being made strictly for customers at the Columbus Bakery to “Chipz Cookies” being distributed beyond that one location.
Luke: My Dad had a place called Columbus bakery. His pastry chef, Viko Ortega, made the best cookies on the planet and we would buy these cookies every day after school. The bakery closed down, but a few years later we decided to re-launch the cookies as “Chipz”. We built a brand around the product and eventually approached Fairway… We signed our first deal as a company with them last summer.
Both of you are very young as well as descendants of entrepreneurs. Did your lineage help you all overcome the fear of being in business? If so, how?
Luke: Honestly, there was no fear… I feel as if we were properly prepared. We just had fun during this whole process.
Boogie: I didn’t have any fear because my father prepared me as I grew up. He told me the more problems you have the better your business is. So bring it on!!
Most entrepreneurs want to grow at a rapid pace. What are your methods for remaining patient without becoming stagnant?
Luke: I am the impatient one. I want everything to be done right now! My method on staying patient is calling up Boogie, and hearing how hype he is about how far we have come… and then I realize we are pretty far ahead of the game… No one our age has the reach and drive that we have.
Boogie: Luke and I are 21 years old and Chipz is already in Fairway, Zabars, and a few delis. I know grown men who’ve been selling food for years and aren’t in grocery stores. I also like for people to see us grow. There’s no need to rush things.
You all are also connected to the music and nightlife industries. I wouldn’t normally envision a cookie product being connected to those industries. Do you all see a pathway that will connect cookies to music and nightlife?
Boogie: It’s how the company got started! When we used to throw Spontaneous Reaction (which is our record label) parties, we would have girls walking around selling the cookies. We always sold out. We are also going to produce a mix tape, and put the music on a flash drive which we will then insert into the packaging of the cookies.
Some would assume that the two of you have advantages due to your families and their success. Talk about how you all have spread your wings and proved to naysayers that your progress is based on your own merit.
Luke: I love this question!! It gives me the opportunity to talk about my father. Look, our fathers cared enough to put in the hard work over the years to set us up with unbelievably blessed lives. We obviously have an advantage, we can ask two geniuses for advice any time of the day, but remember this is us doing all the work… EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Boogie: We sure do have advantages due to our families and we are running with them. Our fathers made it easy for us to succeed and we would be silly not to take advantage and I love both of them for that. As my dad said “that’s real man sh*t”.
What would you all say to young entrepreneurs who are struggling to get off the ground? What kind of advice could a 21 year-old business owner take away from what your company has been through?
Luke: Don’t’ be scared. Don’t be afraid to take risks. What’s the worst thing that can happen… some clown says no? You have a 50% chance of hearing the answer you want. Also, think different.
Boogie: I would tell them to keep working hard. Hustle beats talent any day. Don’t be scared like my man Luke said, don’t be afraid to fail. Its takes about 5 years to get your business started, so you have time.
Out of production, packaging and distribution, which has been the most difficult process to master?
Luke: This has been easy… Everyone is under this assumption that it’s hard to do what we do. The hardest thing that I had to accomplish was figuring out how to make a proper barcode.
Boogie: Nothing’s been difficult, it’s actually been a lot of fun. Working for myself and not for someone else is the best. I’m my own boss.
What’s the best/worst experience that has defined the company so far?
Luke: This whole experience has been the best… I have grown as a person, businessman, and I learn something new every single day. There has been nothing negative that has come out of this.
Boogie: The worst experience so far has to be writing this interview… I’m totally kidding lol, but I haven’t really had any bad experiences. I’ve been excited this whole time. How could I be mad when everything is going well?
Where will Chipz Cookies be as a brand five (5) years from today?
Luke + Boogie: We are aiming to revolutionize the food industry as a whole… We have some pretty cool stuff lined up, but we don’t want to spill the beans!!