It was a gray April in the spring of 2022. My friends and I, sick of dining hall food and paltry collegetown offerings, were itching for something different. Everyone was raving about this niche noodle shop in collegetown, Bool Street Noods, but no one seemed to be able to get on the list.
Demand for these noodles was exploding, and weekly orders were filling up in four, three, two minutes from the moment they opened. For weeks we tried, and finally, through a bit of persistence, the elusive noodles finally became ours to try.
They were fantastic, but I argue that the most impressive part about Bool Street Noods isn’t just their amazing noodles, but their contribution to the community and admirable display of student entrepreneurship.
Completely student-run, Bool Street Noods has thrived and expanded ever since their founding in the spring of 2022. The restaurant is the original brainchild of cooking enthusiast Yamato Hill ’23, who has since worked with his circle of friends to run and develop this start-up alongside co-owner Glenn Newburger ’23. The Bool team consists of Anjan Mani ’23, Isabel Beariault ’23, Claire Beck Belaman ’23, Samuel Pavelites ’23, Audrey Noziere ’23, Jake Scherer ’23 and Marco Deicas ’23. Starting it “for the vibes,” their mission has been to provide cheap, tasty food for all Cornell students. At $10 for a large bowl of noodles, it’s a bargain here where a small sandwich from CTB, and most mediocre collegetown meals, will set you back for more.
Bool Street Noods’s offerings vary, but its staple is a bowl of spicy Biang-Biang noodles (a long, thick, Chinese-style noodle made by slapping) served with meat, vegetables and seared in chili oil. Any order is customizable by changing its spice and peppercorn level, or by making it vegetarian. Originally, the Bool Street Noods owners began cooking this dish for themselves and their friends, but gradually expanded their base using Instagram as their main marketing tool. They found instantaneous success, initially filling out 70 orders a week, but have since expanded to 400 a week. However, you must still set an alarm, get on good wifi and click fast, much like pre-enroll, in order to secure your noodles in time.
Bool Street Noods’s collaborations have been similarly impressive, partnering with fellow student-entrepreneurs to provide greater variety and convenience for students looking to buy high-quality takeout. Their most recent collaborators have been with “donEGG”, an egg sandwich start-up run by Justin Samovar ’24 and his friends Jae Hahn ’23 and Alexander Adrogue ’24 and “Sauce by Tomas,” a small-batch hot sauce company founded by Tomas Beariault ’25. Although not Cornell-based, they’ve also partnered with the established brand, “Lunar Hard Seltzer,” a startup based in New York City.
Furthermore, Bool Street Nood’s positive impact has reached far beyond the Cornell community. All of the abovementioned student-run Cornell startups give all their profits to charity, and Bool Street Noods alone has raised thousands of dollars for causes like breast cancer research, Operation Hope, and the Advocacy Center at Tompkins County. They’ve also inspired aspiring fellow student-entrepreneurs like Jack McNally, a Northwestern student who founded a taco startup in the style of Bool Street Noods for his school’s Special Olympics program.
Going forward, Yamato plans on using this semester as a testing grounds for future potential expansion after college. As for this spring, Bool Street Noods has moved into cooking in a professional kitchen, and is currently considering renting a food truck. Besides their usual weekend launches, they’ll be serving at Chilifest this year, and are currently taking applications for internships and other positions available on their website.
“Founding and operating Bool Street Noods has been one of my favorite ways of exploring my interests in cooking good food, running a business, and meeting new people. The thrill I feel every time I see the order form fill up is completely unmatched, and I will cherish the memories I’ve made through BSN for the rest of my life,” Yamato said.
Such ventures like Bool Street Noods are important both for the delicious services they offer and the valuable skills students learn in running them. Cornell is full of talented students, and I hope that more of them can take risks and have the creativity to start their own ventures. Especially when it comes to cheap tasty food. I’m very supportive of that.
So go follow Bool Street Noods on Instagram, sign up for an order, and try the noods yourself. Their next launch is on Feb. 18, and orders open on Feb. 17 at noon. Mark your calendar, and don’t forget to set an alarm.
Aurora Weirens is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]. The Northern Light runs alternate Sundays this semester.
Correction, Feb. 15, 12:50 a.m.: A previous version of this article failed to give credit to all undergraduate students who contributed to Bool Street Nood’s startup. It has since been updated to give credit where due.