H-E-B QUEST FOR TEXAS BEST – Top Texas Product Makers Earn Placement on Store Shelves

Hello my Love’s! How’s life been treating you all? For me, life as usual has been busy busy busy. I have so much to talk to you all about, but one thing at a time….

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an awesome couple of events held by H-E-B grocery. The first being, The Quest for Texas Best is a signature program for H-E-B’s Primo Picks brand, which labels best-in-store products, all unique, delicious, and new. Since its inception in 2014, the Quest for Texas Best competition has yielded more than 200 new products on H-E-B store shelves across the state. At this event Nine Austin-area finalists presented their products to a panel of expert judges during a two-day round of competition. These finalists were selected from nearly 600 submissions across 200 Texas towns, yielding a delicious mix of sauces, salsas, spices, sweets and healthy food options along with meats and mixes. We learned their stories and got to know a little about almost all of the contestants. I’m not going to lie I may have fell into a “deep like” with a lot of these amazing products. I felt so sorry for the judges having to narrow down all of these amazing people and their products to just 4 winners. Jeff and I kept wondering how on earth they could do this.

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At the second event that’s exactly what had to happen. At H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best these judges had to narrow the field of 25 finalists to just FIVE winners at the Central Texas Food Bank.


Grand Prize Winner ($25,000 and featured placement as a Texas Best Primo Pick):

Local Austin favorites and all around awesome ladies, Skull & Cakebones – Mocha Marmalade, Sascha Biesi + Yauss Berenji – Austin, Texas

After Sascha Biesi discovered milk and eggs were the cause of her infant daughter’s persistent rash, she began a quest for delicious foods sans the animal products. Enlisting the help of Yauss Berenji, the two built Skull & Cakebones based on friendship, their families’ passion for food and a mission of making delicious desserts without animal products (because if you can, why shouldn’t you?). Using the best local products on hand, Skull & Cakebones presents a truly Texas-strong dessert – Mocha Marmalade Chocolate layered with Cuvee Coffee frosting and topped with Cuvee infused chocolate pudding.

TWO First Place Winners ($20,000 EACH) That’s right y’all a TIE! :

The Texas Pecan Cake Shop – Lorraine’s Original Mini Texas Pecan Cakes, Bridget + Will McCoy – Bertram, Texas

Like the Lone Star State, Bridget McCoy’s Lorraine’s Original Mini Texas Pecan Cakes are one of a kind. Baked in the iconic shape of Texas from a secret family recipe, it is a pecan lover’s dream. Made with 100% Texas products from local growers, loaded with pecans and held together with just enough flour and sugar, it delivers the wonderful flavor of Mom’s holiday baking that can be enjoyed on any occasion. Every day is a cake day!

WarPig BBQ For Use on Butts And Ribs Sauce, Dennis Butterworth – Houston, Texas

Dennis Butterworth’s BBQ sauce, For Use on Butts And Ribs (F.U.B.A.R), is an elite sauce forged in the trenches of barbecue competition. This award-winning sauce was crafted by U.S. Army veterans to be the one and only sauce you need in your arsenal. Whether you’re a professional chef or a backyard grill commando, For Use on Butts And Ribs’ sweet, tangy flavor bridges the gap for all barbecue palates. When you purchase this awesome sauce some of the proceeds will go to “Folds of Honor” an organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen soldiers and veterans. So you can feel great about eating all your BBQ 😉

Second Place Winner ($15,000):

Another Austin local company, Tamale Addiction’s Poblano & Muenster Cheese Organic Masa Tamales, Adrian + Mariana Paredes – Austin, Texas

This family unknowingly created a new tamale standard and culture among aficionados. First entering the farmers’ market circuit with Mexican desserts, they redirected their efforts to tamales. Today, Tamale Addiction is known for being fresh, organic, local and delicious with five versions that include meat, vegetarian, vegan, banana leaf and sweet tamales. By listening to their customers’ demand for an at-home option, they found a way to share their destiny with all of Texas via a two-pack of organic masa tamales filled with strips of roasted poblano pepper, fresh red salsa made from chile de arbol, and melted muenster cheese. These tamales were amazing y’all and I cannot wait for them to get into H-E-B.

Third Place Winner ($10,000):

La Familia Cortez Restaurants’ Mi Tierra Salsa Verde Salsa, Cariño Cortez & Michael Cortez – San Antonio, Texas

The family of Pedro Cortez – entrepreneur, restaurateur and savior of San Antonio’s Market Square – committed themselves to preserving the recipes that have been in the family since 1941, when the patriarch opened his first eatery, Jamaica #5, and eventually Mi Tierra. Over the years, Pedro’s sons and grandsons have combined traditional Mexican cooking techniques with the latest culinary advancements to safeguard Pedro’s process, ingredients and legacy. The family is intent on sharing this tasty legacy with customers near and far with Mi Tierra Salsa Verde – a secret mixture of oven roasted tomatillos and a blend of spices that create a tangy salsa great for enchiladas and more. Like they say, “salsa by choice, not by chance.”

“As we complete the fourth year of this statewide competition, we continued to be impressed by the inventiveness, creativity and phenomenal resolve that our fellow Texans showcase,” said James Harris, Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B. “Although only five competitors walked away with a title and prize, Quest for Texas Best is a win for all Texans. Small businesses have the opportunity to grow with H-E-B and our customers enjoy added variety and access to the best locally sourced products.”

Because of H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best my view of H-E-B has entirely changed. Not only will I be a loyal customer but I will be PROUD to shop from H-E-B. The amount of care, respect, and loyalty they show to Texas-based companies and it’s people is incredible and so admirable. I was so incredibly grateful to get to experience this awesome event and I am forever changed by it.

I hope that each of y’all give these products a chance to be in your home to feed you and your loved ones.

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Until next time Lovers!
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