H-E-B Names Finalists in Quest for Texas Best Contest

Outside of an HEB store.

Article originally posted on The San Antonio Business Journal by Kyle R. Cotton, July 23, 2018. View the full article here.

H-E-B Grocery Co. has chosen 25 finalists in its fifth annual Quest for Texas Best competition after evaluating products by more than 700 entrepreneurs from nearly 140 cities across the state.

The finalists, including four from San Antonio, will compete in Austin on Aug. 9 and 10. H-E-B will award $70,000 divided among the grand prize winner and the other culinary creations that place.

Since H-E-B launched the competition in 2014, its judges have tasted more than 2,700 Texas-based foods and beverages, selecting 125 finalists, said James Harris, H-E-B's director of diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity, in a news release.

"We are proud to continue a program that gives small business owners the opportunity to share their pride and joy with H-E-B shoppers across the state," he said.

Finalists were chosen by H-E-B business development managers based on taste, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential and differentiation from products already available in most H-E-B stores, according to a news release. Four winners will be selected based on quality, marketability and product readiness, according the release.

Besides the $25,000 grand prize, the winner will receive a new Toyota Tundra and have its product placed on H-E-B store shelves. In 2017, San Antonio-based La Familia Cortez took home $10,000 in the competition.

The 25 finalists are as follows:

  • 1885 Coffee Co. — San Antonio
  • 38 Pecans — Austin
  • Afia Foods — Austin 
  • Barbecue Wife — Austin 
  • Bellefontaine — Houston
  • Bellville Meat Market — Bellville
  • Bernard’s Gourmet Foods — McKinney
  • Big Little Fudge — Montgomery
  • Cappadona Ranch — Linn
  • Chef Rey Inc. — Sugar Land
  • Collin Street Bakery — Corsicana
  • Deanan Gourmet Popcorn — Wylie
  • Deep River Specialty Foods — San Antonio 
  • Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation — Austin 
  • Mad Hectic Oatmeal — Houston
  • Maika Foods — Hughes Springs
  • Mirth Soup — Waco
  • Mmmpanadas — Austin
  • Nuts and Cows — Mission
  • Pennymade — Austin
  • Pretty Thai — Austin 
  • Sing & Shout Foods — Cedar Park
  • Texas Black Gold Garlic — San Antonio
  • Tiny House Coffee — Buda
  • Tio Pelon’s Salsita — San Antonio