The H-E-B Promo Picks Quest for Texas Best competition is underway, and Houston has eight stellar finalists headed to compete in Austin. Next week these finalists, along with 17 other finalists from across Texas, will submit their products to a panel of judges. Winners will be judged based on product quality, marketability and product readiness. Each winner will have the opportunity to have their product placed on H-E-B shelves for purchase and bragging rights as an H-E-B Promo Picks product.
We checked in early to get a personal taste of each product at the San Felipe H-E-B before the big competition next week. Nervous excitement filled the room as members of the media made the rounds and talked with each contestant. We can assure you that Houston will be represented well in the final competition in Austin.
Just Made Foods
Norka and Walter Nimocks are taking juicing to another level. Beyond just focusing on health benefits, the couple from The Woodlands aims to help teachers and students in farming-based communities in the tropics. For every bottle sold, the company donates five cents to the cause. The bright colors of the bottles pair great with their respective flavors, which include Papaya Passion, Kale Karma, Berry Bliss and Turmeric Temptation. Ginger is one of the product’s prime ingredients as it aids digestion.
Chilesquiles Foods LLC
What began as a Sunday morning breakfast tradition, is now “Chilequiles” sauce (photo at top). Romina Cervantes and Octavio Orozco from The Woodlands have crafted multiple sauces that go great with chips and or your favorite enchiladas. The goal of this family-based company is for you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time around the table in fellowship. Their cooking sauce comes in flavors like Grill Brava, Homemade Chipotle, Signature Red and their best-seller, Roasted Green.
After a family member developed a gluten sensitivity, Sugar Land resident Anh Kajita and her mother-in-law sought out ways to still enjoy bread-like products at gatherings. Their Brazilian-inspired cheese rolls (photo below) are gluten-free and use only natural ingredients. They are ready-to-bake and serve as an afternoon snack or could be presented as bites at your next friends-and-family function.
Two brothers, Oscar and Mario Velasquez (from Brookshire), are not new to the empanada game. After 20 years of serving their Colombian-style products in local Mi Pueblito restaurants, they are ready to take their filled corn-dough pockets to new heights. The small, soft empanadas come with many stuffing varieties, including pulled pork, beef chipotle, chicken jalapeno and beef and beans. Watch for new options, such as brisket and chorizo, coming soon.
Couple of Cooks Snacks
Husband-and-wife duo Hannah and Brad Montgomery of Needville are happy to promote their love of snacking. What was once just an annual Christmas tradition creating personalized gifts for friends and family has morphed into a snack business. The couple warns that their flavored Crack Mix, Fire-Crack and Chipotle-Chocolate Crunch (photo below) are highly addictive.
WarPig BBQ Sauce
After years of pushing and cajoling from friends to share his sauce with the world, Houstonian Dennis Butterworth finally made that move. F.U.B.A.R. (For Use on Butts And Ribs) BBQ sauce is award-winning and can be useful for grillers of all skill levels. Crafted by a U.S. Army veteran, the sweet but not-too-spicy sauce, is a tasty addition to unseasoned sausage links, too.
Lone Star Bee Company
Nicki Praiswater and Mark Crippen have added a unique twist to honey. After venturing into bee farming the couple discovered the art of honey infusion. With the help of honeybees from Pearsall and Central Texas, the Houston-based co-owners have established a distinctive product in the honey market. Most notable is their Fiery Sweet Mesquite honey, ideal as a marinade for fish or chicken. Alternatively, it tastes great with cubes of cheese. We also took notice of a flavor called Lucky Lime & Sea Salt Clover honey (photo below).
Lazy Bee Honey Co.
High school sweethearts Nathan and Christi Wade of Burton manage their own bee farm to deliver exceptionally rich jars of honey and spreads. This couple values food integrity and uses natural, locally-sourced ingredients free of chemicals or additives. Lazy Bee is looking to introduce new flavors and products in the future, but for now, the Bees are offering customers their three best-selling products: Cinnamon Pecan Honey Butter, Honey Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon Honey Spread.
With the final competition less than a week away, judges will have their hands full as they decide who will earn the title of Texas Best. We wish all the contestants best of luck, and can’t wait to see what local products we can snag at our local H-E-B in the future.