(HOUSTON, TX) – H-E-B Grocery Chain said after scouring the Lone Star State in search of the most delectable culinary creations, Atlanta, Texas natives Kay York and Joan Reece are among 20 finalists in the company’s annual Quest for Texas Best competition.
After tasty deliberations, 20 finalists with a flair for food were selected out of more than 824 entrepreneurs from 136 cities and towns across the state. The finalists will showcase their products on August 7-8 before a panel of judges at the Houston Food Bank to stake a winning claim in the sixth annual competition.
York and Reece are owners of To the Moon Family Foods Company in Atlanta, Texas. Their Original Nutty-Carrot Spread is the newest crowd-pleaser from this northeast Texas town, and H-E-B spokesperson said in a press release. Made with carrots, pecans and mouthwatering spices, its unique flavor matches its addictive appeal, according to judges in the recent competition.
Kay York and Joan (pronounced Joe-Ann) said that there are endless ways to enjoy the spread – on a sandwich; as a stuffing for baked chicken; as a dip; as a topping for pork or fish; or rolled in balls, coated with breadcrumbs and fried. No matter how you choose to indulge, creators Kay York and Joan Reece hope you spread it with love.
Quest for Texas Best competition has awarded nearly $400K in prize money since 2014
“Since its inception in 2014, our sourcing team has sifted through more than 3,000 products in the Quest for Texas Best competition. This contest has yielded nearly 450 unique products worthy of company-wide distribution and awarded nearly $400,000 in prize money,” said James Harris, Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B. “We continue to be amazed at what Texans bring to the table and how their creations are received in stores.”
The top 20 finalists in the 2019 competition will present their creations to a panel of expert judges who will select four winners based on quality, marketability and product readiness. Winners will receive a combined $70,000 in cash prizes and sought-after space on H-E-B shelves. H-E-B will award the Grand Prize winner $25,000, the coveted title of “Texas Best” Primo Pick and placement on store shelves; the first-place winner $20,000; the second-place winner $15,000; and the third-place winner $10,000.
THE 2019 QUEST FOR TEXAS BEST FINALISTS ARE:
- 3 Sons Foods, LLC
- All Y’alls Foods
- Basia’s Pickles, LLC
- Davila’s BBQ (est.1959)
- Grain 4 Grain
- JD’s Chili Parlor
- Naughty Noah’s Vietnamese
- Le Sauce
- Lips Smacker’s
- Madge’s Food Company
- Push Water Company
- Santte Foods
- Smokey Denmark Sausage Company
- Statesman Beverage Co
- To the Moon Family Foods Company
- Uncle Ray’s Peanut Brittle
This year’s competition generated a delicious mix of brats, brittle, sauces, and pickles, mixes, mixers, cookies and crickets. Throughout two qualifying rounds, H-E-B Business Development Managers selected submissions on taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential, and differentiation from products already available at most H-E-B stores.
Quest for Texas Best is a signature program for H-E-B’s Primo Picks brand, which labels best-in-store products that are all unique, delicious, and new. H-E-B Primo Picks invites customers to enjoy products that are unique, delicious, and possibly new to their palates. As part of H-E-B’s commitment to providing local product options, H-E-B is the State’s largest marketer of the “GO TEXAN” logo with over 7,685 SKUS locally produced items on our shelves of which over 1,000 are Own Brand.
Frio Farm (Concan) – Grand Prize winner $25,000
MaxFrut (Arlington) – First Place Winner – $20,000
Habibi Gourmet Dip-It (Mission) – Second Place Winner – $15,000
Vela Farms (Victoria) – Third Place Winner – $10,000
TEO Gelato (Austin) – Grand Prize winner – $25,000
Slaton Bakery (Slaton, TX) – First Place Winner – $20,000
Blackbird Foods (Houston) – Second Place Winner – $15,000
Blackbird Bakery (Austin) – Third Place winner – $10,000
The Texas Pie Company (Kyle) – Grand Prize winner – $25,000
KITCHUN (Austin) – One of two First Place Winners – $20,000
Bagel Dots (Houston) – One of two First Place Winners – $20,000
The Culinary Cowgirls (Austin) – Second Place winner – $15,000
Humble House Foods (San Antonio) – Third Place winner – $10,000
Skull & Cakebones (Austin) – Grand Prize Winner- $25,000
The Texas Pecan Cake Shop (Bertram) – One of two First Place Winners – $20,000
WarPig’s F.U.B.A.R. BBQ Sauce – For Use on Butts and Ribs Sauce (Houston) – One of two First
Place Winners – $20,000
Tamale Addiction (Austin) – Second Place winner – $15,000
La Familia Cortez Restaurants (San Antonio) – Third Place winner – $10,000
Mmmpanadas (Austin) – Grand Prize Winner – $25,000 AND keys to a brand-new Toyota Tundra)
Chef Rey Inc. (Sugar Land) – First Place Winner – $20,000
Bellefontaine (Houston) – Second Place Winner -$15,000
Pennymade (Austin) – Third Place Winner – $10,000
H-E-B, with sales of $26 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 114th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 110,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com.