Creators of unique products from the Lone Star State, including two prominent bakeries, are relishing the sweet taste of success as winners of H-E-B's Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest. A panel of expert judges narrowed a field of 25 finalists to four winners on August 12 and 13 at the Houston Food Bank. The winners received cash prizes totaling $70,000 and consideration for coveted space on H-E-B shelves in 2016.
"The final presentations were a wonderful display of ingenuity and vision," said James Harris, Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B. "Our state is prime territory for smart, inventive food entrepreneurs further solidifying Texas' national reputation as a foodie state."
Grand Prize ($25,000 and featured placement as a Texas Best Primo Pick)
TEO Gelato's Gelato (Austin, TX)
Texas-born, Italian-trained Matthew Lee has mastered the craft of gelato using local, market-fresh ingredients and a homemade base. TEO Gelato's signature flavors include Texas Pecan and Whiskey, Peanut Butter and Nutella, Poteet Strawberry and Texas Hill Country Peach.
First Place ($20,000)
Slaton Bakery's Homemade Vanilla Wafers (Slaton, TX)
Chad Wilson's Slaton Bakery has been delivering sweet treats to West Texans for over 90 years! The bakery's most popular and famous delights are the Homemade Vanilla Wafers – best served with banana pudding.
Second Place ($15,000)
Blackbird Foods (Houston, TX)
Inspired by local ingredients and the diverse food cultures of Texas, Angela Rowley's Blackbird Foods' pies are diverse and feature small, fried Cajun Pies, meal-size pies and hand pies.
Third Place ($10,000)
Blackbird Bakery (Austin, TX)
After mastering the craft of gluten-free baking, Karen Morgan decided to share with her fellow Texans. Her flour line currently consists of six blends from Donut & Fritter to Bread & Pizza to Cookie Jar.