This is the second year of an H-E-B competition designed to recognize the best food makers in the Lone Star State as well as find new products for the Texas chain’s grocery store shelves.
After an initial 400 entries from 74 Texas towns and two days of judging 25 finalists, H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest named its 2015 winners.
Two Austin food makers won two of the top four prizes and took home a combined total of $35,000.
After driving to Houston with his ice cream scoopers on the back of his Vespa for the final round of the competition, Texas-born Matthew Lee of Austin gelateria Teo Gelato was named the grand prize winner Thursday.
The Teo Gelato gelateria, famous for it Peanut Butter Nutella and Texas Whiskey Peach flavors, has previously been honored by both the Gelato World Tour as well as the city of Austin, which designated Aug. 13 “Teo Gelato Day” in Austin in 2014.
In addition to consideration for shelf space on H-E-B ‘s store shelves across the state of Texas, the Austin gelateria took home a cash prize of $25,000.
Lee hopes that the prize will help speed up their expansion into Texas stores.
“My goal for us to grow as fast as we can and keep the quality up,” said Lee, whose gelato is currently in the frozen section at the Westlake H-E-B.
You can find the original gelateria at 1206 W 38th St.
Austin’s Blackbird Bakery (yes, it’s named after the Beatles song) took the third place prize and $10,000 for its gluten-free flour line, which currently includes six blends for baking everything from donuts to pizza. You can read more about the gluten-free bakery in Addie Broyles’ 2010 profile of the gluten-free genius behind the business, Austinite Karen Morgan.
Two other Austin food makers made it the final 25: Martha Pincoffs’ Hot Dang Grain Burgers and Karen Posada Butler’s Good Promise Chilled Juice Smoothies.
Slaton Bakery’s Homemade Vanilla Wafers and Houston-based Blackbird Foods also took home cash prizes, placing first and second respectively.