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Two North Texas companies hope to taste success in H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best competition

🕐 2 min read

H-E-B has selected 25 finalists from more than 700 foodie entrepreneurs to compete in the Quest for Texas Best competition taking place in early August at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin.

Two of those finalists are from North Texas. Bernard’s Gourmet Foods from McKinney will compete with its salsa offerings and Deanan Gourmet Popcorn from Wylie, will offer some of its flavored popcorn.

The top 25 finalists 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. To celebrate the fifth anniversary, in addition to the $25,000, this year’s Grand Prize winner will also get the keys to a-new Toyota Tundra.

“Over the past five years of this competition, we have tasted more than 2,700 of the most creative Texas-based food and beverages in pursuit of Texas’ very best, selecting 125 finalists since 2014,” said James Harris, director, diversity & inclusion and supplier diversity, H-E-B. “Each year keeps us on our toes with innovative products, and this year is no exception. 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.”

The 2018 Quest for Texas Best finalists are:

• 1885 Coffee Co.

• 38 Pecans

• Afia Foods

• Barbecue Wife

• Bellefontaine

• Bellville Meat Market

• Bernard’s Gourmet Foods

• BIG Little Fudge

• Cappadona Ranch

• Chef Rey Inc.

• Collin Street Bakery

• Deanan Gourmet Popcorn

• Deep River Specialty Foods

• Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation

• Mad Hectic Oatmeal

• Maika Foods

• Mirth Soup

• mmmpanadas

• Nuts and Cows

• Pennymade

• Pretty Thai

• Sing and Shout Foods

• Texas Black Gold Garlic

• Tiny House Coffee

• Tio Pelon’s Salsita LLC

Previous Winners


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

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