For nine years, H-E-B has set out to look for the best small businesses Texas has to offer.
“H-E-B has been committed to diverse product offerings and workforce for more than a century,” said H-E-B’s Sr. Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, James Harris in an official statement. “We are thrilled to shine a light on these five outstanding businesses and their Texan-made products that will add to the diversity of products on our shelves and to our roster of small, local and diverse suppliers.”
Food and beverages, beauty items, gardening supplies, home goods and everything in between was considered by a panel of seven judges. After some thorough deliberation, they selected five winners out of the top ten finalists who received a combined $80,000 in cash prizes.
Meet the five 2022 winners.
Grand prize winner: I Love Chamoy – Sugar-Free Chamoy (McAllen, Texas)
Company founder Annie Leal didn’t want her father to quit one of his favorite Mexican sauces after he was diagnosed with diabetes. So she created a chamoy her dad and many other people looking to reduce their sugar intake could enjoy! Made with 40-80% less sodium than other chamoys in the market, her sweet, tangy and spicy version of the Mexican candy has no added sugar.
First place winner: Love & Cookies – Gourmet Frozen Cookie Dough (Lakeway, Texas)
Ashley Cameron considers herself a “cookie-preneur.” After opening a store front where she offers 14 gourmet flavors cookies, freshly baked onsite, she thought people could use some motherly love at home too. So far she selected four flavors for her gourmet frozen cookie dough line, but more are in the way. Super easy to make, the dough is pre-portioned, you just pull them out of the freezer and off to the oven they go!
Second place winner: Zwïta – Traditional Harissa & Zucchini + Potato Shakshuka (Houston, Texas)
Second generation Tunisian American brothers Karim and Mansour Arem were frustrated they couldn’t find authentic Tunisian food anywhere in America. So they took the matter into their own hands and created Zwïta, named after their grandmother. They make artisanal food products that they hope will enlighten the world about their cultural roots. And they’ll be the first to warn you, their products are not adapted to fit the American palate, they are “raw and unapologetic replicas” of the food they grew up with.
Third place winner (tie): Four Sixes Ranch – Chuck Wagon Chili Mix (Guthrie, Texas)
Looks like the competition was tight! 6666 Ranch founders Brandie Blodgett Mustian and Dr. Nick Nickelson made it to third place with their brand new chili mix. Inspired by the staple dish pioneers and cowboys enjoyed, they made their own hand-crafted product that reflects the long heritage of working ranch families. It is “ranch tested, cowboy approved.”
Third place winner (tie): Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que – Bar-B-Que Rub (Dallas, Texas)
Last but very much not least are our Dallas neighbors, Brent Reaves and Juan Reaves. When the Reaves family opened the restaurant back in 1976 it was called Big John’s, but after a fire that caused no damage broke, regulars started calling it Smokey John’s and the name stuck. The second-generation family owned and operated venue is known for its delicious smoked brisket, ribs and 50-year-old recipe for BBQ rub.