Press Release

Finalists Announced for H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best Contest

Final round set for August 9-10 in Austin
(San Antonio ) —

H-E-B has scoured the Lone Star State in search of the most delectable culinary creations from talented Texans with a flair for food. After tasty deliberations, 25 finalists were selected from more than 700 entrepreneurs from nearly 140 cities and towns across the state. The finalists will go head-to-head in the fifth annual Quest for Texas Best competition August 9-10 at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin.

“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 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 brand-new Toyota Tundra.

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

This year’s competition generated a delicious mix of brews, breads, falafel, fudge, sauces, soups, sausage and sweets. 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.

The 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. Since its inception in 2014, the Quest for Texas Best competition has yielded more than 432 new products on H-E-B’s grocery, bakery, deli and market shelves across the state.

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


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 single largest retailer of the GO Texan program with close to 1,000 Own Brand items with the GO TEXAN watermark in stores throughout the Lone Star State.


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