15 Stars of Austin’s Food and Beverage Scene
Sometimes it seems like everyone is moving to Austin. Maybe that is because Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook have established a presence here in recent years. However, what decidedly “keeps Austin weird” is that it has become the U.S. hub for creators. Long known for being a community built around its dynamic culture it only makes sense that Austin be home to some of today’s hottest emerging natural foods brands.
Of course, SXSW has played a huge role in helping turn Austin into a flywheel for makers, however, Austin also benefits from the “pay it forward” attitude of some of the cities most successful food entrepreneurs from the likes of Deep Eddy Vodka, Sweet Leaf Tea, EPIC Provisions, Amplify Snacks, Tito’s, and of course, Whole Foods.
Austin’s Economic Development Department recently calculated the food industry’s total economic impact on the city to be just over $4 billion. And with more and more talented creative folks descending upon Austin, there is no doubt we are only at the beginning of this city’s influence on what we eat and drink.
Here are some, but by all means not all, of the many stars of Austin’s Food and Beverage scene
What Austin food startups did we miss? Give them a shout in the comments or on Instagram!
This dairy-free yogurt darling is thick, creamy and overflowing with probiotics. Made using coconut cream, keep it simple with the plain unsweetened or mix it up with the Bourbon Vanilla. All flavors are paleo, vegan and certified organic. Available in select retailers nationwide, as well as online over at Mylk Guys.
Taking full advantage of the Texas’s plentiful bean crop, this snack food startup offers chips and puffs made using fresh whole beans from American farmers. The 5 grams of plant-based protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving make it a top choice among conscious consumers. Snag a bag at retailers across the country.
From founder Veronica Garza’s kitchen to grocery store shelves across America, Siete Foods is one of today’s hottest food startups. In addition to retail partnerships with big names like Whole Foods, a recent $90 million investment from equity firm Stripes Group led to increased distribution with Target, Kroger and Walmart. As the company continues to innovate with new products, 2020 is looking just as bright as the brands packaging.
An emerging grandfather of both the cold brew and the Austin food startup scene. Founded in 2010, Nestlé acquired the company nearly two years ago. While their product is available nationwide, the company is still expanding quickly attempting to stay true to their startup roots. Furthermore, former co-founder and CEO Chris Campbell recently joined Accel Foods, which should help support the ATX F&B ecosystem even more.
These makers took the world by storm with their on trendy buttered coffee drink as well as their grass-fed butter coffee creamer (the one that might have replaced your half and half), and they recently boarded the dairy-free train by introducing two new creamers: Vegan and Collagen. Unsweetened, powered by MCT oil for energy, just like much of their product line. Find it at Whole Foods and Target.
Daniel Goetz started selling his lower-sugar alternative to the classic sno-cone at 4 Austin-area farmers markets in 2009 with a mission of bringing more nutritious frozen treats to Austin. Finding early success, he has since launched in Whole Foods and other natural and specialty retailers nationwide. Sweet!
The founder of this Austin-based creamery cut out carbs and sugars from his diet after being diagnosed with Type I diabetes. But even with this renewed commitment to his health, there was one thing he missed: ice cream. So he and his wife took to the kitchen to develop the recipes for what would become Mammoth Creamery. Made with simple ingredients, Mammoth’s pints are sold in retailers nationwide as well as through the company’s online store.
A gluten allergy planted the idea for this innovative veggie company. Offering a range of products — from spiralized to riced to shelled — CeCe’s was a pioneer in the vegetable-as-pasta category. Find their whimsical, kid-approved bites at retailers like Target, and check out their Instagram for all the different ways to use ’em!
Edamame… hummus? Yep, it’s a thing! Started by three friends, Lantana is shaking up the spread category with their innovative hummus offerings. With 11 bold flavors and counting, all of which vegan, gluten free and non-GMO, Lantana is available in a number of retailers across the country.
A life without a spice is a life not worth living, or at least that’s what George Milton and Erin Link, the two founders behind Yellowbird Foods, think. This duo’s passion for flavor led to the development of their flavor-forward sauces. Ranging from mild to spicy, every bottle of Yellowbird is made using organic, direct trade ingredients with no added thickeners or fillers.
Upon losing his sister to breast cancer, the founder behind this kombucha brand made his family’s health priority. He first tried kombucha after hearing the benefits, but found the bitter, sour taste left much to be desired. So with that, he took to experimenting in the kitchen to create his own brews. The result? A line of kombucha that tastes just like soda… all the fizz and flavor, but without the additives and sugar. Find flavors like Lemon Lime, Root Beer and classic Cola in stores nationwide.
What started in 2015 as a protein bar company, a recent brand refresh brought with it a number new products with focus on grain-free. In addition to the original protein bars, FitJoy now sells protein puffs and pretzels. Through the company’s Joy Forward program, the company has partnered with food banks across America to donate 1,500,000+ protein bars to hungry kids.
Made with organic, local-to-Austin ingredients, Jake & Jubi’s offers a variety of date-based products. All snacks are free from grains and unprocessed sugars. Try their ultra-trendy granola butter on top of some Culina yogurt and thank us later.
Growing up in India, Arpit Bhopalkar played table-tennis and would refuel before and after matches with sugar cane juice. Sugarcane juice has long been a staple for hydration and energy in India, and it was a lack of availabilty in the States that sparked the idea for Bhoomi (meaning “Mother Earth” in Sanskrit). Each bottle of Bhoomi contains electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, and phytonutrients. Available online and in select retailers across the Southwest.
Baron Springs sits in a 5,000 square foot warehouse in Texas Hill Country, the first new mill there in over a century. The whole operation is run by former church musician James Brown (yup) who set out to make better bread and ended up spearheading a artisanal and ancient grains revolution. He currently sells a variety of grains and flours to area chefs, bakers, distillers, brewers, and home enthusiasts.
Located in Austin and thinking of launching a food and beverage business? Turn to these resources in and around the area to help you in your entrepreneurial adventure.
Mark your calendars, here are some hot upcoming events happening in Austin: