H-E-B has named the winners of its 2018 Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best competition last week-a competition two local businesses were previously named finalists in.
Cappadona Ranch, based out of Linn-San Manuel, and the McAllen-based Nuts and Cows businesses were named among the 25 finalists for this competition, where they competed to have their products showcased at H-E-B shelves and to win the grand prize- $25,000 and a new Toyota Tundra.
Though Nuts and Cows and Cappadona Ranch didn’t place in the top four, both of the business owners felt honored being named as finalists in the first place.
“We made it to the top 25 out of 700 other businesses that applied for it and that says we have something special, unique and native to Texas,” Victoria Cappadona, owner of Cappadona Ranch said. “It’s been a wonderful experience and we’re excited to have made these wonderful connections, we’re elated.”
Cappadona submitted her company’s mesquite bean flour, which she said can be used as a healthy alternative to sweeteners.
Elizabeth Davis, owner of Nuts and Cows, submitted her company’s pecan butter to the competition. She agreed with her fellow-business owner on how the exposure from the competition was its own reward.
“It was an awesome experience just having our products showcased,” Davis said. “I would’ve loved to have won the $25,000 but we still had the opportunity to connect with people who got to see our products in action. We’re both passionate business owners who have put out products we are proud of and we loved seeing the reactions from people when they tasted it.”
Katelyn Roche Gosslee, a public affairs specialist with HEB, praised Cappadona and Davis. Gosslee said that even though their business didn’t place in the top four, their items could still show up on HEB shelves.
“Competitions like these are important because it’s a reflection of the food that makes the Rio Grande Valley the Rio Grande Valley,” Gosslee said. “It’s important we host these events in these customer’s backyards so people can see HEB is more than the national products they see on our shelves. It goes back to our founding way of business in 1905 to partner with local business owners and sell those products on shelves and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.”
Gosslee also noted that HEB has something in common with Cappadona Ranch and Nuts and Cows. Like those businesses, a woman founded HEB after its founder, Florence Butt, opened the store in 1905 and invested $60 into it.
Today, it is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country with more than 350 locations nationwide.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women own nearly 12 million firms across the nation. Last year, they employed nearly 9 million people and generated$1.7 trillion in sales.
“Women owned businesses are the largest growing small businesses in Texas so we’re pleased that so many of the finalists were women,” Goslee said. “The legacy of Florence is living on in this contest with finalists like Victoria and Elizabeth.”