LOOK FOR THESE LOCAL BRANDS ON STORE SHELVES
Shopping for groceries ultimately means giving money to billion-dollar corporations, so I try to be a conscious consumer by buying local when I can. Buying local means you are strengthening local economies, reducing environmental impacts from transportation, supporting local artisans and entrepreneurs, and personally connecting to your food. If you have the option to select a local product, you can help small businesses grow and even facilitate growth from one grocery store to many.
Whole Foods Market (a local celebrity itself), is one of the easiest stores to be able to shop locally. Items are clearly marked with a RED local tab, and often matched with a short description of the business, founders, or mission.
Next time you’re grocery shopping, here are a few of my favorite local brands to add to your cart:
Clean Cause makes my favorite drink on the planet. High praise coming from an equal opportunity beverage drinker. It is an organic, sparkling yerba mate that has 160mg of caffeine. All the flavors are amazing, but my favorite is the Blackberry. Clean will give you a subtle jolt of energy without you having to drink something likened to battery acid. This Austin brand also has an amazing mission- it gives 50% of profits to people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Their sober living scholarships are given to people recovering in the area where you buy. This means that if you buy a can of Clean in Austin, you’re giving Texans opportunities coming out of rehab or homelessness. Drink a Clean to help someone stay clean.
These sauces have become my standard for spice. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to the heat level, but Yellowbird has a spice for every tastebud. The Serano and Blue Agave Sriracha condiments are my two favorites. There is so much flavor packed into each one, and the best part is that they aren’t liquidy like normal hot sauce. Yellowbird doesn’t just make its products hot… it makes them sweet, multidimensional, and fun.
This line of products is the easiest way to attempt healthy eating. Cece’s Veggie Co. has amazing veggie noodles and veggie rice. My go-to is a pack of “zoodles” (zucchini spirals). You can eat them raw or cooked, and there are a million easy ways to dress them up. They’re healthier than pasta, faster than boiling water, and they add color to your meal! I would rather mop the ocean than try and spiralize my own vegetables. CeCe’s delivers an easy component to any meal, and the package is big enough for multiple servings. Pro tip: BBQ-pulled jackfruit on top of zoodles makes everything right in the world.
Miles of Chocolate truly makes an indescribable dessert. My friends made fun of me for buying a $6 brownie until they tasted it. It tastes like a brownie, truffle, cake, and ice cream all in one. It is super-rich and decadent while managing to be fluffy and crisp at the same time. I’m really not sure what kind of magic makes this taste possible, but if you’re missing out if you pass the bakery and don’t toss one in your cart.
The perfect snack doesn’t exist…wrong. Zilks pimento cheese is perfect for cracker dipping, omelet or grilled cheese making, and anything else that requires cheese. It manages to be chunky and creamy at the same time, and really has a nice tinge of sweet amidst the cheesiness. If you like spicy, Zilks also offers a Jalapeño pimento. Pro tip- this is the perfect snack for eating at it’s namesake, Zilker Park.
Padrino tamales are frozen tamales, handmade in the Dallas area. They are so easy to heat up, and make for the most authentic, at home Mexican experience you can buy. Do yourself a favor a grab a pack of any…or all…of their flavors. You’ll want to eat a bunch of them!
One more Dallas based company because local can mean all of Texas, and it even won its pitch on Shark Tank! Poppi! This is a prebiotic soda in a hard to miss, brightly colored can. This healthy “soda” has less than 20 calories and boosts immunity, aids digestion, relieves bloating, and it tastes so good! It’s fun flavors like Raspberry Rose, Pineapple Mango, Strawberry Lemon (my fave), etc. are all infused with apple cider vinegar for gut health! These taste so uniquely refreshing, and you feel so much better after drinking one. Poppi is a fun drink and while it seems too good to be true… I promise it’s legit!
There are so many more amazing local brands you can find in the grocery store. While you’re shopping and your eyes are assaulted by a million brands to choose from, if you can support a Texas-based one, please do! You’re able to help sustain Austin’s economy, environment, and hard-working members of your community!
Here are a few more local brands to look out for:
High Brew Siete Goodpop Culina Waterloo
Credo Foods Lick Honest Ice Creams Easy Tiger
ALSO- don’t forget WFM takes 10¢ off your bill per reusable bag you use!