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Got milk? How about local, organic, low temp pasteurized milk from a co-op? How about local eggs, yogurts and kombucha (we’ve even got one named after us). If you eat vegan, gluten free or any alternative diet you will come to think of this department as heaven. Here you’ll find local tempeh, tofu, and veggie burgers. There is bulk tofu, alternative meats, gluten free bread, even ready-to-bake vegan cookie dough.

Take your time in our frozen aisle – this is where some of the best deals are. It’s a great way to stock you freezer with local, organic, co-op products. We don’t have a ton of space so you know this is as well-vetted a selection that you will find anywhere in town. We stock this section based on your feedback so you can be sure this is the best there is to offer. It’s also a great place to experiment with gluten free breads, Tiny Pies or alternative ice creams.

Local Vendor Spotlight: Buddha’s Brew Kombucha

Wheatsville has been carrying Buddha’s Brew locally made organic kombucha since August of 2009. In the beginning, Buddha’s Brew made a few traditional flavors— original, grape and blueberry. Over the years they have developed many new combinations and seasonal offerings such as Peach-Mint, Tangerine Sea Salt and Hop’D.

I had a short Q&A with Kimberley and John-Paxton, the owners of Buddha’s Brew.

How long have you guys been in business? We started at the Farmers Market in 2006 and then we moved to our current commercial kitchen in 2007.

Which is your favorite flavor of kombucha?
My current favorite is Basil Honey Ginger, right now it’s a seasonal but soon it’ll be a regular flavor in our regular jars! My other favorite is Peach-Mint, it’s delicious, the fresh mint and peach pop so well with our kombucha tea. 

What is your favorite thing to purchase at Wheatsville? South Austin People (SoAP), Skull & Cakebones, Happy Hemp, Love Bean and Good Seed are a few examples of our favorite things to get at Wheatsville. Also enjoy just browsing the aisles seeing what’s new, enjoying a sandwich for lunch and checking out other alive foods! 

Why did you start making kombucha? I was introduced to kombucha through a close friend. I began drinking it daily and loved how it made my body feel. Then all of a sudden the national brand changed their recipe as they expanded and I didn’t feel the same after drinking a bottle. It was then I decided to brew my own traditional kombucha. Once my friends had a taste, they kept asking for more and a business was born.
Additional info: Buddha’s Brew Kombucha’s mission is to brew the most probiotically powerful kombucha on Planet Earth and have a blast doing it. With our process each batch is carefully fermented to have an exceptionally high count of traditional kombucha probiotics. Offering kombucha that is both alive and delicious is very important to our entire Buddha’s Brew team! 

Wheatsville is proud to have Buddha’s Brew Kombucha on our shelves and we’re very happy to have a successful relationship with such nice people!

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Local Vendor Spotlight: The Hearty Vegan

Beth and Becky Taylor are a vegan mother-daughter team who make The Hearty Vegan tempeh—the only tempeh produced here in Texas for retail sale.
In the beginning, they made only traditional tempeh; then they began making delicious breakfast sausages. Responding to customer interest, they came up with soy-free versions made from black-eyed pea and garbanzo beans. Our deli jumped on the opportunity to use their locally made tempeh in our tempeh chili, tempeh tacos, ginger tempeh pasta and tempeh stroganoff.

Beth and Becky have been great about sharing recipes during their demos here at Wheatsville. You can check out some of their great recipes at If you see them sampling their tempeh in the store, stop and have a delicious bite and get to know a couple of our friendliest and most beloved suppliers!

You can find all three varieties of The Hearty Vegan tempeh in our frozen section and in a variety of dishes made in our deli. The tempeh sausage is in our refrigerated case.

In the past two years, The Hearty Vegan products have begun being served at local restaurants and food trucks including Mothers Café, the Vegan Yacht, BBQ Revolution and Counter Culture. We’re proud to have been carrying their delicious tempeh since the very beginning.

I asked Beth & Becky a few questions:

1. How long have you been making tempeh?
We started making tempeh for friends in 2004. In 2010, we began making tempeh in a commercial kitchen which allowed us to sell in grocery stores. Wheatsville was the first store to carry our products.

2. What is your favorite thing to buy from Wheatsville?
Our favorite thing to buy at Wheatsville: Becky loves the salad bar-anything with cashew tamari dressing. Beth loves Wheatsville’s raisin bread made in house, African peanut soup and the produce section.

3. What is your favorite recipe to use your tempeh in?
We have so many favorite tempeh recipes but with the weather getting cooler our thoughts turn to Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie.

4. What do you love about Wheatsville?
What we love about Wheatsville: seeing the smiling faces of our friends who work there. Also how many items are local, organic and vegan. Wheatsville has all the food we love.

5. Favorite place to eat in town?
There are so many fabulous restaurants & food trucks, it’s impossible to choose!

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Local Vendor Profile: Mediterranean Chef (Grandma’s Humus)

Nikki Kaya, the chef owner of The Mediterranean LLC, emigrated from Istanbul in 1995 after studying Chemical Engineering and working in both Swiss and American nutritional analysis laboratories. Then she began her career in the food industry, working up to Food Service Director for corporate accounts, while simultaneously enrolled in French culinary education. She now brings authentic Old World Mediterranean cuisine to your table.
Grandma’s Humus has been around Austin about nine years, and for the first three years it was Nikki herself delivering to all the locations around town. As demand grew, she was able to open a restaurant in North Central Austin and expand on her ability to provide excellent Mediterranean cuisine all over town. She doesn’t deliver in person anymore, but she is still one of our favorite people!

When I asked Nikki if she intends to develop more varieties of hummus, she said she does not deviate from Grandma’s original recipe and has no plans to, either. The taste and texture is on point and it pairs perfectly with so many things. One of our favorites is to dip baby carrots in their hummus. The sweet crunch of the carrots is wonderfully enhanced by the smooth, garlicky hummus yum. People who normally won’t eat raw veggies will enjoy eating them with this hummus!

At the restaurant their kitchen is open, so while you eat you can watch them make many gallons of hummus. As well as making delicious food, Mediterranean Chef is also concerned with the environment. They guarantee that everything in the kitchen is recycled, reused, or composted and they make a monthly donation to Ecology Action.

At Wheatsville, we love Mediterranean Chef because they are always willing to participate in promotions and Grandma’s Humus is always one of our top sellers. We are more than happy to feature Grandma’s Humus as one of our Super Awesome One Day Deals during Owner Appreciation Days on Sunday, October 19, when it will be on sale for $3, a $1.99 savings!

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Local Vendor Focus: Lick Honest Ice Cream

In celebration of National Ice Cream Month in July, we are proud to focus on local and delicious Lick Honest Ice Cream.

Wheatsville’s South Lamar location is just down the street from Lick’s storefront so Packaged Manager, Niki Nash, and I travelled by scooter to drop by and say hello to Lick co-founder Anthony Sobotik.

After providing us with perfectly creamy ice cream samples, Anthony answered some of our questions, the first being: Why is Lick ice cream so dang good?

Anthony says it starts with the fresh milk and cream from Mill King Creamery in McGregor, Texas. Never homogenized and pasteurized at lower than usual temperatures, Mill King products have been highly prized at Wheatsville for several years. Anthony and his partner Chad Palmatier have an excellent relationship with the Mill King farmers—they process the milk that will become Lick Ice Cream directly on the farm and they have an exclusive agreement that ensures only Lick Ice Cream enjoys that benefit.

The other reason Lick Ice Cream has had much critical acclaim, including a recent nod in The Thrillist’s 21 Best Ice Cream Shops in America, is flavor. Anthony’s culinary background and South Texas upbringing inspire him to seek out true, fresh flavors regardless of whether or not they are traditionally found in ice cream such as the extremely popular Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint. Some of the flavors that have been a slam dunk from day one are the Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, made with Texas Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Hill Country Honey and Vanilla featuring Austin Honey Company Honey.

There’s a fine seasonal selection rotating in and out every three months or so depending on what is fresh and in season. When we visited, the highlighted flavor was Dewberry Corn Cobbler, pairing fresh, juicy dewberries and sweet Texas corn. Anthony admitted that some flavors take time to develop and can’t be rushed, such as his dream of a fresh cantaloupe ice cream— when the time is right it will happen.
There’s a fair amount of collaboration with local businesses to develop the flavors such as Great Bean Chocolate, Johnson’s Backyard Garden Produce, Pure Luck Goat Cheese and Texas Coffee Traders. These are all beloved Wheatsville vendors as well, making Lick Ice Cream pints a natural fit in the frozen aisle. For the non-dairy ice cream lovers out there, vegan options are available at the Lick shop but they are unable to provide pints of it at this time.

Since he’s an ice cream expert, we asked Anthony for some summertime dessert ideas:
• Lick Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Ice Cream scoops on warm Bourbon Pecan pie from Tiny Pies.
• Lick Pecans & Cream Ice Cream with hot peach cobbler made with Texas Peaches.
• Lick Cilantro Lime Ice Cream is light and refreshing on its own!

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