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The Latest News from Wheatsville

NEW! FRESH SEAL Packaging

BIG NEWS! Our Meat Department is now using Fresh Seal packaging (also known as vacuum-pack) at both stores. This new packaging improves the shelf life of our fresh-cut meat and prevents food waste by slowing down the rate of oxidation.
 
Why we like it:

  • keeps meat fresher longer
  • inhibits the growth of pathogens
  • BPA-free
  • leak-proof packaging
  • prevents food waste
  • marinates ready-to-cook better
  • perfectly packaged for freezing

It also allows us to:

  • offer the same great products
  • keep the same great brands
  • cut our meat fresh in-house
  • offer more variety

 
As part of our Guadalupe store refresh, we will be moving our meat production to the S.Lamar store and removing our full-service meat and seafood cases (Guadalupe ONLY). While we know that this move disappoints some shoppers, we hope that the increase in variety and superior packaging provides the fresh items you need to make great meals.


If you have a special order or request, we are more than happy to accommodate with 24-48 hours notice. Please make requests at the Guadalupe Deli Counter or call our S.Lamar meat department and request delivery to Guadalupe: 512-814-2888.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Better Bites Bakery

Leah Lopez, Founder and CEO Better Bites Bakery, answered a few questions about her very special baked treats.

1. What led you to start your business?


I founded Better Bites Bakery with a simple mission in mind - I wanted my son to be able to enjoy delicious treats and not feel left out due to his severe food allergies. I believe that food is a BLESSING, but there was nothing on the market that was safe for my son - and delicious enough to be enjoyed by the entire family. Given this discovery, we embraced our new journey and the creative cooking began! It wasn't long until I realized that people were loving what was coming out of my kitchen and I was thrilled to share the passion that I had for baking with others.

2. What kind of ingredients do you use?


We strive to be very intentional with our ingredients. Our bakery sources only the finest gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Kosher Pareve certified, real food ingredients. We never use artificial colours or preservatives. We believe this is not only better for our bodies, but our taste buds, as well.

3. What allergens do your products NOT contain?


Our products are free of the top 7 allergens. Those allergens are dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, and peanuts. We also do not have tree nuts in our facility or products, with the exception of coconut in our Mostess Cupcakes. We are confident that our stringent sanitation procedures will avoid cross contamination for those who avoid coconut.

4. What are some of your favorite things about Wheatsville?


The fact that the Popcorn Tofu is now gluten-free is AWESOME! Also, my employees are definitely hooked on the vegan donuts. I love that we can be inclusive with our breakroom snack choices and not leave anyone out.

5. Do you have a favorite cool tip?

I love Cookie DO Bites au naturel, but I have a weakness for milkshakes. I love to throw in vanilla ice cream, milk, ice, and a few DO Bites into a blender for a chocolate chip cookie dough milkshake. Try it – you’ll love it!

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Sustainable Seafood

Sustainability can be a tricky word. It has ideals and emotions attached to it and it can be challenging to define. We know that what ever we deem sustainable, it should have a conscientious impact on the environment, the life cycle and quality of life of the organism in question. Seafood has been a staple protein in cultures the world over for thousands of years. Technology and mastery of fishing technique have brought us into dangerous territory and it's necessary to make sure that our fishing practices are maintaining themselves for generations to come.

Eco systems and environments have different needs. Fresh water fish are very different than salt water fish and require different standards and practices to maintain their sustainability. Almost all fresh water fish must be farmed to be sustainable. There are plenty of farms, whether they be recirculating tanks or pens in a river that have standards that pass the peer reviewed science of the Monterey bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program.

The Seafood Watch program is Wheatsville's main standard for choosing our seafood selection. We also use the Marine Stewardship Council and EU standards such as the RSPCA. 

What does this mean to our seafood shoppers? It means we do the best we can to make sure that the seafood you buy from Wheatsville is clean, safe and socially responsible. Enjoy our seafood selection and feel confident that you are eating responsibly.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: The Natural Citizen

The Natural Citizen founders, Angela and Nadia, share the scoop on their nutritious smoothie add-ins.

1. What led you to start your business?


ANGELA: We believe in honest-to-goodness wellness, and that's why we set out to create a transparent, real-food nutrition company that is a force for good. I have been a plant protein smoothie drinker for several years, so when I got pregnant, I started to question the quality of the ingredients that I was adding to my smoothie. I called up Nadia, who is a regulatory lawyer and quality expert, and together we went through everything on the shelf. Nothing was exactly what we were looking for, which were just super clean, incredibly simple and high-quality smoothie add-ins that deliver a functional benefit.

NADIA: That's when we went to work formulating our own blends. From our experience in the natural food industry, we knew that the fewer ingredients we used, the more attention we could give to the quality and sourcing of our ingredients. Angela and I spent tons of time doing research, working with different ingredients and formulating blends in our kitchens. We wanted a product line that we could use personally, but also feel confident recommending to our friends and family. After hundreds of hours developing these products to meet our extremely high quality standards, I am proud to say that I use them daily and my friends and family have become huge fans of the line as well.


2. What kind of ingredients do you use?


NADIA: We use only real food ingredients, and each ingredient that we selected serves a unique purpose in its formulation. For example, our Organic Digest, which supports digestion and regularity, offers 5 grams of fiber, which is a balanced blend of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Plus, you get omega fatty acids from the chia seeds, prebiotics from the Jerusalem Artichoke to help nourish your naturally-occurring probiotics, and the soothing effects of Aloe vera. You get all of this in only four ingredients that work together to nourish the digestive tract.

Additionally, we selected very nutrient-rich plants that you won't find in the produce section, some might call these "superfoods." Our Organic Greens is the perfect example. This blend combines the best of the land and sea with moringa leaf, spirulina, alfalfa and barley. All four of these super green ingredients brings a unique nutritional profile to the formulation, and when combined, you get a nutrient-rich boost. Our Organic Greens has 30% of your daily value of iron plus 120% of your daily value of Vitamin B12 - and it's all from plants!

ANGELA: I think it's also important to point out that we know where our ingredients comes from. This is extremely important to us, and that's why as often as possible we source directly from the farm. We pay incredibly close attention to our supply chain and conduct rigorous quality testing before and after production, making sure that all of our ingredients surpass our quality standards.


3. What is different about your product as opposed to other smoothie ad-ins on the market?


ANGELA: First, we offer something very unique. The other add-ins on the market are either single "superfood" ingredients, or they are blends with a laundry list of ingredients. Unfortunately the ingredients on that laundry list tend to be there for flavor or marketing purposes and do very little for your health. We formulated our add-ins by selecting only four ingredients per blend, and each ingredient serves a very specific purpose. All four ingredients work together to deliver the functional benefit. We really believe that less is more, and with our blends you get fewer, but better ingredients and none of the unneccessary "extras."

NADIA: Additionally, our quality is the best of the best. By limiting the number of ingredients to only four, we are able to test the ingredients multiple times throughout the supply chain. Plus, all of our blends are certified organic, certified gluten free, certified vegan, and manufactured in an allergen-free facility in the USA. Very few of the other add-ins on the market can make all of those claims about quality.


4. What are some of your favorite things about Wheatsville?


NADIA: As a member of the co-op, I love the sense of community and how it supports local businesses. I also love the smoothie bar where you can find our blends as add-ins! Wheatsville has some of the best smoothies in town.

ANGELA: I love that I can find my favorite local brands all in one place! Additionally, working with Wheatsville has been amazing. The company is incredibly supportive of our business and we truly feel like it's a partnership.


5. Do you have a favorite/cool tips or recipes?


ANGELA: A lot of our fans use our blends for smoothies, but since they are unflavored and unsweetened they are so versatile. You can use them in oatmeal, overnight oats, stir them into yogurt, add to pancake batter - the possibilities are endless.


Now, as the temperature has dropped in Austin, a lot of people might not find a cold smoothie appealing, so I suggest making a warm smoothie!
You simply heat your almond milk on the stove or in the microwave and add to your blender. Warm liquids will create steam, so start your blender on low and vent often. Here's an easy recipe that is absolutely delicious:

Apple Pie Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 raw apple, cored
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Digest
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Protein
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Sweeten to taste with honey (optional)

Combine the milk and the oats in the blender and let them soak for a couple minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend.

NADIA: When we do events, we make a simple PBJ&Greens smoothie that people love, they often ask us for the recipe. This is such an easy way to start making green smoothies if you don't already make them at home, and you can mix and match and use any of our blends in it!

PBJ&Greens

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 heaping tbsp. peanut butter or nut butter
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Protein
1 serving The Natural Citizen Organic Greens (or 2 handfuls of spinach)

Add all ingredients to blender, and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

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Pear Guide

Green D’Anjou

Flavor: Sweetly mellow
Texture: smooth and juicy
Uses: eating out of hand, baking, poaching, and roasting




Red D’anjou

Flavor: Sweeter than a green D’anjou, mellow flavor
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Eating out of hand, baking, poaching, and roasting




Bartlett

Flavor: Sweet and mild with subtle citrus notes
Texture: When ripe (bright yellow color), smooth and extremely juicy
Uses: Ripe – Eating out of hand
Slightly green: pureeing, baking, or canning




Red Bartlett

Flavor: Really flavorful and sweet when ripe
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Ripe: Eating out of hand,
Slightly green: pureeing, baking, or canning




Bosc

Flavor: Bold, with an earthy sweetness
Texture: Frm and crisp
Uses: Best for poaching and baking; also good eating out of hand








Concorde

Flavor: Sweet with a hint of vanilla
Texture: Firm but not crisp texture
Uses: Baking, poaching, salads (doesn’t brown as quickly), Eating out of hand





Comice

Flavor: Mild and earthy
Texture: Smooth and luscious
Uses: Eating out of hand, poaching, pairing with cheese





Starkrimson

Flavor: Mild and sweet, with a subtle floral aroma
Texture: Smooth and juicy
Uses: Eating out of hand, baked




Tosca

Flavor: Sweet and juicy
Texture: Smooth and crisp
Uses: Eating out of hand, salads, poaching, baked

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Third Coast Coffee

1. How long has Third Coast Coffee been in business?

Joe Lozano began roasting coffee in 1994 and opened Los Armadillos Coffee. Most of his working life had been in restaurants and kitchens so when the opportunity to roast coffee came up, he thought it wouldn’t be so hard to do with the experience he had. That didn’t turn out to be so true, but after much trial and error, he had the opportunity to buy Third Coast Coffee in 2008. We’ve been fine tuning our roasts and expanding every year since. 

2. What practices set you apart from others?

We’re an artisan roaster because roasting coffee is an art. Third Coast only roasts coffee to order so you’re guaranteed a fresh cup of with every bag. We control each roast by hand, eye, and nose. Our roasting machines are lovingly maintained 12 kilo drum roasters and we follow rigorous protocol, including set batch sizes for all roasts that guarantees the results we seek. We are part of the world’s only coffee buying cooperative that has 21 roaster members spread throughout the United States and Canada. Our members are committed to sourcing sustainably grown coffees and partner closely with the farmers who grow it. By importing directly from the farmers, the co-op does business in a way that creates a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system of coffee trade that directly benefits the farmers, and their families and communities. 

3. How do you source your beans and from where?

As a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Third Coast Coffee directly imports coffee from small farmer cooperatives throughout Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Indonesia. We make year long commitments for our green coffee to ensure reliable and steady supply of the many varieties that we offer. We always want to make sure the farmers are effectively rewarded for their efforts. We also want to respect their hard work by crafting the finest roasts possible, extending that dialogue to include coffee drinker, roaster, and grower. Cooperative Coffees goal is to make coffee growing a sustainable and beneficial endeavor for families and their communities. We understand the basic needs of our trading partners and facilitate access to specific expertise to help small scale farmers improve their production capabilities and meet their basic needs. We measure the impact of our relationships not only economically, but also in terms of overall quality of life for our partners and their communities. 

4. What are some of your favorite things/departments at Wheatsville?

The donuts! We’re (mostly) kidding. I think we can all agree that love that Wheatsville is a co-op. We know how important is for coops to work with other coops and we’re honored to work so closely with you! 

5. Do you have a favorite/cool tips or recipe?

Tip: We always recommend 2 tablespoons of coffee to 6oz of water for any coffee brewer.

For a sweet treat, try
Jes’ Vegan Chocolate Espresso Muffins

3/4 c all purpose flour (or sub oat flour for GF option) 
1/3 c brewed Third Coast Coffee espresso
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c coconut sugar
3 T maple syrup
1 T vinegar
2 T vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil) 
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with liners. 
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and whisk until well combined. 
3. In a separate small bowl, mix together espresso, vinegar, maple
    syrup, and oil. 
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. 
5. Pour batter into the muffin tin filling them about 2/3 of the way. 
6. Bake for 15 - 18 min. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
7. Remove from oven, let cool completely. Top with melted vegan
    chocolate mixed with coffee and sliced almonds if desired. 

6. Do you have anything new in the works?

We recently acquired our first micro-lot coffee from Peru. Señor Vasquez owns a 4 hectare farm where he carefully looks after his coffee trees, keeps bees for pollination and tries to harvest the ripe coffee cherries when the moon is full. He oversees the fermentation and initial drying process on his own plot before taking them for final processing. We’re going to be buying more specialty coffees from other micro-lot farms in other countries where we source our beans. 

If there is anything additional that you would like to share...

At the end of October, Joe will be traveling to Honduras for a soil symposium. Producer partners and roaster partners will meet to combat the Roya fungus, which has been slowly killing crops across the coffee plane. Roya is an airborne fungus that essentially stops the photosynthesis process of the trees and cannot be treated without the use of chemicals and pesticides. This trip to Honduras will test different ways of managing soil, experimenting with seedlings, and trying to combat Roya while still remaining organic. Joe makes several origin trips each year and has visited all of our producer partners over time. Last year he traveled to Sumatra and Colombia while Logan, another roaster has been to visit our Mexico and Guatemala partners.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: FOND Bone Broth

Anna Obert and Alysa Seeland, co-founders of FOND Bone Broth, kindly answered a few questions to help us know more about their company.


Tell us about the name of your company, Fond Bone Broth.

FOND is french for “base” or “foundation.” We want people to see us as the foundation of their culinary and nutritional life - the first thing they reach for when they need a delicious meal, the first thing they think of when their body needs a boost. For too long taste and culinary craft were thought to be separate from nourishment. We came to believe that good tasting food was an indulgence and nourishing food was to be tolerated. The solution? FOND Bone Broth™. Whether you use it to elevate a meal or as a drink to nourish your body whole, our goal is to bring nourishing food to the height of culinary taste and ingenuity!

How long have you been making bone broths? Did you start for personal use? What made you start offering it for sale?

I used bone broth in my cooking for years — since I opened my first cook book — but drinking bone broth was a last ditch effort to find relief from a long history of medical complications. At the time I was taking $400 a month of quality supplements that were not being absorbed in my body. After seeing the dramatic benefits of drinking bone broth, I started telling others to drink it too. But there were two barriers: it was difficult to make (even find the ingredients to do it the right way) and even more difficult to flavor. So we decided to do it for you, to make it delicious and delightful and to support local farmers in the process who make this nourishing food even possible.

While it was started from a personal journey, our team is integral in creating the experience you have when you open the jar. From the care in production (still hand-crafted!) to the aesthetics on the label, our team’s commitment to excellence and the love and care of the land is the reason our product is set apart.

What farms do you work with to get your produce and animals?

We work with COBB Creek Ranch, Tandem Farm Company, Parker Creek Ranch, Braune Family Farms, Markley Family Farms, Johnson’s Backyard Organics, and many others on a case-by-case basis. We add to the list of farmers we work with weekly. We are ALWAYS looking to work with and support more and more farmers and we invite farmers who are intentional about their growing practices to reach out to us!

What’s your favorite flavor? I think mine is Liquid Light. I made a chicken and pasta dish with a light creamy sauce using Liquid Light and it was the most delicious thing I’ve EVER cooked.

Everyone on the team has their own favorite for sure, our Founder’s favorite for cooking is Trolley Dodger, but for drinking it is The Spur. The customer darling is definitely Youth Tonic and a close second is Liquid Light so to each their own! 

Can you share a simple recipe, one that might not be obvious?

FOND-A-ROUX

2 TB oil (we use ghee)
2 TB flour (we use non-gmo, organic heritage wheat but even coconut flour will do!)
4oz of Trolley Dodger
pinch of pink salt

Melt oil in a pan, add flour whisk together and let cook for 2 minutes - mixture will start to brown. Add Trolley Dodger whisking continually until the mixture thickens. This recipe is GOLD it will have you saying “put a roux on it” for every culinary instance going forward. Over easy eggs, roasted veggies, fresh tomatoes, french fries, chicken, potatoes - something delicious, something to nourish!

Are there any new products or broth flavors on the horizon?
We are always working on a new flavors, we’ll be launching one every month this fall and winter and will debut a new one shortly in October, but we’re also working hard on a fish broth. The primary issue with fish broth is finding a sustainable source. Our first journey was out the backdoor to the pasture, now we’re heading out to sea!

What are some of your favorite foods to buy at Wheatsville?
There are so many! We love SRSLY Chocolate (almond sea salt can’t be beat!), we’re also big fans of Argus cider, Cuveé coffee is swoon-worthy, but we also love the many farmers that Wheatsville supports like EIEO Farms, Engel Farms, and Prickly Pair Farms.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: 4th Tap Cooperative Brewery

4th Tap co-founder and President, John Stecker, shared some info and insight about the first worker-owned cooperatively-governed brewery in Texas.

1. Can you tell me how 4th Tap got started?

We had all been homebrewers for a very long time, and we slowly built into a weekly “club” event. We were clearly doing something right because we began to get increasingly frequent requests to send beer out to events. We spent many years brewing weekly and sending our beer out to parties, weddings, SXSW events, etc., which really helped us to develop our unique approach to beer styles. It will be six years this December when we decided to make a real go at opening a production brewery, and from when we came up with the name 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative. At the time, we already had strong biochemistry and engineering backgrounds, but we recognized we needed more. Chris Hamje went to work in the Black Star Co-op brewery for a number of years while I spent time getting a crash course in business education while working at another company here in Austin. We also went through the Cooperation Texas training program to learn more about how to build and participate in a worker-cooperative. From there, it was raising the money, finding a location, and getting it built. That last sentence really does not do justice to the absurd amount of work it took to get from idea to functioning brewery. Bottom line, a whole lot of real sweat and blood went into building this place.

2. What are some of the challenges and benefits of being the first worker-owned cooperatively-governed brewery in Texas?

Explaining what a worker-cooperative is to just about everyone! Second, answering the question, “why didn’t you just open as an LLC?” which I am sure we have still not answered to many people’s satisfaction — but we don’t really care. We believe in our structure, and that is, ultimately, all that matters. Beyond those two questions, there have been plenty of business and legal hurdles. From working with credit unions, taxes, loans, and TABC/TTB filings, everything is a bit more difficult. It has also been compounded by the fact that Texas views us as a non-profit organization while the federal government views us a for-profit. One of our core principles here is the triple bottom line— people, planet, and profits— so that has been a point of frustration at times. As for benefits? Our team. We have an amazingly dedicated and passionate team that share in the work load to such a high degree. They go so far above and beyond and I have to attribute some of that to our model.

3. What are some of your favorite pairings or recipes using 4th Tap beers?

The Renewal, with spicy food, will do you right. The tart, almost mild-sour quality from the real tamarind does a great job of balancing a good spicy dish. We’ve also received messages and pictures from people who have used our Sun Eater to make rosemary lemon bread, and to marinate a chicken breast for a rosemary chicken dinner. Our Long Walk really goes well with a romaine and mandarin orange salad. Also, surprisingly, gingers snaps and Long Walk. Seriously, give that a try.

4. Tell us a little about your beers and your brewing philosophy. What makes 4th Tap unique?

There are so many beers being brewed in Texas, especially in Austin, and much of it is really, really good. Just from Austin alone, I can go out and find great examples of most styles of beer. For that reason, we wanted to make sure that we brought something new to the table. We focus on creating out-of-style, interesting, but still very drinkable beers made for our home here in Texas. We also spend time looking for local or exciting ingredients that can really enhance the qualities we like in different styles of beer. We don’t add ingredients to a beer for the novelty of it, or just to punch you in the tongue with it. If we’re adding something different, we’re adding it for a good reason.

5. What are some of your favorite things about Wheatsville Co-op?

Short lines! Seriously, I hate waiting in long lines and Wheatsville keeps them in check! In broader sense, we love that Wheatsville makes it a priority to not just provide local and organic food, but to often communicate the story of the suppliers. Wheatsville is a supporter of the local food economy, which supports the local financial economy, and that is an important and worthy undertaking. Wheatsville is also a living and breathing example of a cooperative business model in action! Also, I appreciate Wheatsville being the neighborhood grocery store back in my north-campus-living college days. Y’all kept me fed!

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