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Chill News

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: Hat Creek Provisions

1. How long have you been producing pickled fare and what made you decide to do so?

Hat Creek Provisions began in 2013 with three friends (Tim, Adam and Drew) dreaming of a better way to pickle. Drew, the principal of Hat Creek Burger Company, and Tim & Adam from Strange Land Brewery (a craft brewery in Austin) merged a commitment to quality ingredients, the artisanal approach of craft beer brewing, and age-old pickling techniques to produce a wide array of local, organic, and seasonal fermented veggies. We've recently added Martha Pincoffs of Hot Dang grain burgers to the team in order to help keep us all in line!

2. How long have you been a vendor for Wheatsville food co-op?

Wheatsville was actually our first major retail account! We made our first deliveries to both the SoLa and Guad stores in Spring 2014.

3. What are some of your favorite departments at the co-op and why?

Beer and refrigerated pantry, naturally, and we love to check out bulk spices for new product inspiration. The coffee department keeps us fueled and we're suckers for the rice & beans (with spicy kraut on top) from the deli counter and the Ruben is out of this world!

4. Does Hat Creek Provisions have anything new in the works?

We are in the process of perfecting our vegan kimchi and giardiniera. We're also working through the R&D on a host of new offerings.

5. Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with our patrons?

Briney Mary!
Mix 3 parts tomato juice with 1 part Spicy Cucumber brine add a splash of Yellowbird and your favorite beer or some vodka. Garnish with HCP fermented cukes, okra, and carrots!

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Sweet Ritual Vegan Ice Cream

1. Why did you decide to make and sell vegan ice cream?

Amelia already had a crowd-pleasing recipe that she developed while working at Toy Joy in their vegan cafe. Combined with Valerie's ice cream store management experience from her years at Amy's, we figured we were in a prime position to fill a need for dairy-free ice cream. We're so excited to provide more people the magical ice cream shop experience that their dietary needs might otherwise prevent them from enjoying.

2. How long have you been a vendor at Wheatsville and what are some of your interconnections with the co-op?

Wheatsville has been carrying Sweet Ritual since January 2014.  We also love seeing all of our friends in the deli like Robert, who first hired Valerie to work at Amy's Ice Creams, and our friend and former employee Nandy. Their warm smiles always brighten our day!



3. What flavor of Sweet Ritual, out of all the pints Wheatsville carries, is your favorite?

We love the new Yellowbird Hot Chocolate! Not only is it our delicious almond-based chocolate, but we got to team up with our friends at Yellowbird Hot Sauce to give it a spicy kick. An amazing collaboration all the way around.



4. What are some of the things you love at Wheatsville?

Oh, so many good things! The produce section is always full of fresh and delicious fruits and veggies. We guzzle Kosmic Kombucha's Pear of the Dog by the gallon (goes great with vegan Frito Pie!). The soaps and personal care section is great— I've fallen in love with the Wheatsville Birthday soap. We love the deli and hot food bar! The food bar is our favorite place to get a quick and comforting dinner, and we can't get enough of the buffalo popcorn tofu sandwiches.



5. Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share?

Here is our delicious Peanut Butter Magic Shell:

14 oz peanut butter
15 oz coconut oil
1 1/3 c powdered sugar
1/2 Tb vanilla
1 tsp salt

Melt peanut butter and coconut oil together over double boiler until melted. Or if you prefer to use a microwave, heat for 30 sec at a time alternating with stirring until melted.

Sift in the powdered sugar and salt. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Store at room temperature to keep liquid. It will make a hard shell when it touches the ice cream!



6. Do y’all have anything new in the works?

We're expanding our line of gluten-free ice cream sandwiches with the help of Better Bites Bakery, and we've begun experimenting with ice cream cakes!

We’ve also just moved into our new shop at 4631 Airport Blvd. Suite 125. We are excited to have our very own space and the room to provide more great vegan ice cream to Austin! Keep checking our website and facebook for updates on our hours. And both Wheatsville locations are now fully stocked to meet your Sweet Ritual needs!

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Celeste’s Best

Q&A with Celeste Caswell, Owner and President

1. How long have you been making your cookie dough and why did you decide to make a vegan cookie dough?

I started baking vegan cookies for local coffee shops in 2001, and pretty soon after that I had the idea to sell the dough unbaked so people could make freshly-baked vegan cookies at home whenever they wanted! It took a while to perfect the recipe, but our Ready-to-Bake Cookie Dough was on the shelves at Wheatsville in 2011.

2. What have been the hardest challenges that you have come across being a small business?

The biggest challenge has been production. Demand increased and when we had to scale the recipe for larger orders, it took a lot of trial and error to maintain the quality we wanted. We don’t have a research and development department as some bigger companies might so we had to put in long hours and lots of elbow grease to make it work. Running a small business has made me understand the expression “building the airplane while you’re in the air.”

3. What are your favorite things to buy at Wheatsville?

My favorite things to buy at Wheatsville are the cashew tamari dressing, Sweet Ritual ice cream, and the vegan donuts with an iced coffee on the side. I always buy as much of the local produce as I can. I was also excited to see Miyoko’s vegan cheese appear in the refrigerated case recently.

4. Do you have anything new in the works, possibly a different dough other than chocolate chip?

We have so many things we’re working on, starting with two new flavors of dough that we’re hoping to roll out within the next year. We did a taste-test voter poll at Texas Veg Fest, and the winners were peanut butter and oatmeal cranberry, so that’s what’s coming next. The people have spoken.

5. Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share with us?

Since Celeste’s Best dough is vegan and doesn’t have any eggs, there are some tasty ways to eat it raw. Here’s a recipe for Celeste’s Best Cookie Dough Pops:

What you need:

  • 1 Tub Celeste’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 14-16 Popsicle sticks
  • 1 Cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. soy, almond, or coconut milk
  • ½ Tbsp. shortening
  • Colored sprinkles (for variations you can also use crushed Oreos or Chik-o-Stiks—they’re both vegan).

Assembly

  1. Take Celeste's Best cookie dough out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature. This will make for easier scooping.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl microwave the chocolate chips, soy, almond or coconut milk, and shortening for 1 minute. Remove and stir briskly until smooth.
  3. Roll the dough into little balls. The size is up to you. We made ours around 1½ tablespoon each.
  4. Dip a Popsicle stick into the melted chocolate and then stick it firmly into the ball of dough. The chocolate will help your pops to stay on the stick better.
  5. Dip the dough into melted chocolate and then coat with sprinkles, Oreos, or Chik-o-Stiks. We did one side, then let the chocolate harden in the fridge before doing the other side.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour until it’s time to eat. The cookie dough pops should also be store in the fridge.

Variations

  • You can make peanut butter cookie dough Balls by replacing the shortening in the chocolate mixture with 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Replace the candy coating with crushed peanuts.
  • Make coconut cookie dough balls by replacing the shortening in the chocolate mixture with coconut oil, and replacing the candy coating with toasted coconut.
  • For S'Mores Cookie Dough Balls, form your cookie dough ball around a vegan marshmallow (we like the Dandies brand). Replace the sprinkles with crushed graham crackers.

We have some big plans coming down the pike, so if anyone would like to be a part of it, please follow Celeste’s Best for the latest info:

Celeste’s Best on Facebook
Celestesbest on Instagram
@celestesbest on Twitter

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Margarita’s Tortilla Factory

Interview with Sonia Grizzle by Chris Moore, Chill & Bulk Coordinator

1. How long have you been in business and why tortillas and tamales?

We have been making organic flour tortillas and non-GMO corn tortillas & tamales since January 1997.Why tortillas & tamales? I grew up eating home cooked meals accompanied by hand made flour or corn tortillas. My mother, Micaela, taught me even at the young age of 7, to make flour & corn tortillas. When I married, I continued in that tradition. After my second child was born, I looked for an easier way and bought the first commercial flour tortillas. I don’t remember the brand, because at the store, all tortillas look the same when you read the ingredients. And they all taste and smell the same. From there on, my thought was, “I can’t believe people actually eat these tortillas! because the tortillas tasted like cardboard and smelled terrible!” So I set out to make the first true “homemade” tortilla. I went to local natural foods stores and presented my tortillas.

2. As a small business how hard was it for you to source organic and non-GMO ingredients?

Sourcing organic and verified non-GMO ingredients from Texas has been difficult. Our organic materials come from Colorado and verified non-GMO corn comes from California. There is one Texas organic corn producer and they sell their corn to an international corn processor, limiting their local sourcing.

3. We know that you run a family business but what does that mean on the labor side of your business?

 We are truly a family run business. My children have grown knowing every aspect of the business, from production to delivering the product, to doing demos. However, we would not be able to produce these products without the help and dedication of our employees.

4. Do you have a favorite product that you produce and or recipe?

To me, there are certain foods that can only be eaten with flour or corn tortillas. For example, red meats and soups, to me, go best with corn tortillas. My favorite food are beef fajitas. I enjoy eating them with Margarita’s stone ground corn tortillas accompanied with roasted onions, tomatoes and serrano peppers. Flour tortillas taste best with guisados, like carne guisada. On our website, www.margaritastortillafactory.com, we have recipes that my three children have enjoyed over the years. These are simple recipes yet they are so delicious. As a child, I was fascinated by how my mother and father created a fabulous meal with simple ingredients. With my family, I continue the tradition of home cooking all the meals. I enjoy staying true to my roots, my heritage. I enjoy watching the expressions of my family and friends as they eat the food I have prepared. Good food is to be shared. It brings joy and happiness to everyone present.

5. Do you have anything new in the works?

Austin is a great place to live and do business. There are thousands of tourist visiting our city and discovering our products and wishing our products were available in their local grocery store. Our company is going through a transition. We are slowly growing into the national spotlight. As our products become available statewide and even nationwide, we will strive in making the cleanest product possible, still adhering to the basic family recipe, without preservatives or additives. It brings me great joy that Margarita’s tortillas and tamales will be enjoyed by many more people.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Jeremiah Cunningham’s World’s Best Eggs

1. How long have you had the farm and what made you choose to farm chickens and eggs?

 Our founder, Jeremiah Cunningham, started his first large-scale flock of chickens in 2005. Like most sustainable farmers, we had to bootstrap our way to get started. We knew that if we were going to make it in this industry we had better start with what we knew best - eggs. Organic, pasture-raised eggs weren’t on grocery store shelves at that time, so it was an exciting time to start a pasture-based chicken farm. 

Jeremiah was always quick to point out that “World’s Best Eggs” isn’t a brag - it’s a classification. He always reminded folks that they too could raise the world’s best eggs if they raised chickens on grass, bugs, and organic feed, with plenty of space and sunshine. Part of our mission at Coyote Creek is to teach others about organic farming and backyard chicken ventures.
 
2. When you first started out how hard was it for you to source organic materials for your feed?

When we started producing World’s Best Eggs in 2005, there wasn’t an organic feed mill in the southern United States. Sourcing organic feed was a difficult task. Since then, one of our primary goals as the only organic feed mill in Texas is to provide a market for Texas-grown organic grains and to support the conversion of acreage from chemically-intensive conventional agriculture to sustainable organic agriculture.  We are committed to Texas farmers, both grain farmers that utilize Texas farmland to provide the ingredients for our non-GMO and certified organic feeds, and to Texas farmers and ranchers who raise animals in the most considerate way possible - humanely, on pasture, with organic feed, and as part of a healthy ecosystem.  As we have grown, we have been successful in converting 8,000 acres of farmland into organic grain production to meet our farm’s needs and the needs of all of the local, organic farmers!
 
3. How do your farming practices differ from conventional/ cage free farming?

To start, the happiness and welfare of our birds is our #1 priority.  Our chickens live entirely outdoors where they are able to fully express natural behaviors such as scratching in the dirt for bugs, taking dust baths to stay clean, and stretching their wings in the sun.  Our hens are provided with a variety of environmental enrichments such as roosts and perches, shade covers, protection from predation, patio misters on warm days, and safe and ergonomic housing.  Their houses are moved weekly to fresh pastures.  

In addition to our hens’ wild diet, we mill organic feed for them daily on-site at the farm.  Our feed is USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, and it never contains herbicides, pesticides, animal by-products, hormones, or pharmaceuticals.  Because the hens forage in the pasture all day, about 30% of their diet comes from green plants and insects.  This makes our eggs extremely nutrient-dense, higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in cholesterol than eggs produced in confined conditions.

At Coyote Creek Farm, we adhere to the most stringent animal welfare standards and  have been instrumental in establishing some of the animal welfare standards adopted by current agencies. Our farm is recognized as one of the highest rated organic egg farms in the U.S. by the Cornucopia Institute.
 
4. What are some of your favorite products at Wheatsville?

Late July Tortilla Chips, Dewberry Hill Chicken, the produce section (yes, all of it), Ruta Maya Dark Roast Coffee, Jaime’s Red Salsa, Margarita’s tortillas, Bubbie’s Sauerkraut, Theo’s Chocolate Bars… 
 
5. Do you have a favorite way to cook eggs or a favorite recipe?
It’s hard to choose just one favorite egg dish! We love pickled red beets eggs, breakfast tacos, and homemade eggnog, but Tortilla Española is sure to please everyone!

Tortilla Española

3⁄4 cup olive oil
1 lb potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 eggs
 
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a 10” skillet.  Add potatoes and onions and cook until potatoes are soft but not brown.  Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt & pepper.  Add potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon to beaten eggs while reserving oil in pan.  Cover and refrigerate for l hour.  

3. Heat 2 Tbs. reserved oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add egg and potato mixture, spreading evenly in the pan. Cook uncovered on low heat until the sides have set and the middle is beginning to set.

4. Gently slide a spatula along edges and underneath tortilla to loosen.  Place a large plate over pan and quickly turn plate and pan over so tortilla falls onto plate. Add 1 tsp. reserved oil to pan, slide tortilla back in (uncooked side down), carefully tuck in sides with a fork, and continue to cook until eggs are just set, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.
 
6. Is there anything new in the works for Coyote Creek?

Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm will soon be expanding into the South!  We have recently purchased property in Georgia, and will be opening an organic feed mill and pastured egg farm there. It will follow the same model as our Elgin, TX farm and mill, and will provide organic eggs and animal feed to a new community!
 
Thanks to the following folks for answering our questions:
Cameron Molberg, General Manager/CEO
Jenny Myers, Farm Manager
Emily Erickson, Community Relations & Sales Manager
Rob Cunningham, Owner

Learn more at: http://coyotecreekfarm.org/

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Easy to Fix Frozen Pizza

Need a quick dinner after work or school? Wheatsville has a great selection of frozen pizzas just waiting for you to grab and take home.

From local artisan Bola Pizza to family sized pizzas from Home Run Inn and Against the Grain, we have the quick meal for you.

Need gluten free? We have a personal sized pizza with crust entirely made out out of cauliflower by Absolutely Gluten Free.

You can also find a multitude of additional toppings and add-ons all around the store including vegan and traditional Parmesan, pepperoni and every kind of delicious veggie.

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Local Vendor Focus: Pogue Mahone Pickles

Featured vendor for the month of June is local pickle producer Pogue Mahone. These delicious crisp local pickles have some pretty cool flavor profiles such as habanero ginger, serrano lime and Texas sweet heat along with traditional styles like bread and butter and garlic dill. All the available varieties of Pogue Mahone can be found at both Wheatsville locations in the refrigerated departments.I had a Q&A with owner Sam Addison and wanted to share it with you.

Chris: How long have you been selling pickles at the farmers market/ Wheatsville?

Sam: We began selling at farmers markets 3 years ago. Wheatsville on Guadalupe was one of our very first retail accounts. I can still remember our very first delivery and pickle sampling event. We were pretty nervous .

Chris: What are some of your favorite things at WV?

Sam: I love the produce and meat departments most of all. I can find the same produce and meats that we buy or trade pickles for at the farmers market which is really great. I do a lot of cooking and Wheatsville gives me a hard location where I can find these local goods any day of the week.

Chris: Which is your favorite flavor of pickle?

Sam: Thats tough, but if i could only have one for the rest of my life it would be our classic Fresh Dill & Garlic flavor. I am eating a lot of our Texas Sweet Heat pickles right now though, they are so perfect with BBQ and burgers.

Chris: Do you have anything new in the works for Pogue Mahone?

Sam: We do indeed. Up until now it has been pretty top secret but here we go... In the coming months we will be using our pickles and brine to make an awesome Dill Pickle Bloody Mary Mix as well as a “Pickled” Whole Grain Mustard.

Chris: What made you decide to do pickles?

Sam: My mom and both grandmothers made pickles while I was growing up and I just really enjoyed the whole process. When we didn’t have homemade pickles around we would buy the Claussen pickles from the cold section of the store. I just always felt that we could do cold pack pickles better than what was available so I dedicated over a decade to perfecting the recipe before offering them to the public. I am happy with where we are right now and look forward to the future of Pogue Mahone Pickles.

More notable info about Pogue Mahone Pickles:

  • Our fresh cucumbers go from vine to pickle jar in under 48 hours. We only hold our pickles for 10 days before selling to give them maximum crunch and deliciousness.
  • We were named winner in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 National Good Food Awards, becoming the only pickle company in America to win three times.
  • You can find our pickles in the cold dairy section of the store.
  • Wheatsville now offers our premium dill pickles by the pound on the Salad Bar for customers looking to buy a lot or just sample them.
  • Pogue Mahone is gaelic for “kiss my arse”. We were given our name by my Irish brother-in-law who said that our pickles (un-named at the time) were the best damned pickles he had ever had and anyone who disagreed could pogue mahone. A name was born.
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Cage Free Eggs

Almost all the eggs at the co-op come from both small and large local farms. Our selection includes some unique varieties such as soy free and certified organic, but one thing all our eggs have in common is that they are all cage free. This can mean different things depending on the farmer. Some chickens are out ranging in the fields all day or some run around within a fence around each coop. With many of the local farms, we’ve had the great opportunity to personally go see for ourselves how the farms are run and how happy the chickens are.

Jeremiah Cunninghams Worlds Best Eggs
As this farm first started out, they found that sourcing organic feed was not only expensive but hard to find in Texas. They decided to make their own organic feed right at the farm. Within just a few years they saw that the feed was in much higher demand then their eggs and the feed mill became the main source of income. The feed has done so well that the farm is looking to expand by building an additional organic feed mill in Georgia.

Fruitful Hill Farm
This farm goes beyond free range with the practice of actually moving the chicken coops on a regular basis to ensure a healthy diet of fresh grass and bugs. With wonderfully dark rich yolks, these eggs sell out fast. We get fresh deliveries every Tuesday, right from the farm.

H&J Ranch
This small farm run by Henry and Joan only sell their eggs at their farm and at Wheatsville. We have been selling their eggs since 2007 and we take back their styrofoam egg cartons so that the farmers can wash them and reuse them. Don’t forget to bring back your cartons.

Cage Free Bulk Eggs
Cage free bulk eggs are a relatively new addition to the egg selection at Wheatsville. These eggs are sourced from cage free farms all over Texas from a locally operated food service provider. We get a lot of question about how we can sell these eggs so cheap. Well first of all, a certain amount goes into packaging and labels so when you take that aspect away your are just paying for the egg itself and not the brand. One of the great things about bulk eggs is that sometimes you just need one or two eggs for a recipe and not a whole dozen. Now you can just get how many you need.

Our egg selection is sourced as locally as possible and sometimes, due to the weather conditions, we can’t get enough when the hens aren’t laying as much. Rest assured that we will continue to strive to have an ethical egg selection at all times and are always looking for a stronger connection with our local Texas farmers.

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