Fond farewells and new beginnings
Good Food Awards
Local artisan food and beverage producers have until the end of the month to make submissions to the sixth annual Good Food Awards, a program that recognizes excellence in both the quality and sustainability of artisan food and beverage products in the following categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, oils, pickles, preserves, spirits, and – new this year – pantry condiments and ciders. Local companies such as Confituras, Pogue Mahone Pickles, Cuvée Coffee, Independence Brewing Co., and Jester King Brewery are past winners. With the growth of the artisan food movement nationwide, organizers expect more than 1,800 submissions this year. A total of 200 finalists will be selected in blind tastings by expert judges in each division before the winners are announced at an awards ceremony in January, 2016. Complete the online registration form at www.goodfoodawards.org by July 31.
Local fans of quality farmstead cheeses are disappointed to hear that Full Quiver Farms cheesemaker Mike Sams is retiring and, although the next generation of his family is taking over the farm, Full Quiver will no longer distribute their distinctive cows' milk cheeses in the Austin and Houston markets. Area farmers' market managers and farm-to-table delivery services are currently looking for a vendor of equal quality to replace Full Quiver.
Austin's 10-year-old lemonade entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer is having quite a year. First her BeeSweet Lemonade brand secured a business investment through an appearance on ABC's Shark Tank that is funding expansion in area Whole Foods Market stores, then she was the benediction speaker at the Soul Summit in June, and this month, she attended the White House Kids' State Dinner where she discussed saving honeybees with President Barack Obama. These impressive accomplishments come as no surprise to Soul Summit organizer Toni Tipton-Martin, who told us, "I intentionally scheduled her last so we could end the conference with the optimism of the future. She's a powerful and uplifting speaker. I'm so pleased she was invited to the White House."
After introducing themselves to the new neighborhood by scooping from an ice cream truck for the past month, the second outlet of Lick Honest Ice Creams (6555 Burnet Rd.) opened Wed., July 22, offering free scoops for a few hours in the evening. The new store will share the same hours as the original (Sun.-Thu., 12:30-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 12:30-11:30pm) and is located in the center that will also be home to Barley Swine and Bufalina, due later in the year.
When Curious Confections owners Gemma and Michael Matherne learned they were having a baby, announcement of her impending arrival was delivered in the form of a decorated cookie on the company Facebook page, and then their baby shower cake, sculpted in the form of a toadstool, was perfectly in keeping with the Alice in Wonderland theme. Their newest creation is now out of the oven: Alice Katherine Matherne was born July 5, coming in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and 21 inches.