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WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER EDITION OF THE GO TEXAN ROUND-UP INFOLETTER. As we head into one of the most joyous times of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on God’s many blessings in our lives. I am thankful for you — our GO TEXAN members — who promote, sell and serve the great state of Texas all year round. It is a pleasure for us to serve you and promote what you’re doing. Texas is great because of men and women like you. You have proudly branded your products and services with the GO TEXAN mark, and for that, we are thankful. In this issue, we highlight Karen Higginbotham and her labor of love, Kimber’s Cookies. We hope her story inspires you as you see another fellow Texan follow her dreams and make them a reality. Maybe her experience with branding, packaging, co-packing and retail distribution will offer insight on how to combat your present-day challenges with getting your product to market. Don’t forget to contact your regional field rep and ask them for help in getting your product in front of retail buyers and other opportunities that are available from time-to-time.

Take a look at the other information on events and opportunities that may help you promote and expand your business in this issue. The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) is promoting strategic events in 2018 that can help you market and sell your products worldwide. Texas stock shows and rodeos are just around the corner, and we’ll be offering sampling opportunities again this year — just for our GO TEXAN members. If there are any other ways we can serve you through our GO TEXAN program, please don’t hesitate to contact our great staff. We’re all in this together, and we want nothing more than to promote the products, culture and communities that call Texas home. I hope you enjoy this issue of the GO TEXAN Round-Up infoletter. Remember friends, Texas Agriculture Matters! Your servant,

Sid Miller is an eighth generation farmer and rancher and the 12th Commissioner of Agriculture for the great state of Texas. Commissioner Miller has devoted his life to the agriculture industry, and supporting Texas producers and the communities they call home. He is a businessman, rancher, community leader, former ag teacher and former school board member. Commissioner Miller is a rodeo cowboy and holds nine world championship titles. He is an honors graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Agriculture Education. He can be reached at Sid.Miller@TexasAgriculture.gov. 3



KIMBER’S COOKIES: DREAMING AS BIG AS TEXAS Higginbotham and her team spent an inordinate amount of time sourcing ingredients. They know that consumers today really want to know where their food and ingredients are coming from. Kimber’s Cookies does not skimp in sourcing fresh ingredients of the They achieved this culinary highest quality. delight without using a bunch of preservatives, additives and Kimber’s Cookies are special not just for their ingredients but also how chemicals you can’t pronounce. those ingredients come together to “We had the epiphany to box this make the perfect cookie. mix up and let other would-be bakers enjoy the fresh-from-the- “These cookies are just about oven taste in their own kitchens,” foolproof!” Higginbotham said. “You can bake them for a shorter Higginbotham said. Karen Higginbotham and her three co-founders — Kimber Kadesky, Shirlene Smith and Alison Thomas — worked together to create a boxed cookie mix that’s delicious and achieves that perfect balance between crunchy and chewy.


amount of time and get a richer, softer cookie. You can bake them slightly longer and achieve a much crisper cookie. However, in that middle range is the magic of the crunchy edge with the chewy center — cookie nirvana!” This cookie dream team began when Kadesky started baking at age 12. Her first chocolate cookies were made with Gramma Rose each summer on the family farm. Her older twin brothers were only too pleased with the results, consuming them and providing all the positive customer feedback she’d ever need to go into business later in life. While in college, Kadesky continued to bake her cookies, and she actually rented a commercial kitchen for a short time. Dual college degrees and a business career took over, relegating the cookies to special occasions only. A few years later, her childhood friend, Higginbotham, and two Southern Methodist University friends, Smith and Thomas, got together and started talking about making a career change. What better possible career change 6

could there be other than baking cookies with friends? The next big hurdles for the young company were branding, packaging, making sure each box’s ingredients were exactly the same and then retail distribution. “We had a dear friend develop our logo,” Higginbotham said. “We wanted it to be warm, inviting and fun, which is what baking cookies is all about. We think she nailed it! For the packaging, we wanted a sturdy box to hold the mix, with detailed and fool-proof instructions. Our director of operations is a stickler for detail.” For the consistency of ingredients, Kimber’s Cookies utilizes a copacker, whose quality and safety standards are of the highest degree. For retail distribution, the team baked a lot of samples, signed up to sample their cookies at a ton of local markets and knocked on many doors to get their name and product known. “It is truly an ongoing challenge to sell a gourmet artisan cookie

Sampling at Central Market 77

mix from a box,” Higginbotham said. “However, we think once people sample the taste, Kimber’s Cookies are truly the absolute best thing to come from a box.”


As her business began to grow, Higginbotham kept hearing the name GO TEXAN mentioned by retailers and artisan food vendors during their “knocking-on-doors stage,” so they

The evolution of packaging: Original hand-labelled box on left, second

checked it out and soon became proud decided that we had to be included,” members. Higginbotham said. “After looking at the incredible group of For more information on Kimber’s Texan talent in the program, we quickly Cookies, click here.

design and current on right.


Mark Your Calendar Events & Opportunities for GO TEXAN members

What: Fiery Food Challenge When: Jan. 22-24 Where: Irving Convention Center Details: The most recognized and prestigious blind tasting competition of zesty products in the industry. Deadline for entries is Jan. 8. Contact June DeRousse at (210) 882-0952 for more information.

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What: ZestFest 2018 When: Jan. 26-28 Where: Irving Convention Center Details: GO TEXAN members are invited to participate as food vendors (and receive a $100 discount on any standard size booth). Contact June DeRousse at (210) 882-0952 for more information.

What: Looking for Your Texas Best When: Feb. 2 Where: San Antonio Details: H-E-B is throwing a buyer’s meeting to find new hair, skin, oral and body care products. See flyer on page 13 for more information. What: Expo Antad & Alimentaria When: March 6-8, 2018 Where: Guadalajara, Mexico Details: This expo focuses on many new U.S. export product categories that have grown in Mexico, including processed fruit and vegetables, breakfast cereals, condiments, processed meat products, snack items and alcoholic beverages. Registration ends Jan. 5. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 463-6507.

What: FOODEX Japan When: March 6-9, 2018 Where: Tokyo, Japan Details: Be a part of the largest food and drink exhibition in Asia. Registration ends Dec. 8. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 463-6507. What: SIAL China When: May 16-18, 2018 Where: Shanghai, China Details: Great interest in tree nuts, dairy, pork, wine and beer. Registration deadline is Feb. 16, 2018. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 463-6507.


What: Inbound Trade Mission to Summer Fancy Food Show When: June 27-28, 2018 Where: Texas and New York, NY Details: The premiere event for food products. This opportunity offers pre-arranged matched one-on-one meetings with key buyers, importers, distributors from Europe. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 463-6507. What: Fine Food Australia When: Sep. 10-13, 2018 Where: Melbourne, Australia Details: Industry focus is on food service products, ingredients, natural/ health foods, organic and retail products. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 4636507.


What: SIAL Paris When: Oct. 21-25, 2018 Where: Paris, France Details: Every two years, Paris becomes the meeting center for thousands of business visitors from all over the world for this tradeshow. SIAL Paris is one of the largest and most acclaimed food and beverage fairs in the world. Register soon, because this opportunity closes fast. For more information, contact Carlos Guerrero at (512) 4636507.

For a complete list of discounted international events, click here.




Keep an eye on your inbox for an announcement coming soon on opportunities to promote your business at upcoming rodeos and stock shows. Contact your regional TDA Field Rep if you’d like information on showcasing, selling or sampling at the following Texas Rodeos: Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Jan. 12-Feb. 3 [Sign up Dec. 11] Field Rep: David Kercheval San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Feb. 2-17 [Sign up Jan. 3 & 4] Field Rep: Chandra Eggemeyer San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Feb. 8-25 [Sign up Dec. 12 & 13] Field Rep: Jami McCool Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Feb. 27- March 18 [Sign up Jan. 9 & 10] Field Rep: Kristin Lambrecht Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo March 8-18 [Sign up Jan. 18 & 19] Field Rep: Nelda Barrera Rodeo Austin March 10-24 [Sign up Jan. 16 & 17] Field Rep: Michelle Esper-Martin 15 15

Members in the News

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24 Diner was recommended on Thrillist. Austin Wayne Self was featured on Speedway Digest.


Buc-ee’s was spotlighted on Thrillist in the article, “Best Regional Snacks.”

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Nurture Ranch was featured on CISION PR Newswire in a story about its launching on Amazon Fresh.

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Pappas Bros. was chosen as the Best Steakhouse in Texas on Thrillist.


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SPOT THE GO TEXAN MARK CHALLENGE Want a fun way to share the best of Texas with the world? It’s easy! GO TEXAN uses social media tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to post GO TEXAN events, share member news and increase awareness of the wide variety of products grown and made right here in the Lone Star State.


Challenge: If you spot the GO TEXAN mark, let us know. Send us a picture of the mark on a product, sign or printed materials, and tell us where you saw it. Be sure to use the GO TEXAN hashtag (#GOTEXAN) when you post, so we can easily share your message, or send us an email.

THE TRADING POST WHERE GO TEXAN MEMBERS CAN BUY, SELL, NETWORK AND TRADE WITH ONE ANOTHER. Your free classified section to advertise your service/product to other members. In search of a service or product that a GO TEXAN member already provides? Find it by networking here. If you have something to list here, email the info (50 words or less) to us, and we’ll include it here in the next infoletter. Business For Sale: Shrub Drinks is on the cusp of growth with huge potential and opportunity. However, the owners (Cathy Tarasovic and Cynthia Guido) are at the sunset of long professional culinary careers and wish to hand the baton off to someone to take this company to the next level. If you are interested, please visit their website to see if you may be a good fit. For more information, contact Cynthia Guido.

STEP grants now online Small businesses across Texas may now apply online for 2017- 2018 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. Funded through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, STEP aims to increase the number of Texas small businesses exporting to foreign markets and to boost the value of U.S. exported goods and services. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis depending on selected activity and eligibility. For additional details, contact the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Grant Office at Grants@ TexasAgriculture.gov.

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The shrimp industry plays a critical role in Texas’ agriculture industry and the economic success of our state. Behind the scenes, you’ll find hard-working Texans, operating large boats and navigating miles of clean, coastal waters along the Gulf of Mexico. This is just one of the many reasons why Texas Gulf shrimp is natuarally delicious and better by a nautical mile! Visit gotexan.org to learn more.


C OM M I S SION E R SI D M I L L E R gotexan.org


MEET YOUR FIELD REPRESENTATIVES Trade and Business Development Regions

Trade and Business Development Regions

1. Rob Barthen 7. Jami McCool 1. Jami McCool 1.Rob 7. 7. Jami McCool RobBarthen Barthen 2. Matt Williams 8. Nelda Barrera 2.Carol Matt Williams Nelda Barrera 2. Faulkenberry Nelda Barrera 3. David Kercheval 8. 8. Eggemeyer 9. Chandra 3. David Kercheval Chandra Eggemeyer 9. 3. David Kercheval 9. Chandra Eggemeyer 4. Darrell Dean Bobo 10. Michelle 5. Manuel Martinez 10.10. CarolBobo Faulkenberry 11. 4.Darrell DarrellDean Dean Michelle 4. Michelle Bobo 6. Kristin Lambrecht11. Carol Faulkenberry 5.Manuel ManuelMartinez Martinez 5. 11. Michelle Esper-Martin [Russ Robertson – Director] 6.Kristin KristinLambrecht Lambrecht [Russ Robertson - Director] 6.

Mouse over their photos to see which region each Field Representative serves, and click on their photo to send them an email.


R E B M E M Y N O M I T TES AN program X E T O G e e part of th b o t d s. I did not s e t e n in a s u B “I w s a x d to be a Te u o r p m a else! It is I e r e h w y because n a p ting my ma in r p r e id rtment of s a p e D s a even con x e port of the T p u s e h t e v ing Texas w o r g e h nice to ha t e to encourag g in lp e h e r Agricultu ry.” wine indust

ing, l r e t S r e f i —Jenn aps M e n i W s a Tex

Profile for GO TEXAN

GO TEXAN Round-Up Infoletter - Dec. 2017 edition  

The latest news, events and opportunities exclusively for GO TEXAN members.

GO TEXAN Round-Up Infoletter - Dec. 2017 edition  

The latest news, events and opportunities exclusively for GO TEXAN members.

Profile for gotexan