The Austin food economy just got a $70,000 boost.
That’s the amount of grant money that the Austin Food & Wine Alliance gave away at its annual culinary innovation program on Monday at the Fairmont Austin.
A dozen local companies and non-profits received funding from the organization that hosts a number of high-profile food events during the year and is the beneficiary of the Austin Food & Wine Festival.
Boggy Creek Farm won $15,000 in all to tackle several projects around the farm, including infrastructure repairs at Austin’s longest-running urban farm.
Two Hives Honey won two grants totaling $15,000 to create a mobile honey harvest vehicle that allows beekeepers to extract honey onsite and return the boxes to the bees immediately, greatly increasing harvesting efficiency.
Huckleberry Hospitality, an event and catering company, won $5,000 to buy specialty refrigeration equipment for a food truck committed exclusively to sustainable seafood.
Casero, which makes charcuterie and cheese boards for delivery, won $5,000 to expand pâté operations in a USDA-inspected facility, which will allow owner Jackie Letelier to sell the product wholesale.
Urban American Farmer, which hosts pop-up dinners with local chefs, received $5,000 to expand its seed-focused dinner series that promotes consumer awareness about seed saving and breeding.
Sweet Ritual Vegan Ice Cream won a $5,000 grant to develop a line of allergen-friendly products made with pumpkin, watermelon seeds and oats and to support Sweet Ritual’s partnership with the Go Project, helping young adults with special needs transition out of the AISD school system and into working life.
The Cook’s Nook, a kitchen incubator in East Austin, won $5,000 to create a shared space for bakers and confectioners.
One of the first certified organic farms in Texas, Pure Luck Dairy, won a $5,000 grant to build a walk-in cooler to store the company’s French-style, soft-ripened goat cheeses.
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Front Steps, the local nonprofit that serves nightly meals to people experiencing homelessness, won a $3,500 grant to expand its training program to teach clients the culinary skills needed to find employment in the hospitality industry.
Hutto High School was awarded $2,500 to build a mobile barbecue pit, which will allow students to compete in the annual Texas high school barbecue competition.
The recently opened Nixta Taqueria won $2,000 to help purchase a commercial tortilla machine and take employees to area farms for educational opportunities.
Farmshare Austin won $2,000 to purchase new equipment for the incubator farm located near Bastrop.