Desiree Ficker is an Austin triathlete and marathoner who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005. Eliminating gluten from her diet was a critical step in improving her competition times, helping her win the 2011 Austin Marathon, and it inspired her to start Bounce Bakery, a online bakery specializing in all kinds of gluten-free (and vegan) breads, hamburger buns, cookies and muffins made with high-protein teff flour. Customers order the products online for delivery on Thursdays or Saturdays, and Ficker has added some wholesale clients, including Galaxy Cafe. You can find out more at bouncebakery.com.
Breast cancer survivor Shauna Martin didn’t fully appreciate the detoxifying effect of juicing until she was in recovery eight years ago. She started making vegetable-heavy juices that incorporated some of the salty-sweet flavors of, no kidding, barbecue, an approach that won over friends and family. She started Daily Greens, a company whose cold-pressed juices are now found at many retailers throughout Texas, including Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers and Central Market, with plans for a national expansion next year. Martin sells six flavors, which contain ingredients like jalapeno, pineapple, dandelion, watercress, pear, fennel, cilantro and Himalayan sea salt. Each bottle ($7.99 for 16 ounces) contains six pounds of produce, almost all of which comes from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. drinkdailygreens.com
Tommy’s!, the Austin-based spice and salsa company from Tom Williams, is hitting the freezer aisle. This month, Williams is launching a new product line: frozen vegetables and side dishes that are seasoned with his popular spice mixes. Packaged in BPA-free, microwavable bags, the products are non-GMO verified, a rarity in the frozen food aisle. Williams says that they are starting with three Seasoned Steamable varieties (a vegetable medley, Four Corners Western rice and roasted Cajun potatoes) and that they plan to add five more early next year. The products sell for $1.99 to $2.99 for two servings and are available at H-E-B and Whole Foods Markets. tommysfoods.com
Need some supplies from the grocery store but can’t or don’t want to go shopping yourself? Aseem Ali, a graduate of the University of Texas’ Longhorn Startup program, has launched a grocery delivery service called Burpy through which customers can order just about anything from a grocery store, including membership-based stores like Costco and Sam’s, and have it delivered for a fee, which starts at $14.99 for a scheduled delivery and goes as high as $25.99 for one-hour delivery. You can find out more at Burpy.com.
Last year, Raul Vergara and his son-in-law Mark Bradley started setting up apiaries at local farms both to help the farmers ensure that their crops are pollinated and also to provide Austinites with another option for local honey. Their company, Austin Honey Company, now sells a variety of honey products at local stores — such as Fresh Plus Grocery on West Lynn, Serve Gourmet Gadgets and Goods downtown and Rivercity Market on South Congress — and at farmers markets — including the Wednesday market in Dripping Springs; the Saturday markets at Barton Creek Square, Burger Center and Republic Square Park; and the Sunday markets at Plaza Saltillo and Highland Mall. They recently added a creamed honey, which costs $6 for 8 ounces or $10 for a pound, and a vanilla lip balm made with beeswax. austinhoneyco.com
Westlake and Baylor graduates Sam O’Brien and Kolton Lye are passionate about water. Not just any water, but alkaline water enhanced with minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. Many bottled waters are acidic in nature, but their Whol-E Water, which launched about a year ago, has a pH of 9.4, which can serve almost like an antacid to neutralize the stomach, Lye says. You can find the bottled water at Wheatsville Co-op and smaller retailers, including JuiceLand, Royal Blue and Picnik Austin. whol-ewater.com
El Monumento and Monument Market in Georgetown are hosting several cooking and cocktail classes this month. The first, a Bar 101 monthly class ($65, including lunch) with beverage director Jeremy Corn, is from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mexican restaurant at 205 W. Second St. Corn will host a Cookout with Jeremy class ($50) from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 at the nearby Monument Market, 500 S. Austin Ave. To register for either class, email Jeremy@themonumentcafe.com.
Ready to geek out about food? Academics and scholars from around the world will present their papers — on everything from the sustainability of coastal agriculture in Bangladesh to how FDR’s New Deal impacted family dinner — at the Food Studies Conference Oct. 15 and 16 at the Thompson Conference Center, 2405 Robert Dedman Drive on the University of Texas campus. Plenary speakers include Richard C. Delerins, a bio-cultural anthropologist at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and Ronda Rutledge, executive director of the Sustainable Food Center. Non-student Austinites can listen in on the presentations for $85 for one day or $100 for both days. You can find out more at food-studies.com/the-conference.
FOOD ON TV
An update about Kyle resident Brandon Scawthorn, who appeared on Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off! last month. Scawthorn bested his fellow contestants to win his own online series. You can check out the first three episodes of his series, Cooking in the Fast Lane, at FoodNetwork.com.