San Antonio Entrepreneurs: Cheryl White of Deep River Specialty Foods

Cheri White grew up working in the food industry and enjoyed making unique, healthy dishes for her community, but she never expected to turn her passions into a company.

“I could make cookies and brownies well, but I didn’t want do the traditional things that other moms were doing,” said White, owner of Deep River Specialty Foods. “I came across a recipe in the library for beer mustard, and it was such a big hit [at a local food event], it got me into thinking about the mustard business.”

She and her husband Jeff, a former civil service employee, paused their business aspirations long enough to move throughout the U.S. and raise their family before retiring to San Antonio and creating a line of mustard, jam and other food products in 2013.

“Having lived across the country, we had a large palate profile available in our products, but we found Texas was totally different,” she said. “We had a few big hits, and we were selected as a finalist in H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best competition, which brought our Alamo Beer mustard to more than 170 stores.”

Today, Deep River Specialty offers dozens of flavorful products — from BBQ sauces, jams and jellies to baked goods — all designed to enhance the health and lifestyle of customers.

“We offer a variety of flavors that can be used in different ways and in everyday recipes — whether it’s a sandwich or sauce or pasta,” she said. I want [our products and work] to inspire the average family and young children to make delicious and healthy [dishes] for themselves.”

White, who has been inspired by her own grandchildren’s culinary adventures, is now working to become a bigger part of the food education movement in San Antonio.

“I think more people are realizing that we need healthier and better foods, like ones our parents and grandparents grew and ate,” she said. “People aren’t going to go back to a farming [way of life] but they can make those important food and cooking changes every time they step in the grocery store.”

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