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Olla Express Café the sole San Antonio business to contend for H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best prize 

click to enlarge Olla Express Café is the sole Alamo City contender for the H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best grand prize of $25,000. - INSTAGRAM / SACURRENT
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  • Olla Express Café is the sole Alamo City contender for the H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best grand prize of $25,000.
Coffee vendor Olla Express Café is the sole San Antonio-based contender in H-E-B's eighth annual Quest for Texas Best contest, in which small food businesses compete for cash and space on the grocer's shelves.

Alamo City-based H-E-B's contest pits 20 businesses against each other in a battle of budding entrepreneurship. A panel of H-E-B-selected judges samples the goods and awards prize money along with marketing assistance, supplemental support and mentoring.

Olla Express is competing to have its bottled raw piloncillo syrup on store shelves across Texas. And, yeah, that $25,000 cash grand prize would be nice, too.

Olla Express Café owner Andrea Ley is credited with introducing café de olla, a Mexican coffee prepared in a traditional earthen clay pot, to San Antonio in 2019. Her mobile coffee spot uses the piloncillo syrup, a Mexican ingredient devoid of refined sugars and artificial flavors, as a sweetener in its many caffeinated concoctions.

Since launching the contest in 2014, H-E-B awarded nearly $1 million in prize money to Quest for Texas Best winners. Previous SA-based winners include Grain4Grain and its Low-Carb Flour and Mix, Mi Tierra’s Salsa Verde and Humble House Foods’ Ancho & Morita-Smokey Tamarind Sauce.

This year's contestants will present their products for judging on August 25 and 26 at the San Antonio Food Bank.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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January 12, 2022

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