Small Business Boost | HoustonTexans.com
In 2020, the Houston Texans and Amegy Bank created the Small Business Boost program, which supports local small businesses in the Houston community. Over the past two years this program has awarded 12 small businesses with grants totaling $40,000. This year, the program will continue to support small businesses making a positive impact on the community by awarding 5 more Small Business Boost grants worth $5,000 each. Nominations will be open from February 1, 2022 through October 31, 2022.
Winners will receive a $5,000 grant, access to event opportunities from Amegy Bank, Houston Texans marketing and promotional support for business (Business Highlighted on HT.com, Web Article on HT.com and Social Media Post announcing winner) and a plaque presented to business by Texans and Amegy.
*Nominated Business must be an independently owned, for-profit company; operate primarily in the Greater Houston Area and have Annual Total Revenue below $20 Million
Awesome Bites Co.
Awesome Bites Co. is the nation's first allergy-friendly vegan bakery and ice cream shop. Awesome Bites is known for their Super Muffins that are only sweetened with whole fruits and veggies. Awesome Bites was started in 2015 by Jennifer Thai, born and raised Houstonian, who was inspired by her daughter's food allergies to create better-for-you safe treats. Everything is completely dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nut free. Scratch made donuts, cookies, cupcakes, waffle cones and more are also completely gluten free. Awesome Bites was born to make allergy-friendly treats with wholesome ingredients that most people can eat without worry and are healthy so you feel good about yourself after devouring a treat. Awesome Bites is located near downtown Houston and catering and shipping are also available.
Mo Better Brews/Houston Sauce Co
The December winner is Mo Better Brews/Houston Sauce Co. From husband and wife owners Courtney, a veteran, and Chasitie Lindsay, "Over the last 6 years we've been able to make a huge impact in people's lives in terms of what it means to eat Vegan food. We started with Houston Sauce Co producing delicious hot sauce and a few years that multiplied into Houston Sauce Kitchen food truck, Houston Sauce Pit Vegan BBQ food truck, Big Hots Vegan Hot Chik'n and now our first brick and mortar Mo Better Brews. We are the first full service 100% Vegan Brunch restaurant in Houston. We are able to provide our customers with a great product and services that happen to be 100% Vegan." From the nomination, "This company is amazing and I proudly nominate them for 2021 Small Business Boost! They deserve it! They started with sauces, then opened the BEST food truck, offering the BEST vegan food around...hands down! I am telling you Courtney and his wife Chasitie and their team are AWESOME!!! Absolute rock stars in our HTX Vegan Community."
Airflow A/C and Heating
Airflow A/C and Heating was founded by Charles Gamez 20 years ago in Houston. He worked for Goodman Manufacturing (nka Daikin) and had the ambition to go to HVAC school and start his own business to support his family after learning how to build and maintain air conditioning and heating systems.. There have been countless times when Air Flow's owner would help senior citizens or the less fortunate with special deals and high-quality service during the heat of the Houston summer over the years. A time that sticks out in my mind is he saw a story on the local news station where an older couple was staying at a cooling center/shelter because they didn't have sufficient cooling in their home. My dad reached out to the constable office and he was able to contact the couple at the shelter to offer a complete complimentary cooling system so they could return home comfortably. He completed the job and the people were overjoyed. I think Airflow A/C and Heating is deserving of the Texans Small Business Boost due to all the years of going above and beyond to serve the Houston community and from its customers to its employees with the quality and care that they deserve.
David Alcorta Catering, LLC
David Alcorta Catering is a local caterer working to make their customers' events exceptional and striving to provide delectable food with impeccable service. Located in the Spring Branch area of Houston and servicing all corners of Houston, David Alcorta caters everything from weddings, graduations, and quinceañeras, to baby showers, birthdays and other gatherings ranging from full-service large events with 1,000 guests to delivery and pick-up service. David Alcorta Catering also specializes in custom cakes and desserts creating unique and elaborately-designed cakes with a special emphasis on creativity. During the ongoing pandemic, David Alcorta has worked with community partners to provide meals for first responders and supported nonprofits including Vita Living and The Montrose Center. "Winning the Houston Texans Small Business Boost will help us in our business-continuity efforts during this difficult commercial environment [and] help spread the word about our services to new customers." said David Alcorta. "This will help keep us operating and meet our goal to keep our staff employed during this time and for the long-term. We are thankful for the community support from the Texans and from Amegy Bank. Amegy Bank has been very supportive to us as we maneuver today's environment and we are grateful to be their customer."
Bellaire Shoe Hospital
Bellaire Shoe Hospital is second generation native-Houston family-owned, shoe and leather repair business. Located in the Bellaire Triangle Shopping Center, Bellaire Shoe Hospital takes pride in their work and in being a small family-owned business. From the owners, "Our family has been in Houston for almost 90 years. We volunteer at and support our local schools and the Texas Prader-Willi Association, a small parent group to help families coping with a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome. We offer discounted repairs to all first responders and military veterans and we do what we can to help [others]."
Dumpling Haus is a family-owned, women-led business started to share the love of food, hospitality, and community. Dumpling Haus supports local farmers through the Urban Harvest Farmers Market which they have participated as a vendor and donor for the last 5 years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dumpling Haus also worked with Community First to provide meals for essential healthcare workers. Lastly, to bring awareness and to stand against Asian hate crime, Dumpling Haus worked with local Asian American artists on a mural in their store front and made T-shirt's with all proceeds benefitting Asian American Advancing Justice, an organization that advocates for civil rights and provides legal services and bystander trainings to teach people how to prevent hate crimes. Dumpling Haus seeks to bring people together and lift others up. From the owners, "Opening a business right before a global pandemic hit was a challenge but it's through the support of our community that we will be able to continue selling our handmade and homestyle cooking. Sharing food is a big part of our culture and we are happy to be able to bring people into our community with our food."
Cochinita & co.
Cochinita & co. started back in 2016 as a pop-up kitchen preparing food for coffee shops and bars until 2019 when Cochinita & Co opened their first brick and mortar. Due to the pandemic and business closure they were forced to take a different route. In 2020, they expanded as a manufacturer and started selling prepared items to local general stores and farmers markets utilizing local ingredients. Cochinita & co. is a female- and immigrant-owned business and won Best Taco from the Houston Press in 2020. From owner Victoria Elizondo, "We make our food from scratch with fresh ingredients. Thanks to the support of our customers we are now back to being open and serving our take on vibrant Mexican food daily under the same roof as Kickin's Local Market."
Sweets by Belen
Sweets by Belen is women-owned, Peruvian and Latin inspired bakery located in southwest Houston. Sweets by Belen creates high quality made-from-scratch desserts using tropical fruits and ingredients. Belen and her team make these treats by hand with a lot of care and love. From her nomination: "This is a small sweets boutique in the heart of Gulfton, a predominant Latino and refugee community. Belen is owned by an Afro-Latina and she has opened a store that is truly unique to the community. She is a great role model for many young girls in the community and her sweet goods are truly delicious and a must-try!"
The Artz is a local Black-owned business founded in 2016. The Artz received over 30 nominations for the Small Business Boost where nominators emphasized how important the Artz has been to the community during COVID-19 by offering a safe, active environment for kids. The Artz is the largest aerial arts and circus studio in Houston and is an inclusive space offering a wide range of classes for ages 2 to 102. Per owner, DeMarco Howard, "Our priority is providing a supportive environment where people of all abilities can come workout and have fun. This incredible grant opportunity is helping us in our current goal of finding a space we can call our own. We offer a unique way for everyone in the family to work out, experience something new and have fun at the same time."
Kidtastic Park is a safe, clean and fun-filled indoor playground where children can grow, learn and play. From celebrating birthdays to discovering new adventures, our playground is designed with parents and kids in mind. From a special toddler area for children learning to walk and needing a smaller area to play in to twisty tunnels and super slides for the bigger kids, Kidtastic Park is about learning while playing. With a zip line, merry-go-round, slides, obstacle courses, educational elements, and so much more, we want to encourage more family time. With COVID, capacity is limited by requiring reservations and we clean AND sanitize between every play session.
Little Matts Cafe is a small neighborhood restaurant that opened in 2009 and has always had a focus on giving back to the community. Little Matt's owners donate the proceeds to Texans Children's Hospital in memory of their son Bobby who was a patient there. The cafe started as a way to provide a fun respite for families dealing with illness. At the front of the restaurant, there is a "Wish Wall" where guests can be reminded of wishes that do come true every day. During COVID-19, Little Matt's has kept all of their staff and continued to ensure that them and their families have all the support they need.
The Plated Plant
The Plated Plant is a nutritional counseling and meal delivery company that provides customized meal plans to help clients transition to a plant based diet, lose weight and combat disease. Services include in-home meal prep, cooking classes, coaching, and community education for kids and families. The Garden of Eatin', still in development, is a mobile market and smoothie bar fashioned from an old school bus that will bring fresh produce and healthy items to food deserts in Houston.
Three Brothers Bakery
The first winner of the Houston Texans Small Business Boost presented by Amegy Bank of Texas is Three Brothers Bakery. This small local business with three locations was founded in 1949. Since its founding, the bakery has survived floods, a fire, hurricanes and now a pandemic and stands on the shoulders of Holocaust survivors. Through this challenging time, they have continued to support their team and help other small businesses navigate this latest curveball.
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