Our Story

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TexasRealFood started in 2019, inspired by a love of good food, family gatherings, a belief in local food systems, and a respect for the environment. Our founder, Sebastian Sauerborn, recalls a wealth of formative experiences that centre around these key values.

Traditional Black Forest Farm near Gütenbach in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (ca. 2015)

Traditional Black Forest farm near Gütenbach in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (ca. 2015)

Sebastian grew up in the Black Forest region in Germany. Here, surrounded by mythical nature and small towns, he developed a deep, intuitive understanding of our relationship, as humans, with the natural world that surrounds us. Large, noisy family dinners dominated daily life, and so, a love of food and the togetherness it facilitates, was born.

In the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, in the Rhine Rift Valley and on the western edge of the Black Forest; a place where the rolling hills meet at the edges with dense, virgin forest; a place with cows grazing close by, where a slower pace of life determined the outcome of your day, and family being the most important aspect of life – this is where our story begins.

Every day, Sebastian would walk through the farmers market on his way to school and back home again. This market still exists, and is centrally located in Freiburg’s historical heart at the foot of the gothic cathedral in the city. It forms a large part of the population’s daily life, and has existed since at least the Middle Ages, operating without interruption, even through WWII.

The city of Freiburg im Breisgau (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in the early evening, as seen from the Schlossberg (2018)

The city of Freiburg im Breisgau (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in the early evening, as seen from the Schlossberg (2018)

The city of Freiburg im Breisgau (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in the early evening, as seen from the Schlossberg (2018)

The city of Freiburg im Breisgau (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in the early evening, as seen from the Schlossberg (2018)

Daily farmers market in Freiburg in the medieval main town square, around the Gothic Cathedral known as Freiburger Münster (2019)

Daily farmers market in Freiburg in the medieval main town square, around the gothic cathedral known as Freiburger Münster (2019)

At the markets, the local farmers living and working on the outskirts of the city would bring their wares to town to sell directly to the consumer. Fresh, beautiful produce was brought down every morning, and here, the idea of a direct relationship to ingredients, produce and the farmer was obvious. Of course, alongside the daily shop at the market, Sebastian’s family found balance with the modern amenities of supermarkets and other shops, too.

And then, every evening after school, Sebastian’s family would go to pick up milk from the local farmer. Again ideas, relationships, and a respect for the land were affirmed, that would shape a desire to maintain this connection with nature throughout his life. After collecting the milk in the twilight, they would come home to a large, noisy family of seven brothers and sisters. In the sporadic noise of different personalities at different stages in their life growing up together, they found commonality over the dinner table. This time was fundamental and incorporated an intuitive sense of understanding to the importance of the food we eat.

Sebastian's parents in front of their vegetable garden and orchard next to the family home in Unteralpfen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (ca. 1982)

Sebastian’s parents in front of their vegetable garden and orchard next to the family home in Unteralpfen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (ca. 1982)

Another formative experience for Sebastian and his siblings was growing their own food. During the early 80s, Sebastian’s parents maintained a large vegetable garden and orchard. That wasn’t just a hobby or a passion for healthy food, but a money saving endeavour: at the time, Sebastian’s dad was an aspiring writer (he had one book published!) and the family income was very modest. The family lived in a 400 year old former presbytery where the rent was as little as $60 a month (low even in the 80s!). Producing their own food was just one way to keep costs low. A humble PB&J sandwich tastes even greater when it’s made with homemade jelly on freshly baked bread!

Sebastian's sons Sean, Joshua and Sean on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2011)

Sebastian’s sons Sean, Benjamin and Joshua on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2011)

Sebastian and his friend David on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2013)

Sebastian and his friend David on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2013)

Sebastian's sons Sean, Joshua and Sean on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2011)

Sebastian’s sons Sean, Joshua and Sean on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2011)

Sebastian and his friend David on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2013)

Sebastian and his friend David on the family ranch in Bastrop, Texas (2013)

These pastoral scenes set the tone for the first 20 years of Sebastian’s life, which he took with him when he eventually left his birthplace and moved to London and then the U.S., experiencing new cultures and countries through his burgeoning career in business. Eventually, when Sebastian had a large, young family of his own, they decided to look for a home that would recall some of these childhood memories. Attracted by the lifestyle and availability of land, they settled on Texas, and bought a ranch around 30 miles southeast of Austin.

Soon, they had 40 horses, alongside goats, cattle, pigs and chickens. To help with all the ranch work, Sebastian hired some ranch hands who moved onto the property with their families. At this point, Sebastian’s family had grown to include seven kids, and with the other families, were 25 people living on the ranch. As part of an integral belief in the power of eating meals together, Sebastian, his family and those of the ranch hands would eat dinner communally every night. Often, they would have big roasts, alongside beautifully fresh vegetables, and, of course (it wouldn’t be complete without), Shiner Bock. It was a great highlight of the day for everyone working there, coming together over a big family table, followed by laughter and reflection on a day’s hard work, all under the vast Texas sky.

Ranch hands on a Sunday after church having pizza (2014)

Ranch hands on a Sunday after church having pizza (2014)

When Sebastian and his family left Texas in 2017, those special years cemented the ever-present connection and respect for the land Sebastian had known his whole life. The pull of Texas remains strong, and he maintained relationships and connections to the great state after leaving. This belief in the local community, good quality food and ingredients, and a respect for the earth played a key part in these memories.

From these memories, values, and beliefs TexasRealFood was created. It was created out of those familial encounters in Germany, of having dinner at the family table every night, of working with animals and the land, of sharing life under the Texas night sky…

That is what we would like to share with you.

Sebastian in the kitchen during a TexasRealFood film shoot in London, United Kingdom (2019)

Sebastian in the kitchen during a TexasRealFood film shoot in London, United Kingdom (2019)

These simple acts of cooking together, of sharing meals together, are acts of care and giving. When you cook for others, you invite them into your life. You invite someone in by the very act of considering what to cook and how to cook it. Nourishment is the most essential of human needs. It is what keeps us going, allows us to be strong, healthy, and able to cope with all the other tribulations and tests of modern life. Several studies have proven that families who eat home-cooked meals together – be it every day or once a week – directly have a positive impact on a child and family’s mental and physical wellbeing. Children tend to have less psychological issues. Physically, we, regardless of age, all slow down when we eat together and this aids in our digestion and metabolism, minimizing diet-related health impacts. This all happens just by taking our time over what has been prepared with love and care.

Sebastian in the kitchen during a TexasRealFood film shoot in London, United Kingdom (2019)
Sebastian in the kitchen during a TexasRealFood film shoot in London, United Kingdom (2019)

Sebastian in the kitchen during a TexasRealFood film shoot in London, United Kingdom (2019)

These simple acts of cooking together, of sharing meals together, are acts of care and giving. When you cook for others, you invite them into your life. You invite someone in by the very act of considering what to cook and how to cook it. Nourishment is the most essential of human needs. It is what keeps us going, allows us to be strong, healthy, and able to cope with all the other tribulations and tests of modern life. Several studies have proven that families who eat home-cooked meals together – be it every day or once a week – directly have a positive impact on a child and family’s mental and physical wellbeing. Children tend to have less psychological issues. Physically, we, regardless of age, all slow down when we eat together and this aids in our digestion and metabolism, minimizing diet-related health impacts. This all happens just by taking our time over what has been prepared with love and care.

A family in Lubbock, Texas, having dinner (2019)

A family in Lubbock, Texas, having dinner (2019)

When you “break bread” together over a table, you’re inviting a healthier way of life into your home. Food is a medium for connections. It is something we all need to survive, whether you see it as simply fuel or potentially poetic; it is what brings us together across cultures, religions, family situations, backgrounds, differing lived experiences – it is the ultimate equalizer. The act of inviting someone into your home for a meal is, in any culture, the ultimate gesture of friendship and equality.

And that essential fact: that we are all equalized over a home-cooked meal, is the reason that this website was started. From the knowledge of consciously sourced ingredients and respect for the earth to the importance of communally meeting over a family table, this is where we want to meet you.

Grab those strawberries! Yum!

Grab those strawberries! Yum!

At TexasRealFood, we aim to help you on this journey, by providing you with the necessary resources to make healthy, sustainable, and conscious choices so you can meet friends and family at a dinner out, or cook something magnificent at home, all while taking care of the planet and yourself. All you need to do is add your favourite people to join you, and revel in the beauty of a good meal.

We believe that good food should be accessible, healthy, and sustainable. To this end, TexasRealFood is a curated directory of Texan business that share our philosophies, so you can easily find farm-fresh, local, farm-to-table food.

Cooking with Mommy is fun!

Cooking with Mommy is fun!

But, we’re more than just a directory – we’re also a guide to better, healthier living. Throughout our Discover section, you can find incredible recipes, ‘how-to’ guides, articles on the state of the food industry, and up-to-date resource recommendations – all to help you on your way to a healthier, better life.

We understand how busy our daily lives have become, and how hard it can be to find the information you need to make sustainable choices for you and your family. That’s why we started TexasRealFood, and why we aim to be your one-stop-shop for everything Texas, food, and agriculture related. Our name is our program and a statement of intent: TexasRealFood. It’s not just about organic; we believe in ‘beyond organic’: that the food we all consume, shouldn’t come from the harmful practices involved with industrial farming, full of chemicals, and with a detrimental effect on the environment.

We also believe a local food system is key for a thriving community, to create sustainable, robust businesses, and to tackle environmental changes. And, of course, that locally grown food produced with care in mind, tastes better, and is better for you. Along the way, we hope to encourage more people to eat meals together with their family, get back into the kitchen; getting excited about locally sourced ingredients, all the while supporting small business owners.

You are never too young to start picking and eating blueberries

You are never too young to start picking and eating blueberries.

You are never too young to start picking and eating blueberries

You are never too young to start picking and eating blueberries.

Coming home from the farmers market with lots of fresh fruit and veggies

Coming home from the farmers market with lots of fresh fruit and veggies.