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A Guide to LGBTQ+-Owned Businesses in Texas

by Nathaniel Dela Cruz
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June – Pride Month – may be over and done for the year, but supporting the LGBTQ+ community is a year-long commitment among friends and allies. It doesn’t stop where the parades end. Every day, there are a lot of LGBTQ+ owned businesses in Texas, in the US, and all around the world that needs the support of the community to help businesses thrive and survive, especially in these trying times when small, local businesses are trying their best to stay afloat, reeling from the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many LGBTQ+-owned food businesses (restaurants, bakeries, etc.) in Texas, and one way of supporting the LGBTQ+ community is by supporting their livelihood.

We recognize the continued growth of the LGBTQ+ community, and everyone is excited to see more LGBTQ+ businesses opening. Please do let us know if you know of a Texas LGBTQ+-owned business currently not on this list. We are looking forward to constantly updating and expanding this list!

Arlo Grey

Arlo Grey’s executive chef and partner Kristen Kish is a gay Korean-American, and this is Chef Kish’s debut lakeside restaurant. Arlo Grey, in Austin,  offers dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. Keep up with what’s happening at Arlo Grey, follow their official IG account.

Cereal Killer Sweets

Chef Megan Morales has been in the bakery business since she was a child, helping her mom’s bakery. Now, her very own Cereal Killer Sweets promises to bring “cereal-centric and CBD-infused treats, candies and half-pound cookies” to locals in and near Patricia in San Antonio, Texas. Her business allows Chef Morales to continue donating to local charities and community nonprofits. If you haven’t tried Cereal Killer Sweets, order now. Berry Me Alive Cereal Killer is colorful and yummy, while Butter Than Sex Cookie promises to not disappoint.

Crema Bakery and Cafe

Jessica Forkner Tomberlin and wife Janessa founded Crema Bakery and Cafe, which is located in Austin. The store provides your daily essentials: espresso for your caffeine fix, grab-and-go foods, and sweets for dessert. On most days, these are all the things we need to make it through the day, right? Check out their Instagram for photos of the amazing food they’ve produced. If you want to know more about them, browse Crema Bakery and Cafe’s official website

Drink Slingers

Sadie Smythe and Nannette Taft (partners in life and business) own Drink Slingers. They provide professional bar service for personal (wedding, private party) or professional (corporate) events. Drink Slingers promises to help you have one less thing to worry about so that you can enjoy the celebration. If you need their professional expertise and want to get to know them more before booking them, visit Drink Slingers’ official website to read reviews, bar services, cocktails, and other important information.

Dumpling Dudez

If you find yourself somewhere in East Downtown Houston craving for yummy dumplings, then head over to Chih Lin and Michael Dorsey’s Dumpling Dudez. And if you think dumplings are purely savory, think again. At Dumpling Dudez, they have sweet dumplings like Blueberry Butterfly Cheesecake. To say that these are artfully delicious is giving an exact description of the food. And if you buy their Pride dumpling pack, you are helping the homeless youth at Montrose Center where 50% of the sales of this item is donated to. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

 

Fish Company Taco

Chef Daya Myers-Hurt’s many versions of tacos are all delicious, fresh, filling, and wonderfully made. Fish Company Taco is located in Galveston, Texas. Fish Company Taco, according to its official website, is a chef-driven, farm-loving, gulf-to-table business dedicated to sustainability. They sell not just tacos but other delicious foods as well, such as chili shrimp, shrimp sambal, bagel, chicken and waffles, and a variety of vegetable sides to choose from.

 

Front Yard Gardens

Nora Jay and Sara Wiebe are the co-owners of Front Yard Gardens, which sells indoor and outdoor plants, organic soils, seasonal herbs, and vegetables. They also offer landscaping and garden installation services. Front Yard Gardens is an all-organic, no-pesticides plant nursery that optimizes the use of upcycled materials. They have a Facebook if you want to know more.

Garden Seventeen

Garden Seventeen is an LGBTQ-owned retail garden center located in Austin. The company’s official website describes Garden Seventeen as a “one-stop greenhouse and garden store destination” with the goal of encouraging people into pursuing planting and gardening and helping them transform their living spaces. If you visit the store located along Williams Street, the wonderful colors of the store’s interior made more vibrant by the green of the leaves of the plants really encourages anyone there to try gardening.

 

Gelateria Gemelli

Gelateria Gemelli is a specialty gelato shop located in Austin, Texas owned by Andrew Sabola. The idea to venture into this kind of business came to Andrew during his trip to Italy. Now, his gelato shop is a favorite among Austin residents craving gelato. Gelateria Gemelli also has coffee and Italian cocktails. If you want to know more about Gelateria Gemelli, you can browse their website.

Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop

Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop makes its mark in Texas by opening a branch in Austin. The promise of Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop, according to its official website, is to provide the freshest farm-to-fork food using high-quality ingredients so that the community is happy and healthy with the food they eat.

Grizzelda’s

Husband and business partners Adam Jacoby and Kris Swift opened Grizzelda’s in 2016, two years after their restaurant Jacoby opened in 2014. Grizzelda’s is located along Tillery Street in Austin, Texas. Grizzelda’s specializes in Mexican cuisine and is the favorite spot for those who enjoy a delicious brunch. Who wouldn’t want to stay, if the restaurant is offering $20 bottomless mimosas and $5 Micheladas?

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile is owned by gay couple Adam Jacoby and Kris Swift, located along E. Cesar Chavez Street in Austin, Texas. The food here, reminiscent of Southern cooking and farm-favorites, is not just delicious but utterly satisfying, the way real comfort food should be. The menu is available online here.

Hortiprocess LLC

Hortiprocess LLC is a local coffee roaster that roasts their own house blends as well as offering roasting services for business owners who want their own brands. They carry a wide range of roasts as well as  Great Colombian Coffee, grown on the slopes of the mountains of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, Valle del Cauca and Tolima, in Colombia. Hortiprocess, owned by Juan Quintero, also sells fresh fruits. Follow Hortiprocess LCC on social media (Facebook and Instagram) or visit their official website.

Jo’s Coffee 

Jo’s Coffee is owned by hotelier and business owner Liz Lambert. It currently has four branches in Austin – South Congress, Downtown, Campus, and Red River. Jo’s Coffee sells not just coffee but a wide range of products too, from t-shirts to granola products, even posters and tote bags. Get to know more about Jo’s Coffee here.

Koffeteria

Pastry chef Vanarin Kuch built Koffeteria. You’ve seen him on TV with his appearance on Top Chef: Just Desserts and Chopped. Chef Kuch brought with him years of experience working at top New York and Chicago kitchens when he built Koffeteria from the ground up. Koffeteria’s official website describes the business as an “upscale bakery”; “an inviting place for visitors to enjoy a dessert in style.” Chef Kuch is not afraid to experiment and draw outside the lines and the food at Koffeteria always delivers in terms of flavor.

La Barbecue

La Barbecue is owned by partners LeAnn Mueller and Alison Clem. They are located in Austin, Texas. La Barbecue is known for its brisket, pulled pork, and sausages. They source their beef from a local ranch because they wanted the beef to be grass-fed and hormone-free. Cooking lasts between  14 to 16 hours, making the meat so soft that it melts in your mouth. The sandwiches here – brisket, pulled pork, turkey, sausage, and many more – are also delicious. Something to wash it down? Choose your type of drink. They have sake, beer, and umeshu (plum wine). Or perhaps earl grey, hojicha (roasted green tea) or genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice) if you want something non-alcoholic.

La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe

La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe, located in Houston, Texas, describes itself as “a purveyor of fine Italian baking and cuisine” and the person responsible for this is chef Diego Chiarello, who arrived in the US from Sicily in 2012 and started La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe in 2018. As of the moment and until further notice, La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe only makes sweet and savory pastries. No dine-in, no breakfast and lunch menu, and no special order request. This is a temporary inconvenience.

Lick Honest Ice Cream

Lick Honest Ice Cream prides itself on sourcing the ingredients used in making ice cream from local, family-owned farms. This business, which was co-founded by partners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier, was inspired by local culture and tradition and yet the product is very modern and there is a sense of free imagination and wild experimentation involved in the process of creating ice cream that Texans have come to love. Today, there are Lick Honest Ice Cream spots in Austin and San Antonio, specifically in South Austin, North Austin, East Austin, Historic Pearl, and Hemisfair.

Madhu Chocolate

Harshit Gupta and Elliott Curelop explored the boundaries of combining chocolate and (Indian) spices and the result is a collection of bold, new flavors very rarely seen in the mainstream chocolate market. Madhu Chocolate also takes pride in its adherence to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices. Immerse in their amazing collection of chocolate by visiting their website. Madhu Chocolate donates to nonprofit safe space Out Youth.

Mary’s Cafe

Mary’s Cafe specializes in serving locally roasted organic coffee and espresso. They have food to go with their delicious brew, including fresh paninis, hearty salads, and waffles. Mary’s Cafe also helps local nonprofits like Q Austin, which is focused on helping LGBTQ youth.

Michael’s Cookie Jar

Michael’s Cookie Jar specializes in making custom, hand-crafted cookies made from scratch. Michael’s Cookie Jar ships anywhere in the US. This year, Michael’s Cookie Jar made and sold Pride cookies and 10% of the sales went to Montrose Center’s Hatch Youth program, dedicated to empowering LGBTQ adolescents. You can find Michael’s Cookie Jar at Weslayan Store, Fountainview Store, and Downtown Store, all located in Houston, Texas.

Patika

Patika is a business owned by Andy Wigginton and his partner Nick. Patika opened the shop in 2010 in South Lamar in Austin, Texas. Patika prides itself on having only high-quality, locally sourced coffee for its customers. It also sells baked goods and coffee beans.

Popfancy Dessert Bar/Pops

Popfancy Dessert Bar/Pops is the brainchild of owner Chris Doan. They make gourmet popsicles made from fresh fruits in season. The business has come a long way, from its humble beginnings as a gourmet popsicle stand to a full dessert bar located in Houston, Texas.

Skull & Cakebones

Skull & Cakebones, located in Dripping Springs, Texas, is an all-natural bakery and eatery that makes baked goods that are plant-based and vegan. This business, which is run by owners Yauss Berenji and Sascha Biesi, is considered the first plant-based market and eatery in Hill Country.

Sundaze Food Truck

The owner of Sundaze Food Truck is Raine Mara Hopper, who identifies as a transgender woman. Raine started the business along with sister Kara Hopper. Sundaze Food Truck is based in Austin, Texas. It has the most basic food anyone can be craving on a given day, like fried chicken, sandwiches, and fresh-cut fries. To know more, visit Sundaze Food Truck’s official website.

The Dough Cone 

The Dough Cone is known for its vanilla bean ice cream and cinnamon sugar dough, sold through The Dough Cone’s roving dessert food truck. The business is founded by Avi Oberoi. Not only does The Dough Cone explore ways to offer healthier and diverse choices for sweet desserts, but they also help the community, particularly the youth at Montrose Center.

Urban Eats

There is a place on Washington Avenue in Houston, Texas that has everything to keep you fed and entertained the whole day. They have coffee and bread in between meals, and for lunch or dinner, there’s a bistro and a bar for the hungry and thirsty. That’s Urban Eats, which offers eating, shopping, and socializing with the cool people who work here as well as those who frequent the place. Urban Eats is made possible by the hard work of husband/business partners Levi Rollins and Eric Muñoz.

Viva Vegeria

You’ll find Viva Vegeria along Nogalitos Street in San Antonio Texas. Viva Vegeria is the first 100% vegan and gluten-free Tex-Mex restaurant in San Antonio. Viva Vegeria has an updated menu to include new offerings such as BBQ Tacos, Mole Poblano, and Nachos del Picadillo, and as usual, these are all-vegan and gluten-free! Know more about Viva Vegeria by visiting their official website.

Wunderkeks

Wunderkeks has already thrown down the gauntlet: they have the best cookies and they are ready to prove it. Visit their website if you want to know more about their products. They have gluten-free cookies and limited edition baked goods. They also have brownies and care packages. This cookie bakery business is founded by married partners Hans Schrei and Luis Gramajo. They started the business in Guatemala and it has blossomed here in Austin, Texas.

 

 

 

 

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