UIW Students Learn about H-E-B Quest for Texas Best Competition

March 24, 2023

Guest speakers share with UIW’s CEO Club

Three people smiling

In early March, the UIW Collegiate Entrepreneurs´ Organization (CEO) Club, in collaboration with the H-E-B School of Business and Administration and the Beckendorf Center for Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship, hosted two H-E-B executives who shared information on the upcoming H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition. Global Sourcing Export Manager Antonio Villarreal and Sourcing Manager Rovey Gutierrez met with a select group of students to talk about the decade-old competition.

“The guest presenters gave a lot of insider information and tips for success for the competition,” said senior Marketing major Stephanie Loftus, who is president of marketing and communications for the CEO Club. “They talked about the rules for the competition, the deadline to apply, which is April 6, and success stories. We watched videos of previous winners talking about their businesses before the competition and how their business has been doing after winning the competition.”

The H-E-B Quest for Texas Best is an annual competition in which the large grocery chain searches for the best products made locally by Texans. People from across the state submit locally owned food, drinks or general merchandise for consideration. Competition winners earn $25,000 and the possibility of their product being sold at H-E-B.

Loftus noted that while the concept seems straightforward, she learned through the presentation that the competition is not as simple as it seems, and that the most successful competitors have laid a solid foundation to build a successful brand.

“Many of the competitors already have established businesses with their products,” she said. “It's not where you're coming up with a product from scratch. People already have their brand created, their recipes mastered, and are making sales. Some people even have locations for selling their products.”

One example of such an entrepreneur is UIW alumna Elizabeth Gonzalez, who owns her own salsa business. She attended the presentation to share her products with the H-E-B executives.

Although the competition will be fierce in the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best, the students in the CEO Club believe it’s important for guest speakers like Villarreal and Gutierrez to share their wisdom with UIW students.

“Guest speakers provide college students with unique perspectives and real-world experiences that are not always available in the classroom,” shared Luis Aarón Jiménez Guillén, president of the CEO Club and senior Mechatronics Engineering major who is earning a minor in Business Administration. “They offer opportunities to learn from industry professionals, which can be beneficial for personal and professional growth. It also provides a great networking opportunity for students, which could lead to internships, job offers, and potential collaborations.”

“Presentations like this allow students to learn about opportunities that they might not have otherwise come across,” added Loftus. “An event like this, for example, might reach someone who has a passion for food and drinks, and they might enter the competition. You never know who this competition might inspire. It might change someone's life.”

Learn more about the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition