A Houston chef, named a top 25 finalist in the recent H-E-B Quest for Texas Best contest, may not have walked away with the top prize, but her DEElicious Red Velvet Waffle Batter is a winner and may soon be on the shelves of an H-E-B near you.
Chef DeeDee Coleman, owner of DEElicious Southern Cuisine Catering, was one of 600 contestants vying for a chance at cash prizes and the opportunity to have their products featured in the Texas-based retail grocery store chain.
After advancing to the final round of the competition as a HEB Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best finalist, Coleman learned that she was not among the top winners of the contest.
“It was a little disappointing not winning the money, because in your mind you think that when it is something this big you are going to need money to get your product where it needs to be to get it retail ready,” said Coleman.
Despite the contest’s outcome, Coleman’s faith in her product did not waver.
“With my work and my passion for what I do, I prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know what, you opened this door and you are going to make a way. This has your name all over it, you have blessed this, and I am just going to trust that you are going to provide a way for this to happen,'” said Coleman.
At the close of the competition, two of the store’s buyers approached Coleman to let her know that her red velvet waffle batter had left quite an impression on them and that they wanted to pursue getting her product on H-E-B shelves.
“I am thinking that they were going to call me the next week, and they actually called me the next day,” said Coleman.
She and her husband, Tony, were invited to H-E-B’s corporate offices in San Antonio where she worked out a deal that will see her batter marketed in H-E-B.
“It is my product and I will hold all the rights to it, but it will be a HEB-branded product, that is exclusive to H-E-B,” explained Coleman.
The Houston chef credits God for her success and calls it an exciting journey that could not have happened had she not taken a step of faith.
Coleman appreciates the stamp of approval that H-E-B has given her product, along with their guidance, and calls it ‘just the beginning’ as she continues to position her business for success.
“My bank account doesn’t match me being on HEB’s shelves, not right now, so you know it has to be God, it has definitely been a journey, and still is, we are still in the process of making things happen, and I am just waiting for my ship to come in,” said Coleman.
Shedding light on the challenges of her own journey, Coleman encourages other aspiring entrepreneurs to persevere and stay the course.
” I told my husband that we have been in our wilderness moment for a while now. We can’t just bypass it and expect things to happen, we go through it for a reason and all of these things are working together for our good. We have to understand that God is our source, we are not missing any meals, the lights are still on, we still have hot water, and things like that – God is going to make a way,” said Coleman of her outlook.
With a new business deal and a growing list of catering clients, Coleman is turning the page on a new chapter for her business. She credits God for the recent door of opportunity that has opened and offers a word of encouragement to others who may be thinking of following their own dreams.
“Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate where you want your dream to take you. You don’t have to have everything people think you need to have to follow your dream and step out on faith and do the things that seem impossible.”