Load up the truck, we're going shopping for these 10 underdog Texas products. Better leave some room in the back.
You've probably heard that Texas is the home of the cold Shiner Bock and the toasted Whataburger, but what about the lesser-known Texas luxuries? Here are 10 underdog Lone Star brands to root for.
8. Best Maid Pickles & Relish, Fort Worth
Best Maid has been selling pickles out of Fort Worth since the 1930s. The Company has survived the Great Depressions, World War II, and the invention of the taco. It's not going anywhere, so next time you're in a pickle at the grocery store about what sort of dill is the real deal, go for the Texas-made Best Maid Pickles.
7. Kelley's Honey Farms, Arthur City
Kelley's Honey Farms moves over 1,000,000 pounds of honey per year. Yup, ONE MILLION. That's about the weight of 155 Chevy Silverado 3500HDs. With honeycombs from Lubbock to Pleasanton, Kelley Honey Farms is truly the bees knees when it comes to Lone Star honey.
6. Mrs. Renfro's, Fort Worth
Mrs. Renfro's began in 1940 as the George Renfro Food Company. Since then, the company has gone through a few names and landed rightfully on Mrs. Renfro for their salsa line in honor of the original owner's wife. I'd recommend the mango habanero. Sweet and spicy and 100% Texan. It's won quite a few awards over the years, too.
5. Saddleback Leather Company, San Antonio
Dave Munson, the creator of the Saddleback Leather Company, constructed his first bag in 1999. He's spent the last 17 years perfecting the art of leather work. In fact, his product is influenced by studying the work of Mexican leather workers in person. He's traveled the world making sure his bags hold up to the highest standards. Saddleback Leather products come with a 100 Year Warranty. The goal at Saddleback is to give you a product your family will fight over when you're dead. Head on over to their website now to pick up your briefcase, messenger bag, wallets and more.
4. Third Coast Surfboards, Victoria
Tom Sterne of Third Coast Surfboards has been building custom surfboards for Gulf Coast surfers and close friends since 1997. He's a dedicated surfer himself and a patient craftsman. These are two things that go hand-in-hand. Each board takes around 30 hours to make. He's built thousands of boards and works with each surfer to make sure that the boards feel and look just right.
3. The Happy Toymaker, Happy, TX
You won't find a more country toy maker in all of Texas than the boys over at The Happy Toymaker. They specialize in creating oversize toy semis, pickups, trailers, rodeo sets, corrals, and other country and rodeo accessories.
2. Collings Guitars, Austin
Bill Collings made a life-changing decision in the mid-70s and decided to leave medical school and set his surgeon's hands to work creating world-class guitars. The result: Collings Guitars. By the mid-90's, his guitars were being played by artists like Zac Brown, Mumford & Sons, Jerry Jeff Walker and The Who's Pete Townshend.
1. Angel Sword, Driftwood
Daniel Watson is the Master Sword Maker who owns Angel Sword. He operates right in Austin's backyard out in Driftwood. His swords and constructed out of the hardest steel on Earth. And, lest you believe that the Japanese can outdo the Texas swordsman, Angel Sword has beaten Japanese competitors in multiple competitions. You can catch Daniel and his sharp wares at Renaissance festivals across the state and nation. Only in Texas could a guy take a mythical and powerful weapon as awesome as the sword and make it bigger and better.