The first thing you see when you walk in the door at the Mixes From The Heartland plant are shelves and shelves displaying all the products they make here. And the next thing you notice is the aroma! The smells of all those delicious mixes wafts from the packaging area in the back to the lobby and offices in the front. It was a wonderful experience to go there, and meet Teri, the owner, in person. I have been corresponding with her for about a year now, and it was high time we met face to face.
Teri invited me and FabGrandpa into her office, where we talked for an hour or so. She has been in the gluten free food business for 5 years, and is getting ready to move the plant into a larger building. She has lots of plans for new products, and is introducing a new buying club on her website. There are lots of benefits to becoming a member, including discounts and access to new recipes.
We took a little walk around the back, where staff members were busy filling bags with product, which today was a Tex-Mex Rice mix. The seasonings smelled soooo good! I noticed that everything was so clean and neat in there, too.
Teri explained that one of the secrets of her success for flavor is that she uses freeze dried ingredients. She gave us a sample of the freeze dried corn–it was so sweet! It tasted like fresh corn, only dry and crunchy. No wonder that corn chowder she makes is so good! And she makes sure every ingredient she buys to make her mixes is from a gluten free source. Her products test at 5 parts per million, which is well below the US standard to be labeled gluten free.
Teri gave me an assortment of products to take home, including my favorite, the Country Dumpling Mix. I had not had my favorite southern chicken and dumplings in more than three years before I found this mix. I loved it so much that I made it three times in one week! Now I can’t wait to get to my summer home so I can start cooking some of these things up! I made some of the Sweet Potato Brownies tonight, though. Easy peasy!
Before we left to come home, though, Teri and her Aunt Marilyn took us out to lunch at El Toritos Mexican Restaurant in Amarillo. I had the Tamal Dinner. Boy, was it ever good! I haven’t had tamales that good since we worked down in south Texas in 2002.
We finally had to say our goodbyes, but not without making plans to stop in again on our way east next fall. Can’t wait to see what new products she has by then!