Cool Beans Box Brings the Best of Texas To YOU: And Here's Your Chance to Win One!
Y'all know I love to support small businesses (especially those owned by women) AND that I love everything about the great state of Texas, right? Well, what could be better for a girl like me than a gift box from a small Texas start-up that's filled with small-batch goods made by artisans RIGHT HERE in our great state? Who are also mostly female small business owners? Not much, that's what!
Cool Beans Box, a Las Colinas-based small business, specializes in bringing the best of Texas right to your doorstep, as often as you choose. With product options such as graphic t-shirts, Texas-inspired home goods, artisanal personal care essentials, and gourmet food and treats, you're likely to find something to suit just about anyone on your gift list or you can always build a box of favorites to keep for yourself!
(courtesy photos below)
The company was founded in 2016 by San Antonian, Micaela “Mickey” Elizondo.
"I had a vision of celebrating Texas and its talented makers, artisans, and small business owners with a particular emphasis on women-owned shops," Mickey explained through our email interview.
She and her husband Noe and their daughter, Calista, set out to do this by creating gift boxes filled with hand-crafted, artisan-made goods to highlight and showcase the awesome work of Texas makers.
"Our wish is that when you open your gift box, you feel compelled to say 'COOL BEANS' every time!"
And with the option to join a subscription box club that suits your fancy, purchase pre-designed themed boxes, or to choose your own items and build a single box to send to a displaced, Texas-loving friend, your options for how you experience your first Cool Beans Box are almost as varied as the wonderful products you'll get to try!
My box was waiting for me after we'd gotten our two older kids off to school one morning. If you have kids, you know just how crazy and stressful mornings can be; finding that box on my doorstep after returning home from the morning rush sure was a nice surprise. I chose to take advantage of the cooler temperature and morning light and enjoy the unboxing outside while Baby played nearby. I had no idea what I'd find, which honestly, was half the fun!
The first thing I saw upon opening that cute box was a truly beautiful Texas-shaped pressed flower sticker lying right on top. Turns out that sticker is made by Andrea Castaneda, owner and designer of Pressed Flower Crafts in Dallas. Andrea made this "TEXAS STRONG" sticker while Hurricane Harvey was making landfall on the Texas coast, donated half the proceeds to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and has continued to reproduce them ever since.
Next came a Chilesquiles Sauce from Chilesquiles Foods out of The Woodlands, a Cherry Clove Cabernet Jam from Jammit Jam from Dallas, and a Mango Salsa from Classy Delites out of Austin. Do you know what I LOVE about small-batch, farmers-market-style goods such as these? That they're made with fresh, whole, all-natural ingredients and are jam-packed full of flavor because of it! Take a look at the ingredients list on any one of these jars and you'll see tomatoes, guajillo peppers, ancho peppers, onions, garlic, cherries, cabernet, water, cloves, mangos, cilantro, etc...what you won't see is a laundry list of fillers and preservatives like you often will with traditional store-bought items.
(Note: #momlife snuck up on me real quick at this point in the unboxing and Baby and I had to take it inside for naptime. So, please pardon my location change for photos...it happens!)
I tried a bit of the jam in place of honey in my Greek yogurt and was really impressed with both the flavor and the low sugar content. It was a totally unique flavor with just the right balance of sweet and tart. The Mango Salsa (which we enjoyed with tortilla chips while watching some college football) and Chilesquiles Sauce (which made for an amazing Sunday morning brunch) were just as enjoyable...I'm a sucker for Chilaquiles topped with eggs and all the fixins', and this sauce sure made preparing them a breeze!
Next, up was the Summer Sampler from Dallas Caramel Company. This cute little box set had two samples each of their Margarita, Piña Colada, and Root Beer caramels. I have to say that these caramels were the item that surprised me the most out of the whole box. I was definitely expecting them to be rock-hard and impossible to chew (because, well...a lot of caramels are). But these are buttery-smooth and melt in your mouth! I'm not a huge fan of fruity candies (I prefer plain caramel, chocolate, nuts, etc) so these weren't my favorite. But the consistency and subtle caramel flavor that remained in the background makes me want to try more. Their website is full of flavors such as Sea Salt, Bacon, Marshmallow, Espresso, Texas Drunken Nut, and even Caramel TxTurtles...which are all right up my alley. I think our Christmas stockings might be seeing some of these in a few months!
And finally, the last thing in my Cool Beans Box (which I almost missed because it was folded up so neatly at the bottom!) was a super fun "Texas Food Towel" from Turquoise Tulip, which is based out of Georgetown. This towel literally lists allll my favorite things, y'all: Texas BBQ, Migas, Breakfast Tacos, Chicken Fried Steak, Chili, Margaritas, TexMex, etc...Could this thing really be any cuter??
Cool Beans Boxes range in price from $20-$62, depending on which options you choose. You can purchase just a single box or you can sign up for a Club membership and receive discounted prices for three or six-month subscriptions. There is no auto-renewal, which I find fantastic...you have to manually opt-in to continue your membership, so there are no surprises.
I have to say that sampling a Cool Beans Box was a whole lot of fun. I LOVE that this is a Texas-owned company. I LOVE that it features handmade items from real Texans who really could be anyone...even you or your neighbor! And I love that items are comparable in price to what you'd pay for them at your local farmers market.
Want to try one for yourself or send a fun surprise to a Texas-lover in your life? You'll find Cool Beans Box on the Web, Facebook, and Instagram or you can reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're a Texas maker and would like to inquire about having your items featured in a Cool Beans Box, you'll find information on how to apply HERE.
And...here's the really exciting part: you have TWO WAYS to get your first box either discounted or completely FREE!
1) Use discount code SOWINGSEEDS20 for 20% off your first Cool Bans Box.
2) WIN A FREE BOX for yourself or a friend by entering our FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY! Head on over to THIS POST on Facebook and follow the instructions to enter. Our lucky winner will be announced on Sunday, 9/9/18. GOOD LUCK!
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NOTE: This post was written in partnership with Cool Beans Box.