At Small Batch Foods in Springfield, the Yukon Gold potatoes are hand-cut, the burritos are folded over and wrapped by the owners, and the recipe development is a family affair.
It was a love of food that helped bring the owners, Blake and Teresa Beshore, together.
In 2013, Teresa Beshore, an estate planning attorney, was invited to dinner by one of her clients.
“He said his grandson was in town and was a chef, and would I like to come to dinner,” she said.
“Papa” Harry was playing matchmaker, and he was successful.
A match that brought the duo to Springfield
Blake and Teresa connected instantly.
There was one small problem: she lived in Denver, and Blake lived in Dallas (they met at a dinner in Joplin). Teresa had clients in both states.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Blake worked in high-end restaurants and as a private chef. He was close to signing a lease on a restaurant and opening his own place, but his journey changed when he fell in love.
After a few days together, they moved back to their cities and started dating long distance. Within six months, Blake moved to Colorado to be with Teresa.
In Denver, Blake co-authored “Notes From A Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession,” which won a James Beard Foundation award in photography.
In 2016, they moved back to Springfield because they wanted to be closer to family, as they started their own family. Teresa is from Springfield, and Blake is from Joplin.
“I wanted to dip my toe in the food business,” he said.
In 2017, they founded Small Batch Burritos, which has since been rebranded as Small Batch Foods.
The genesis of Small Batch Foods
It started with a line of three breakfast burritos. In Denver, breakfast burritos are a staple, and the couple made them all the time. The burritos can be frozen, which makes them an easy weekday meal. Family and friends back home loved the burritos and encouraged the Beshores to sell them. It was the opportunity they’d been looking for.
But Blake wanted to create a quality, craft product with natural ingredients: fluffy eggs, uncured bacon, herbs, a hint of sriracha, all nestled in a fluffy artisan flour tortilla that they source from a small company in Denver. They use Yukon Gold instead of less expensive Russet potatoes that are found in many other commercial options.
Cox Hospital was the first place to carry the burritos, then Harter House and Coffee Ethic. They didn’t know what to expect, but the business took off quickly. Today, their burritos are in 30 locations in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma and they continue to grow.
They are working on launching a new green chili quinoa burrito.
Teresa recently left her legal practice to focus on Small Batch Foods full time. It was their dream to work together, they echoed.
‘The brownies are on fire right now’
In July, they released a gluten-free, vegan, double chocolate brownie that has been flying off the shelves.
“The brownies are on fire right now. We knew we had a good product, but when you hear it from customers, it’s very exciting. We can’t keep them in stock,” Blake said.
They are receiving orders for Christmas parties and corporate events, aside from stocking grocery stores. The brownies at the Springfield-Branson National Airport have been a huge hit as travelers buy them before a flight because the chocolatey treats are portable.
They are individually wrapped and have a 60-day shelf life, without refrigeration. Freezing will extend the shelf life.
“People ask us how we come up with items, and we create what we love. We love breakfast burritos. We love brownies,” said Blake.
It took nearly 50 iterations to create a moist, delicious brownie that does not taste gluten or dairy free. They wanted to make a product to meet those dietary needs, but it had to be tasty enough that an average consumer would want to buy it — enhancing their market reach.
Made with a blend of flours — fava, rice, potato, garbanzo, tapioca, white sorghum— the brownies are airy and incredibly moist. Baked into the rich, chewy dough are chocolate chunks, adding a contrasting texture.
They offer free delivery in Springfield with orders of 12 or more. The brownies are available in 22 locations in Missouri and online.
All that and two sets of twins, too
And as the lone employees, they juggle all of this while balancing parenting two sets of twins.
The Beshores have 5-year-old fraternal twins, which run on Teresa’s side of the family. They have a boy and a girl.
When they discussed having a third child, Blake consulted a doctor friend of his about the chances of having another set of twins, and the doctor assured him it was highly unlikely.
Surprise, surprise, they had identical twin girls the second time around. The girls are now 2, and everyone gets in on the recipe testing.
Their 5-year-old son is just like Blake and has quite a palate for a little guy, said Teresa. He loves to help dad in the kitchen.
“He’ll say, ‘This needs a little more spice,’” Teresa chuckled.
Teresa loves to bake and learned from her grandmothers and mother, so she had fun helping with the brownies.
What’s their next step?
Blake is working on developing a steak or barbecue sauce.
“It’s nice because he still has a passion to cook. On Saturday mornings, he’s in the kitchen with the kids making pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos,” said Teresa.
Their goal is to build a company that their children can work for and one day take over.
“We’re trying to build a foundation for them,” Blake said.
Learn more about Small Batch Foods
From the Small Batch Foods website, you can see where the burritos and brownies are sold or order online. Free delivery in Springfield when you buy 12 brownies or more.