This Veteran’s Day, I’d like to shine the spotlight on some of Austin’s Veteran-owned businesses. From cybersecurity protection to coffee roasting to recruiting veterans, you’ll want to check out these 10 businesses and learn about the amazing things that they’re doing.
1/ Living Security
Living Security was co-founded by Ashley and Drew Rose, who wanted to take a fresh approach to traditional security awareness programs. Their company works to reduce cybersecurity risks for enterprises by providing immersive training experiences to employees. They have created a virtual CyberEscape Room as well as an online training program.
Where to purchase: Website or at 3595 RR 620 S., Suite 150.
2/ Desert Door
Desert Door was founded by veterans Ryan Campbell, Brent Looby, and Judson Kauffman when they met at the University of Texas MBA program. The three found a combined passion to bring back the Texas sotol plant and create their own distillery. They create their spirits using wild-harvested sotol from West Texas.
Desert Door currently has three sotols to choose from: original, oak-aged, and their conservation series #1.
Where to purchase: Website or 211 Darden Hill Rd., Driftwood.
3/ Pretty Thai Specialty Sauces & Spices
United States Air Force Veteran Robert Strong launched a food truck in 2012 called Pretty Thai for a White Guy. In 2015, he transitioned from food service to consumer-packaged goods and started Pretty Thai® Specialty Sauces and Spices. Today, his products are sold in over 200 stores in Texas!
You can find his products—such as Sweet Chili Sauce, Peanut Sauce, Green Curry Powder, and more—at both HEB and Central Market.
Where to purchase: Website.
4/ Invader Coffee
Invader Coffee, founded by Wes Whitlock, sells ultra-premium coffee that is 100% air roasted. This contributes to a unique, mouth-watering flavor that is hard to find. Invader Coffee sells coffee beans, coffee pods, and creamers.
Check out their Original Invader Coffee blend or try flavors like Coffee Whiskey, Mexican Chocolate, and more.
Where to purchase: Website or 4701 Hudson Bend Rd.
5/ At Ease Rentals
At Ease Rentals was founded by Marine Corps Officer Anthony J. Gantt Jr. after learning that the government was unable to provide reimbursement for short-term or vacation rental booking sites when going through a Permanent Change of Station move. He quickly came up with a concept that would work to allow soldiers to take advantage of short-term rentals.
His company is JTR-compliant and provides an expense statement that meets federal criteria for federal employees and active-duty military to receive reimbursement from the government.
Where to purchase: Website or 11801 Domain Blvd.
6/ Cuvee Coffee
Cuvée Coffee was launched in 1998 by US Navy veteran Mike McKim “as an experiment in craft.” Their lab in Austin is where they customize each roast to enhance each unique bean. They also sell a canned Nitro cold brew in delicious flavors like Black Coffee, Hemp Oil, and Horchata.
Check out their coffee bar on East 6th Street or stop by their website to see where to purchase their products.
Where to purchase: Website or 2000 E 6th St.
7/ Glow Spa and Wax House
Glow Spa and Wax House was founded by US Army veteran Pete Berardi and his wife, Jessica. Their business offers a variety of services for both men and women, such as women’s waxing, manscaping, semi-permanent makeup, airbrush tans, microneedling, facials, and more.
Where to purchase: Website or 7739 Northcross Dr. E.
8/ Bliss Transit
Bliss Transit was co-founded by Charles and Robert Dicks, who have suffered through Austin’s extended commute times. The company offers solutions to corporations who want to sponsor commuting alternatives for their employees. The Bliss Transit team is made up of logistic pros, including several senior Army officers who led transportation planning in Iraq.
Where to purchase: Website or 6010 Balcones Drive, Suite 100.
9/ Lift Digital Marketing
Lift Digital Marketing is a Service-Connected, Disabled Veteran-Owned Business that was founded in 2019 by Managing Partner and Marine Veteran Aaron Welch. Both members of the leadership team bring over 20 years of digital marketing experience! They offer a variety of services, including: PPC marketing, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, marketing automation and email using HubSpot, and web design and development.
Lift Digital works with many different industries, but also provides special services to help support those who are operating Veteran-owned businesses.
Where to purchase: Website or 4314 Medical Pkwy., Suite 202.
10/ Recruit Veterans
Recruit Veterans was launched in 2006 and is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. They provide managed service and workforce solutions that allow them to enable their clients while also providing a space for veterans to find work placement. Their company works with prime contractors, the federal government, and commercial businesses.
Learn how to partner with Recruit Veterans by checking out their website.
Learn more: Website or 1464 E. Whitestone Blvd., Suite 1903, Cedar Park.
To the owners of these businesses—and to all veterans—thank you for your service.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are some of your favorite Veteran-owned businesses?