The Next Trend Out of Austin? Fresh, Small Batch Nut Milk

Jordan Fronk has effectively bottled what we love about Austin, and it’s delicious.

Photography by KATE LESEUR

It’s late morning in Austin, Texas, and Jordan Fronk is in her kitchen using a tiny, handheld milk frother to turn one of her homemade nut milks into a café-grade mocha. She’s telling me about how she just hired her first employee, and just moved production away from the kitchen in which we are now sitting.

“It’s really fun to make, very tactile, very satisfying,” Jordan insists. What started as a way to feed her two children and husband, Chris, years ago, grew in demand when her friends started asking for the nut milks on a weekly basis. She “accidentally” started taking orders. Now, through her company Fronks, she feeds many Austinites hungry for an alternative to big brand, watered down nut milks, for a nut milk that actually tastes like the nuts it was pressed from.

Fronks is unpasteurized and unprocessed. No manipulating the milk to extend its shelf life. The milks are creamy, but not a meal replacement. They have a hint of sweetness, but nothing like most commercial brands. “Every batch is made with organic nuts and flavored with a short list of organic, whole ingredients. We use dates to sweeten, no maple syrup, honey, or sugar.”

The milks come in three varieties: original, made with almonds, cashews, dates, and lightly spiced with cinnamon and sea salt; cocoa, which has everything that the original does, plus hazelnuts, extra dates, and cocoa powder; and simple, which is a blend of only almonds and cashews.

Photography by KATE LESEUR

Even the chic, locally-printed packaging, imagined by the Austin design house Foda Studios, was intentionally simple, just like the milk itself. “The designers there spent time researching the origination of the ingredients in the milk which led to the inspiration of the brilliant pattern motifs.”

The Fronks bottle is practically an accessory unto itself, and the Fronks Instagram inspires serious Austin travel envy. Tall and slim, the glass bottles are printed with a pastel pink, blue, or cream pattern, which Jordan pictured “out in the wild” in Austin as she visualized the Fronks’ aesthetic story.

Photography by KATE LESEUR

Jordan’s home borders the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a 12+-mile stretch of hiking and biking trails, limestone cliff walls for climbing, and swimming holes. From her kitchen windows, beyond the pool that takes up most of her backyard, impressive cacti and low shrubs create that desert palette into which Fronks fits so seamlessly.

Jordan calls Austin’s style thoughtful, not minimalist but simple. And Fronks reflects that. “Our product is all fairly neutral. The color of the milk is neutral. We wanted the whites, blues, and pinks to contrast with the milk but also be colors you would find out in nature.”

She compares the way Fronks came to her—naturally—with what the Austin aesthetic is all about. “There are many different styles co-existing in Austin right now, but the ones that stand out the most are those that, regardless of the type of style, are executed in a subtle yet assertive way.”

Photography by KATE LESEUR

Another Austin-based company that achieves this aesthetic is the athletic apparel brand Outdoor Voices. Their use of color has mimicked such Austin palette-staples as those aforementioned cacti, and their tagline, “Doing Things,” couldn’t reflect the outdoor-minded Austin more. It’s no surprise Fronks has been offered as a refreshing post-run beverage during an Outdoor Voices organized community event.
Jordan is a native Texan, and has found her home in Austin among a rich group of small business owners like herself. “As diverse and often complicated as Texas is, the pride and ownership over our communities, our people, and the products we create is something special,” she says. “We’ve got a lot of friends doing some really cool things around town across many industries and it’s exciting to cheer them on and watch them grow.”

For Jordan, her work is intimately tied to her home: Fronks is a personal product, and Jordan’s values are bottled along with her signature blend of nuts and spices. “If I don’t want to buy my own product anymore, then something’s wrong.”

Photography by KATE LESEUR

Fronks is currently only available in Austin, directly through the Fronks website. It costs $10 per bottle and is delivered to your home. But if you're planning to visit Austin, there's still a way for you to try it: Local restaurant June's offers Fronks as an alternative milk on their menu.

Read more about Austin:
Austin's New Wave
A Modern Austin Farmhouse with a Minimalist Twist
The New Outdoor Voices is Like a Carefully Designed Jungle Gym

Published on October 28, 2017 - 8:00am EDT

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