This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on October 17, 2019.
Cece’s Veggie Co. is a “simple but twisted” organic food company.
Mason Arnold geeks out on vegetables, farming, the science of veggie noodles, and the organic agriculture industry, so much in fact, he’s dedicated most of his life to creating healthier and more natural products and food options.
Arnold is a successful entrepreneur who has sold two start-up companies, EarthAction Landscaping, an environmentally-friendly lawn care company, and Greenling.com, the largest local organic grocery delivery service in Texas.
With a chemical engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin in hand, the self-proclaimed veggie nerd dove head first into finding out all the ways in which chemicals affect our planet, food and bodies.
“Organic foods are healthier for our bodies, as the crops are more nutrient dense and not sprayed with chemicals that humans shouldn’t be ingesting,” he says. “Also, organic fruits and veggies taste so much better and are more flavorful.”
By 2015, Arnold’s young daughter had a gluten intolerance which limited her food choices. He didn’t want her to miss out on fun foods like spaghetti and meatballs. As an alternative, Arnold developed his own kind of veggie noodles allowing his family to eat smarter while having fun with food. Today, Arnold explains, “When I saw how fun it was for my kids to eat raw veggie spirals, I knew I was onto something.”
What came about from fun in the kitchen was Cece’s Veggie Co. The goal was to provide simple nutrition to consumers by working with a network of farmers to produce only 100% organic veggies. Arnold began re-imagining produce aisles filled with spiralized riced organic veggies and meal options for the entire family.
Cece’s can trace their vegetables directly to the farm they originate from in either California, Texas, Arizona, and parts of Mexico. The company’s innovative fresh-cut veggie products have been recognized with awards from the United Fresh Produce Associationand Produce Marketing Association.
When asked what kind of vegetable he would want to be, the health-conscious trailblazer says, “Okra—because it’s a very underestimated vegetable. It is so delicious and it produces some of the largest and most beautiful flowers in the vegetable world.”
Arnold’s favorite way to eat his Cece’s is to take “veggie noodles (pretty much any variety) and cook a nest of it in some bacon grease and fry an egg in the nest. Then drop the nest, egg and all, on some greens for a healthy and delicious meal.”
When he isn’t spending time finding new and interesting ways of using vegetables, Arnold enjoys Austin’s nightlife and playing out on the lake. His idea of ultimate fun, though, is playing with his super funny and creative kids and says, “I can really let my inner goofball come out.”
In addition to developing start-up businesses that support organics and sustainability, Arnold is committed to service to support overall change. In 2018, he became an inaugural member of United Fresh Produce Association’s Organic Working Group.
Arnold has drafted legislation and created the Organic Advisory Board to the Texas Department of Agriculture and formed the Organic Association of Texas, a legislative action and lobbying group for the organic agriculture industry in Texas.
Cover: Cece’s Veggie Co. Team, courtesy photo
Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.