It was recently announced that the Texas grocery store chain H.E.B. is America’s favorite. Number One on the official list. Living in Washington state we shopped at Safeway, Costco, and a couple of local places. That we loved. And, we’d never heard of this ‘HEEB’ store! Its reputation quickly made its way to my sad heart missing my Washington favorites. Kasey (the first Rowland to arrive in Texas) said it was a lot like our beloved Central Market in Poulsbo, but with way better prices. After a quick search, we found the H.E.B. in Temple and fell head-over-heels in love! The Belton store is even more amazing 🙂
A Love Story
What follows is the story of how and why I am now a raving H.E.B. fan for life. And I’m not the only one! Texans are crazy about this store. I’ve discovered a wealth of reasons beyond the practicalities of the shopping experience. We’ll look at a few of those here as we explore why H.E.B. is such a big deal in Texas.
The Butt family started H.E.B. in 1905 in Kerrville, Texas. The name became the H.E. Butt Grocery company in the ’30s but finally became H.E.B. in the early 1940s. It has risen to almost cult level status among its devoted employees and customers. Many Texans are ‘super-fans.’ I’m experiencing tons of the reasons for that phenomenon while reading about even more. Here’s the H.E.B. website if you’re interested.
Getting to Know My H.E.B.
One unique quality I’ve noticed is the fact that each store is very ‘local’. What I mean is that the stores in each area do their homework, learning which products a particular demographic is interested in and relies on. So the store in Dallas or Austin or Houston or San Angelo would look different than my beloved Belton store. So smart.
Having lived here for a relatively short time we’ve picked up on the Texas Pride. And, H.E.B. encourages and creates that to a certain degree with a Texas focus throughout their stores. The holidays are especially fun!
The 5 Reasons I Love My H.E.B.
- The SAMPLES! Any day of the week, you can get full on the scrumptious freebies throughout the store. And, the ‘samplers’ have friendly personalities, they’re not just there to push the products. (But, you usually want to get them especially if there’s a COUPON!)
- The COUPONS! should maybe be at the top of my list of reasons. Coupons save you money. Coupons are fun. My most recent score was buying a mayo, and a ketchup and then getting two packs of hamburger buns (for flippin’ free!) Sometimes the coupons are for the STORE BRANDS which are excellent BTW and other times they’re for national brands.
- The STORE BRANDS! I love the H.E.B. brand. My first find and favorite are the pot-ready spaghetti noodles. They’re in this cute, short box halved and ready to plop into a pot of boiling water. Genius. Another fav is their H.E.B. Cafe Ole Coffee. I am addicted to the Texas Pecan. The fresh-made foods make me happy (that salsa, those tortilla chips, THOSE TORTILLAS!) as well as the individual, take-em-home (delicious) meals. I could go on and on!
- The GAS PRICES! Besides the convenience of having a gas station near my grocery store, the prices are always competitive (and most times, the best prices without a required membership card). A car wash is connected (which we haven’t used yet), but handy as well.
- The CORPORATE COMMUNITY SUPPORT. H.E.B. is heavily involved in each community and with Texas in general. I love what they do for our Texas military folks. We just watched a commercial last night showing a deserving military family being blessed by the H.E.B. Helping Heroes program. Here it is:
We love our Temple and Belton H.E.B.’s, but I am in absolute awe of this new Houston ‘H.E.B. on steroids’! It’s got 2-stories, a parking garage, 50+ aisles of groceries and is 92,000 feet worth of whopping shopping! We are planning a road trip soon to go get a few things. We haven’t been to Houston yet, so we can check out things around there at the same time. Here’s a great article in “Only in Your State” about the store.
I’ll wrap-up this love story here. Hopefully, I’ve convinced you as to why and how this happened. I have to confess when we first arrived, I didn’t know what to do without my Safeway, Central Market, and Red Apple Market! There was a transition (like so many other areas of my life) for sure. We do have a few other options (Wal-Mart of course, Aldi, and the Dollar Generals), but I just have to agree with their slogans, “Here Everything’s Better” and “No store does more than my H.E.B.”.
To be honest, I tend towards super-fandom when I find something that makes me rave. NCIS is one example. American Idol was another for awhile. In-n-Out forever. The Beatles, duh. Oh, and I remember being so excited when Trader Joe’s came to our county in Washington. (I was one who would post photos of construction!) Well, now I have a new top grocery store love in my life. Maybe it’s kind of weird but, I really don’t think so!
Last, of all, this is another perfect reason for my PNW buddies to come on down and visit Texas! 🙂
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.