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An open letter to HEB

Feed the Heights, which notes that HEB had a wildly successful debut of their new Buffalo Speedway store, implores them to do something similar for our neighborhood.

Grocery shopping in the Heights is getting better, but still needs some help. Fiesta on Shepherd is a great place to shop for every cut of meat imaginable, but lacks the quality in upper end cuts of meats and mainstream produce selections. Kroger has been doing a fairly poor job of servicing the area (the store on 20th is pathetic), but is at least attempting to improve the situation by revamping the tired store on 11th and Shepherd.

I know you can do much better. Your Bunker Hill location is one of my favorite places to shop. Prices seem fair, the store is clean, the selection is top notch, and you don’t need one of those annoying shopper cards in order to get the sale price. Quite frankly, I’m puzzled why a decision was made to open a store in the saturated 59 corridor, while other areas are grossly under-represented.

People have been complaining about the lack of a high-end grocery store in the Heights for years. There had been hope at one point that the Target on Sawyer would be a Super Target, but that didn’t happen. It is a little strange that there are four fairly similar stores within about a mile of Buffalo Speedway and 59 – the HEB and the Kroger that are right across the street from each other, plus Randalls locations on Bissonnet and Weslayan, and Westheimer at Shepherd; heck, HEB’s Central Market isn’t all that far from there, either – but nothing remotely like any of them in the Heights. I don’t quite understand the marketing logic of that.

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  1. Sergio Davila says:

    If the Kroger on 20th is pathetic, then you will be amused with their mess of a store on Cullen & Polk in the East End.

    Sadly, Kroger would rather spend more money on an existing Signature store to keep up with this HEB.

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    They are going for the money and where they think the money is. Someone is sitting at a computer punching in demographics and “mean average income” is the determining factor of what store gets what and what store doesn’t and even where the next store will go when another store is closed. And it works well here. Because so many are into “chi-chi” shopping as I call it. “I have, therefore I am” applies to grocery shopping as well apparently in Houston.

    When I would spend time in Los Angeles I shopped at the old Safeway on Santa Monica that everyone called the Gayway. Not much to look at as they say. But my god, the bakery, the produce section, the meats and poultry and fish. Not only the cheapest in town but also the best. The bakery in some ways competed with La Mousse, which was not only “chi-chi” but their cakes were served in every major restaurant in town, although it was 1/4 the cost of La Mousse. And definitely the best-kept secret. It was also the only store in town where “stars” could do their own shopping and did. But what a dump!

    One of the best HEBs was the one out on Bissonnet at Gessner. Everything was just always well-stocked and fresh and sometimes a little less in price than the one on Braeswood. The individual stores do differ even in the chains or used to. That is changing somewhat.

    It would be nice to have a nice HEB in Montrose as well as Heights but most likely if and when you see one it will be another clone of HEB and Central Market. Thanks but no thanks.