Supermarket News; Russell Redman; Oct 15, 2019
H-E-B today opened a new, 96,000-square-foot supermarket in the heart of Houston that marks its first location in a mixed-use development.
At the corner of at Washington Ave. and Heights Blvd., the H-E-B store anchors the new Buffalo Heights District project, a 742,000-square-foot, multilevel development including upscale apartments, offices, retail space and parking.
H-E-B is located on the ground floor at 3663 Washington Ave. and has 111,000 square feet of covered parking on the second level. Elevators, escalators and a cartalator enable customers to navigate to and from the store more easily.
Along with products and services tailored for the community — which includes Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, The Heights, the Washington Avenue Corridor and downtown area — the Buffalo Heights H-E-B houses the fourth location of The Roastery Coffee Kitchen. The coffee shop and eatery features a curated, chef-made menu, the vendor’s signature H-town roast coffee, and indoor and outdoor seating. H-E-B also has The Roastery Coffee Kitchen cafés in its Bellaire Market, The Heights and San Felipe stores.
H-E-B said the Buffalo Heights store brings more than 50,000 food and beverage options, including what the San Antonio-based retailer called the largest assortment of Texas-made products. In addition, the supermarket focuses on better-for-you products, including hundreds of H-E-B Organics products and H-E-B Select Ingredients, a store-brand line that excludes unwanted ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
On the fresh side, the store includes a 15-foot salad bar with more than 60 items. Breakfast also is served all day starting at 6 a.m. The full-service Scratch Bakery and Tortilleria offers a breadth of organic and artisan breads baked daily plus fresh tortillas and a range of desserts, pastries and custom cakes.
The Prime Case Butcher Shop offers USDA Prime, natural, and organic meat, 21-day dry-age beef (and the option for custom age), and a variety of fully cooked and kosher selections. Besides fresh fish and other seafood, the full-service seafood department includes fresh sushi and poke bowls handmade in-store daily by Sushiya.
Convenient meals are a highlight as well, H-E-B noted. The Buffalo Heights location offers the full line of H-E-B Meal Simple heat-and-eat options. Prepared in minutes, selections run from grab-and-go salads to casseroles and entrees. Meanwhile, H-E-B’s Cooking Connection and Showtime Kitchen features live demonstrations and daily samplings of quick, easy recipes that can be replicated at home. Shoppers, too, can taste fresh squeezed juices and freshly made guacamole made in the store.
The wine and beer department has more than 1,800 bottles of wine and 300 beers, with a focus on Texas craft and hyperlocal craft beer. Customers can sample wine and beer before they buy as well as get assistance from a wine steward.
“While each H-E-B is special, my team and I have collaborated to create a truly unique store from its aesthetics to its contents,” store general manager Donna Theriot said in a statement. “I believe the Buffalo Heights H-E-B shopper will find exceptional variety and phenomenal service here, not to mention a grocery source close to home.”
Other features include the Healthy Living department, with bulk foods and supplements; a full pharmacy that offers delivery; and the H-E-B Blooms! floral and gift shop, also offering delivery service. For online grocery orders, the store offers click-and-collect service through H-E-B Curbside Pick-Up and delivery via H-E-B Delivery, Favor, Shipt and Instacart.
H-E-B added that the Buffalo Heights store is its first to receive a gold-level award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership for green refrigeration technology. The grocer said it’s the second Texas retailer to earn the gold award.
“H-E-B is proud to join this cutting-edge initiative, which further signifies our commitment to be strong environmental stewards, providing our customers with more than just a great place to shop,” commented Winell Herron, group vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs for H-E-B.
The Buffalo Heights location expands H-E-B’s inner loop footprint in Houston, where it has more than 80 stores in the metropolitan and surrounding areas. Overall, the company operates 400 stores in Texas and Mexico.
The made-from-scratch bakery and tortilleria offers organic and artisan breads baked daily plus fresh tortillas and a range of desserts, pastries and custom cakes.
Fresh fish and other seafood as well as fresh sushi and poke bowls handmade in-store daily can be found in the Fish Market.