New store on the block

11/09/2012 05:05:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

AUSTIN—Guess what’s new in my neighborhood? San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co. opened the latest HEB Plus! store today and it’s a beauty.

I had a chance to swing by this afternoon and wasn’t disappointed.

This new location isn’t far from another HEB Plus store, about 2.5 miles away. There’s also a Randalls about a mile down the road in Cedar Park, a Super Target less than half a mile across the highway and a Wal-Mart Supercenter around the corner – probably a five minute drive in traffic.

But you know what? I don’t think this store will have too many problems, judging from my shopping experience. Try going to an existing store on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll think my neighborhood is preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

This store had some interesting features, like an expanded fresh-cut fruit selection, including hand-packed items like watermelon and pineapple. It also had way more value-added options under the Ready Fresh Go! house brand, like broccoli cheddar soup and basil tomato soup. The aisles were wide and had pallets parked in the middle, perfect for changing things up, as HEB likes to do quite often.

I liked the new design, which included photographs of growers and their families, and expanded organic signage. Speaking of organic produce, the signage indicated 143 organic items in the store that day, compared to “they” (they never said who?) with only 73.

But the best thing I saw? My absolute favorite thing?

Instead of rows and rows of beef jerky, chips, candy and cookies, several of the check stands had small refrigerator cases of grab and go items like fresh-cut fruit and salads. Glorious!



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