Retail News: Arlan’s Markets purchased by owner of La Michoacana

An HHR File Photo of the Arlan’s in Santa Fe, TX

Rafel Ortega, owner of La Michoacana Meat Market, among other grocery chains,  purchased the 15-store chain last week, according to the Galveston Daily News. Arlan’s was the brainchild of Ames Arlan, who was already a veteran of Cox’s Foodarama when he set out to open his first store in the Seabrook area. For the most part, Arlan’s focused on smaller communities along the South side of the Houston area, taking over when other independent grocers shut down. Most notably, taking over Gerland’s presence on Galveston and Big Chief in Santa Fe. Arlan’s specialty seemed to be going up against big players in small towns, where they often had the flexibility to provide what the competition couldn’t. In the 2010s, Arlan expanded its scope by purchasing the remains of San Antonio-based Handy Andy and similarly named but unrelated chain Harlan’s. According to Perry Hallett, a grocery buyer from Arlan’s who is staying on with the new ownership, Mr. Arlan felt it was time to retire. The new owner, Rafael Ortega, is best known in Houston for his La Michoacana Meat Market stores, which first opened in 1986. Growing from a single location on the southwest side of town, Ortega has expanded his empire all throughout Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and DFW. The chain has also opened locations as far North as Oklahoma. However, La Michoacana is not the only operation under Mr. Ortega’s belt. He also operates El Ahorro, Food City, and in 2020 picked up Sellers Bros. According to the interview from The Daily News, Arlan’s does not anticipate altering its product selection or changing branding at this point but will invest in updating the stores.

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