Category: Grocery

Posts Relating to Grocery Stores

Love thy HEB Neighborhood Market

Someone dumped a decent amount of into getting that sign made and installed

These days in Houston a vacant grocery store doesn’t tend to sit for too long. While we don’t have a huge number of chains running around town these days to pickup the empty stores, we do have some independents. Even locations that have hit the end of their useful life as grocery stores, are often converted into other types of stores. We’re a town of opportunity, and lax (not non-existent) zoning laws help allow for easy transitions. However, that’s not to say you can’t find any unoccupied supermarket buildings in Houston. If a building is not being reused there are …

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Vintage Texas Retail Videos in 1080p from the Jones Film Collection

Kroger Superstore Produce Department, 1977 (Image sourced from WFAA-TV/SMU Jones Film Collection, April 7, 1977)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Those who have been reading Houston Historic Retail for some period of time know that I did a two-part series (Part I and II) in early 2021 about the excellent retail videos available at The Portal of Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Library. Most of the videos at The Portal were supplied by Dallas-Fort Worth TV station KXAS-TV. Well, another Dallas Metroplex university library, the Southern Methodist University Library, also has a collection of videos in their G. William Jones …

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It’s your town Boris! A visit to and the history behind the former Iron Curtain Smashing Randall’s

Howdy folks, today we’re taking a look at what is arguably the most significant grocery store in all of Houston. A humble Lewis Food Town located at 570 El Dorado Blvd, Webster, TX 77598. Starting out as a Randall’s in 1984, this grocery store served an important role only a few years later as an impromptu stop by Soviet politician Boris Yeltsin. Aiming to see how “average Americans” lived, many have drawn a direct line between Yeltsin’s experience and his later role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We’ll get into the history of it a bit more, but …

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This former TJ Maxx was once Jumbo!

However, on the inside it's straight TJ Maxx.

Howdy Folks, and welcome back! This time we’re talking about a store I don’t know that well. Jumbo Markets is a grocery store that only comes up on occasion in Houston retail history. They were a very small chain, so most people who remember them, either lived or spent time around one of their stores. Only making it to six stores over a time period of about 13 years, Jumbo had lots of missteps in Houston. The average “store life” for the chain was only about 5 years, except for their “Flagship” 10250 Westheimer location that stayed open continuously, as …

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HEBway a Rare Example in 2021

Howdy folks, welcome back to another edition of Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re taking a look at an HEB at 200 W Hopkins St, San Marcos, TX 78666 that, while not in Houston, was once part of the Houston division of Safeway and AppleTree stores. Located in San Marcos, it lost its Houston affiliation with the 1994 purchase by H-E-B. The store was built in 1984, to replace an older location on the same property. The first Safeway in San Marcos originally opened in 1972, built on most of a city block that was purchased from various homeowners and other …

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You got me Vintage Houston Commercials for Christmas? How Remarkable!

Merry Christmas Eve y’all I hope this post finds you well on this unseasonably warm morning. Although not unwelcome by folks like me, who prefer to stay out of the cold. To mark the special occasion, we’re taking a look at some presents left by an Anonymous visitor, though not necessarily through the chimney. While I’ll leave the joy of “opening” these presents until you read the post, I will note that what we’re taking a look at today are all vintage Houston commercials that ran from the mid 80s to early 90s. Sign-On You wake up early, too early. …

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Retail News: Remarkable! Randalls Returns to Card Free Savings

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Here’s some recent retail news that I found to be quite remarkable! For the first time in almost exactly 25 years, Randalls shoppers no longer need to have a Randalls Remarkable Card, or the Safeway Club Card equivalent, to get most sale prices. I was recently reading some new posts at the Retail Watchers forum recently when I came across a post from someone indicating that their Randalls store in Austin was advertising that the card was no longer necessary to get sale prices. After …

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Demolition Update: Game over for Garden Oaks Family Bingo, and the strange former Kroger it occupied

Howdy folks, and welcome back to a Demolition Update (This is not a full Demolition List, as that is still on hiatus due to lack of time). Today we’re taking a look at what was, up until a few months ago, the premiere Bingo Hall in Garden Oaks. Unfortunately, it seems that this former supermarket is about to meet the fate of a good number of the area’s original homes. Sitting at 641 W Crosstimbers St, Houston, TX 77018, the structure was built in 1974 by the Kroger Company. This was not Kroger’s first store in the Garden Oaks area, …

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Clear Lake’s HEB in the old Albertsons finally meets it end!

Clear Lake as a city has an interesting history, the 30,000 acres were pieced together by a wealthy businessman to build a ranch on. However, by 1938 the ranch would be sold to Humble Oil company after crude oil fields were found. While Humble began to pump oil from some areas, most of the land sat vacant until 1962, a year after NASA announced plans for the Manned Spacecraft Center. Humble Oil, announced their plans to use the Clear Lake land to build a planned community. They would do so under their Friendswood Development Company, who had already been working …

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HEB’s Failed Concept store in Northwest Houston

Houston has been a stable market for H-E-B for many years now. While the early years were a bit touch and go at certain times overall HEB could be considered one of the more stable grocers in the Houston area. Even towards the end of the Pantry Foods era HEB’s success in Houston was measurable. It came to the point where the company felt brave enough to open a “concept store” here in town. Located at 6960 Barker Cypress Rd, Houston, TX 77084, this Pantry Foods was a “late bloomer” not opening until 1998. However it seems HEB hoped that …

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