Cue the confetti: The latest H-E-B store is open, in Lake Austin, Texas. At a colorful grand opening on Feb. 15, the retailer welcomed shoppers to the first multilevel H-E-B in the city of Austin.
Under construction for more than three years due to pandemic-related delays, the 97,000-square-foot location at 2652 Lake Austin Boulevard was designed to be a community hub as much as a grocery destination. Customers can pick up a cup of joe at the in-store coffee shop that also serves up pastries and breakfast tacos and, later in the day, order lunch or dinner from SouthFlo pizza on the first floor or True Texas BBQ on the second floor. The on-site True Texas BBQ location also offers cocktails and a variety of craft beers from Texas brewers.
As H-E-B continues to hone its foodservice programs, the retailer has added its largest Dinner Tonight selection so far to the Lake Austin store. Shoppers can browse a variety of prepared meals and fresh sushi, and also check out some of the regular cooking demos held in store.
The perimeter of this location, as with other recently unveiled H-E-B stores, includes a meat market with Prime, natural and organic meats; Wagyu and dry-aged beef; and a seafood counter stocked with an array of fresh seafood. The bakery department sells artisan breads, cakes and H-E-B’s signature warm tortillas, while the deli carries a wide selection of meats, cheeses and made-to-order charcuterie boards. Shoppers can also pick up locally grown and organic fruits and vegetables at the bountiful produce section.
Rounding out the Lake Austin assortment, along with traditional center store groceries and a healthy living department, is a sizable liquor area with more than 1,000 beers and 2,000-plus wines on shelf. The store also has a full-service pharmacy with drive-thru, and an expansive pet department.
Curbside and delivery service are available to Lake Austin customers, who can also sign up for an H-E-B debit card to earn 5% cash back on qualifying H-E-B store-brand products.
The store’s aesthetics reflect H-E-B’s aim to create a gathering space for the community. The grocer’s design team used elements like natural lighting, vine-covered walls, pitched roofs and landscaping to create appealing surroundings, and also incorporated sustainable features such as energy-efficient refrigeration, rooftop solar panels and EV chargers. For a temporary time, the store will display artworks from The Art of Texas Parks Collection, through H-E-B’s support of the Texas State Parks centennial.
“This is a special store that the community has waited for with great anticipation, and we are excited to provide the dynamic shopping experience our loyal and deserving customers will be proud of for decades to come,” noted Jim Smith, top store leader at the Lake Austin H-E-B.
As part of its grand-opening celebration in Lake Austin, H-E-B extended its community support through donations to local nonprofit groups and educational institutions. The company gave $5,000 each to the Central Texas Food Bank and Treefolks, and awarded $5,000 in H-E-B gift cards to Pop-up Birthday, a nonprofit that provides birthday celebrations for children in foster care, and four nearby schools.
Meanwhile, H-E-B continues is expansion in other parts of Texas. In early February, the grocer broke ground on a store in Mansfield, in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 430 stores and 154,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The grocer’s store formats include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. H-E-B also owns Favor Delivery, a delivery service that serves cities across Texas. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.