Nonfoods a Specialty at HEB Cypress Market

SAN ANTONIO -- The newest concept from H.E. Butt Grocery Co. will offer much more than gourmet food. Nonfoods and special services are also a big part of the 112,000-square-foot-store, which as reported yesterday by Progressive Grocer, is set to open Oct. 24 in the Cypress neighborhood of Houston.

The regional chain, based here, said in a statement that the new store, designed to marry the best of its HEB and Central Market formats, will "transform today's standard for grocery retailing."

Nonfood highlights include a pharmacy with a convenient two-lane drive thru; a gas station offering E-85 fuel, and a car wash; books and magazines; an expanded card and party area; an enhanced cosmetics department; a floral department with delivery service; and more than 100 fresh flowers and plants; and Cook and Grill, featuring grills, pots, pans, and kitchen accessories for home and backyard cooking.

The retailer said HEB Cypress Market will feature the largest meat market in the area, offering USDA prime, organic, and natural meats; one of the largest seafood departments in the area with seven-day-a-week fresh fish deliveries from around the world, and a wide selection of wild and local catches; more than 900 different fruits and vegetables with more than 100 varieties of Certified Organic produce; at least 2,000 varieties of the world's finest wines; a bakery, complete with a hearth oven and a wide selection of organic and home-made artisan breads crafted on-site daily; and a cheese shop filled with more than 400 specialty and imported cheeses.

The store will also feature Central Market's Cafe on the Run for take out and catering, and a large assortment of Central Market products.

Meanwhile, in-store cooking demos will be the star attraction in Cooking Connection, a department staffed with a dedicated chef. Other culinary highlights include a tortilleria; a full-service sushi bar; a Coffee Roast area; and a healthy living department with natural organic offerings in bulk.

Partners working the HEB Showtime Own Brand Cooking Stations will interact with customers daily and feature more than 30 live demos each week, the retailer said.

"HEB Cypress Market incorporates years of research, planning, and testing, but most importantly community input and insight," said Cyndy Garza-Roberts, director of public affairs for HEB's Houston Region. "Literally, our future customers helped us create their ideal destination grocery store. So everything about the store, from its design to its product offerings, was specifically tailored to meet the needs and desires of this area."

She added that the store will bring "urban-core specialties to the neighborhood."

Joe Scala, who has been a store leader for eight years, is the store's general manager. Other key managers are Isaac Christlieb, perishable leader; and Judy Howard, center store leader. HEB expects to employ 470 partners and be open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

HEB operates more than 300 stores in Texas and Northern Mexico with more than 60,000 employees. With annual sales of more than $13 billion, it is the largest privately held company in Texas.
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