Lifestyle

H-E-B: The Three Little Letters That Changed Texas

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If you’ve lived in South Texas for any length of time, you’ve probably shopped at an H-E-B grocery store. These stores offer good service and quality, along with affordable pricing.

Those ingredients have led to success. In 2019, they ranked as the twelfth largest private company in the United States by Forbes. Their estimates put the total revenue of the company at around $28 billion, as of 2018. That’s pretty impressive.

Even better, H-E-B has always been a Texas company. The first store was established in 1905, when Florence Butt opened a grocery store in order to feed her family. After her son, Howard Edward Butt, came back from serving in World War I, he took over the business. His initials, “H-E-B,” eventually became the name of the store.

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Photo: Max McNabb

Howard was a visionary and wanted to see H-E-B stores all over Texas. So, he tried to set up multiple stores in the Central Valley. It was hard going at first. He failed multiple times, but he stuck with it, and eventually, Howard opened a successful second store in 1927. The chain grew from there and now has over 340 locations.

The chain remains Texan through-and-through. Their corporate headquarters has never been located out of state and is currently in San Antonio. All their US locations are in Texas, although they did try opening one store in Louisiana.

Instead, the company is experimenting with other store concepts in order to further serve Texans. These include Central Market, which features cooking classes, along with Mi Tienda, a Mexican grocery store. The H-E-B company also owns Joe V’s Smart Shops.

Howard was a visionary and wanted to see H-E-B stores all over Texas. So, he tried to set up multiple stores in the Central Valley. It was hard going at first. He failed multiple times, but he stuck with it, and eventually, Howard opened a successful second store in 1927. H-E-B grew from there and now has over 340 locations.

H-E-B remains Texan through-and-through. Their corporate headquarters has never been located out of state and is currently in San Antonio. All their US locations are in Texas, although they did try opening one store in Louisiana.

Instead, the company is experimenting with other store concepts in order to further serve Texans. These include Central Market, which features cooking classes, along with Mi Tienda, a Mexican grocery store. The H-E-B company also owns Joe V’s Smart Shops.