Texas Hill Country Brands That Became Known Across the United States

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Though Texas sometimes feels like a whole other country, it’s business influences do not stop at the borders. Many Texas companies have become national players. See which beloved Texas Hill Country brands have expanded out to becoming renowned across the United States. Some of these may surprise you.

1. Whole Foods Market

Texas Hill Country brands like Whole Foods Market have become well known across this country. This is the store's Austin headquarters.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Just where would the diet and environmentally conscious foodies be without Austin’s own Whole Foods Market? This shop was the original organic and natural store to make it to a national stage. The first Whole Foods started in 1978 in the apartment of its founders, Renee and Mackey Lawson, but after a merger in 1980 with another Austin-based health food store, the company had its own storefront. Sadly, shortly after opening, a major flood swept through Austin, destroying the Whole Foods stock. Were it not for the community banding together to get the store back on its feet, there would be no Whole Foods stores anywhere today. Though Amazon now owns Whole Foods, the company still operates much as it did when it started, with a focus on providing natural foods and quality service to its customers. Like many other Texas Hill Country brands, Whole Foods has kept its connections to its original goals while expanding outside of Texas.

James Avery

James Avery makes jewelry and it's included in the Texas Hill Country brands that have expanded beyond the state

Photo: Facebook/James Avery Artisan Jewelry

The nationally known silver jewelry maker James Avery got its start in Kerrville in 1954. From a garage shop in his mother-in-law’s home, James Avery built the beginnings of an empire that would become a commonplace sight in many shopping malls across the southern United States. Much of the original work was sold from catalogs. It wasn’t until 1973 when the first retail store in the James Avery chain opened in Kerrville. Today, the company is still run by members of the Avery family, but it has grown to 50 stores across Texas and much of the South.

2. H-E-B

H-E-B stores are the heart of many Hill Country towns but this store has international influence

Photo: Facebook/H-E-B

H-E-B, though not known in the rest of the United States has swept Texas and even become a mainstay of many cities in Mexico. Among Texas Hill Country brands, this is one that has gone international. Founded in 1905 in Kerrville, H-E-B today keeps its headquarters in San Antonio. H-E-B stands for Howard Edward Butt, the name of the youngest son of Florence Butt who opened the first Butt Grocery Store in 1905 in Kerrville. The family still owns and operates the company, and until 2013 it was the largest privately run company in the state. Though only found in Texas in the United States, H-E-B’s influence extends over the border to Mexico, where it did over $1 billion in business in 2012. Here in Texas, several offshoots including H-E-B Plus!, Central Market, Mi Tienda, and Joe V’s Smart Shop show the diversification of the brand while maintaining its Texan traditions.

3. Fuddruckers

Fuddruckers is another of the Texas Hill Country brands that has expanded

Photo: Facebook/Fuddruckers

In 1979, Philip J. Romano founded the burger building restaurant Fuddruckers in San Antonio. His goal was to create the best possible burgers, and he hit on the concept of freshly baked buns and in-store ground meat. Not only did the freshness of the hamburgers set Fuddruckers apart from the competition but so did the ability of the customers to customize their burgers with a toppings bar. Today, Fuddruckers is a subsidiary of Luby’s which is based in Houston, and there are 111 Fuddruckers locations across the United States with several more scattered around the globe. Though Romano left the company in 1988, his influence is still felt in the freshly made burgers and buns at each Fuddruckers restaurant.