When I finally arrived in the U.S. following the Great Wetback Episode, I lived in northwest Austin with Longtime Buddy Trevor while waiting for my visa to be processed. Having come from the supermarket business in Seffrica, I was keen to see just how good U.S. supermarkets were by comparison, so I went off to the local H.E.B. store just a couple hundred yards away from his apartment. It was good, very good; and I became a huge fan of the chain and its operation. (Full disclosure: I did once apply for a job at H.E.B., but I was turned down — not by HR, but by an exec VP who called me, complimented me on my resume, and semi-apologized for not hiring me because, as he said, I was not only over-qualified for a senior position there, but horribly over-qualified and they couldn’t fire someone just to take me on. Classy move — executive to executive instead of fobbing it off onto some HR clerk — and it only increased my admiration for the chain.)
My only quibble with living here in metro North Texas is that there are no H.E.B. stores anywhere nearby (Central Market is owned by H.E.B., but it’s a different division altogether and caters mostly to upscale customers). I don’t know why there aren’t — the common saying is that 50% of South Texas shopped at an H.E.B. last week — and as I see it, the only reason that it isn’t 50% of all Texas is that they don’t have any stores up here.
This article (found via the Knuckledragger, thankee Kenny) is just one reason why I respect their business and miss their stores. If H.E.B. were to open one nearby, none of the others — Kroger, Tom Thumb, Market Street, Aldi or Wal-Mart — would ever see me again.
Come on, Steve; get your South Texas asses up here.