San Antonio Grocery Shopping - HEB
San Antonio grocery shopping is, as in all cities, a necessity but the grocery stores in this city have a regional preference for products used and routinely bought by the hispanic community that makes up a large part of Bexar county. The grocery shoppers in San Antonio are generally going to shop at HEB. Although the options exist at a "supercenter" like Wal-Mart, many San Antonio residents will shop with the local grocery chain. Membership grocery shopping options are stores like Sam's Club or Costco. Additional local area grocery stores include Handy Andy and La Fiesta.
Best Time for Grocery Shopping
San Antonio grocery shopping can be brutal when kids are not in school. Many families in San Antonio feel it is necessary to take their children shopping after school gets out. Although this makes for a great family outing, it wreaks havoc for the grocery shopper who wants to get in and out with a few items on the way home from work. There is nothing worse than trying to pick up a few items at the grocery store and unknown kids running all over your feet with no mom or dad in sight. One very useful San Antonio grocery shopping tip...go to the store early, very early.
HEB Grocery Stores
This Texas Grocery store chain started in Kerrville Texas over 100 years ago and has since grown into a powerhouse of grocery stores. San Antonio shoppers view HEB as the local grocery store. HEB is headquartered just south of downtown. The location is referred to as "the arsenal" because it formerly belonged to the government as an arsenal for the U.S. Army. HEB's arsenal is an historic landmark and is a beautiful complex. The grocery chain is well know for its charitable interests and philanthropic generosity and has an excellent reputation in the corporate community.
Grocery stores are dependent on their vendors for all their consumer goods. HEB buyers routinely purchase products from Texas vendors and have been known to stay loyal to their suppliers because their standards are high and they believe in supporting the San Antonio and Texas economy. A friend of the author is a San Antonio vegetable farmer who supplies HEB with a good bit of their produce. HEB regularly buys vegetables from them but makes it very clear, only the best produce will be accepted at the warehouse. HEB's high standards they demand from their vendors means fresh foods for their customers.
Grocery Shopping at HEB
HEB has over 300 grocery stores around the state. These stores are core stores, HEB Pantry stores, HEB Central Markets, and the latest type which is the HEB Plus store. Core stores are their normal sized grocery shopping stores while the Pantry's are smaller neighborhood stores. I've not been into an HEB Plus but they are supposed to be the answer to Wal-Mart's Supercenter with a large selection of consumer goods in addition to grocery items. By far, the HEB Central Market is the ultimate grocery shopping experience. Central Markets have all the items shoppers would find at a traditional store in addition to gourmet meats, foods, wines, and a section of the store is dedicated to prepared foods. Central Markets have fully prepared dishes for creating your own meals. It is a "European" grocery shopping environment started by HEB in Austin and has since been implemented in other areas of the state. And if you need some cooking lessons, Central Market has classes for learning how to prepare gourmet meals.
HEB still operates a meat market with butchers in the stores and the meats and fish are top quality and regardless of what is heard anywhere, the HEB brand pre-marinated fajita meat is the best in Texas. San Antonio grocery shopping is primarily done at the neighborhood HEB.