Open Letter to HEB

Open Letter to HEB

Born in Texas, raised in Texas, we have that much in common. For the last half-dozen years or so, I’ve lived in the HEB backyard, “Baja King William,” and as such, I’m a frequent pedestrian through your “Arsenal” complex or its borders.

Begs the question, why is there no HEB downtown? I shop at Fiesta on S. Flores, or the HEB just off San Pedro, or, what I prefer, the tawny Central Market on Broadway. Just can’t figure out why there is no grocery store downtown.

One of my clients is a real estate agent, and according to her, HEB is not really a retail giant, but in the Real Estate business since grocery operates on thin margins.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Plain and simple, I love HEB and Central Market. In other venues, I’ve amply lauded two HEB stores as being the “Best in the world,” the Flour Bluff Super HEB that sold, at one time, long boards, and, of course, the South Austin archetype, HEB S. Congress & Oltorf.

    Unrelated side note, last time I was in Austin, the little stand that used to sell roast corn was gone. Bummer.

Those are two outstanding examples of HEB at its finest.

True, if there is to be a downtown HEB (better yet, think upscale, think Central Market), consider that the other HEB location would miss a small amount of my business.

HEB seems to hire local, and as a corporate culture, it seems to take care of its own. Another good attribute.

As I was getting to know my new home town, San Antonio, part of what I did was volunteer at one of the historic mansions in the King William historic district.

Villa Finale pt. 1 and pt. 2

As a volunteer docent, I learned more about the local history and listening to the first visitors, I heard tales of the area, perhaps more folklore rather than fact, but still entertaining. HEB figures prominently in local history, myth and folklore — as well as.

The story, the original HEB purchased the manse across the river from the current HEB headquarters and had a tunnel burrowed under the river so office ingress and egress could be unmonitored.

“It’s true, you know, I know guy who knows a guy who’s (seen it, built it, been in it).”

Folklore. San Antonio — Bexar County — is full of it. Ghosts and histories, too.

If HEB wants to close part of Main Street? Enlarge the campus while serving the community, plus bring in a much needed downtown grocery?

I’m all for it. In the past, in my experience, HEB is an excellent neighbor. Ask the people in South Austin or Flour Bluff.

Or ask my El Paso friends, “We really want an HEB here.”

As a downtown resident and frequent pedestrian? I want whatever HEB wants.

BexarCountyLine.com

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Kramer Wetzel

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