H-E-B finally announces opening date for its first Fort Worth location in Alliance

The moment H-E-B fans in Fort Worth have been waiting for is here: After 16 months of construction, we now know when the Alliance location will open its doors.

The San Antonio based grocery chain announced in a news release to the Star-Telegram on Friday that Fort Worth’s first H-E-B will welcome customers on April 10. The location is 3451 Heritage Trace Parkway.

This comes nearly 16 months after H-E-B broke ground in Alliance in November 2022.

The Alliance store will open at 6 a.m. with “fanfare,” the company said.

Fort Worth’s first H-E-B in the Alliance District has a set opening date. Tom Johanningmeier/tjohanningmeier@star-telegram.com
Fort Worth’s first H-E-B in the Alliance District has a set opening date. Tom Johanningmeier/tjohanningmeier@star-telegram.com

H-E-B still has not announced an opening date for its Mansfield location, which is set to open in summer 2024 and will be the second in Tarrant County.

Hiring fares for Mansfield and Alliance H-E-Bs took place at the beginning of the year.

Fort Worth already has a Central Market, which is the company’s more gourmet concept. But as H-E-B has expanded into the North Texas market, customers in Tarrant County have long been waiting for a full-size H-E-B to arrive. The chain started with locations in Burleson, Cleburne, Granbury and Hudson Oaks.

H-E-B tailors each of its stores to the demographics and flavor of the surrounding community. For example, Frisco has a significant Southeast Asian-American population, so its relatively new Frisco store carries Southeast Asian yogurts and roti, Indian-style bread. Given Fort Worth has a significant Vietnamese population, we could see some popular Vietnamese products. Company leaders have not said yet what that will look like for a Fort Worth location.

After other H-E-Bs opened in the Metroplex, including H-E-B in Frisco, the store launched a new variety of its private-label coffee brand, Cafe Ole, called Taste of DFW. San Antonio and Houston are the only other Texas cities with coffee flavors named after them.

All H-E-B locations have a pharmacy. Similar to other H-E-B stores, the Alliance location will also feature a wide selection of fresh meats, seafood, wine, fruits and vegetables and cheeses. It also has H-E-B’s original True Texas BBQ restaurant given it’s the flagship style store format.

H-E-B utilizes a hyperlocal marketing strategy that involves background research to understand the education, income and race demographics of a surrounding area, said Alexandrea Merrell, director of strategic communications at New York City-based Orndee PR. This strategy allows H-E-B to cater to the specific needs of the community and creates a tremendous sense of brand loyalty in customers.

Many shoppers say they travel to H-E-B for its extensive array of private-label brands for everything from Texas-themed coffee to jalapeno-cheddar sausage, as well as affordable ready-to-cook meals, huge meat selections and made-in-Texas products.

The company that’s now H-E-B started in 1905 when Florence Butt opened a small grocery store in Kerrville, about 100 miles west of Austin. The business supported her family and husband, who suffered from tuberculosis. Her youngest son, Howard Edward Butt, distributed groceries on horseback as a child and took over management in 1919, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

Butt failed multiple times trying to expand in central Texas before succeeding in the late 1920s with new stores in Del Rio and the Rio Grande valley, which he began to call H.E. Butt Grocery Company. By the late 1940s, he changed the chain name to H-E-B, after his initials.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, H-E-B became the leading food retailer in central and south Texas with more than 80 stores. The company has been passed through the Butt family over the 118 years since its founding.

Today, with sales of $43 billion and more than 430 stores in Texas and Mexico, H-E-B is the largest private employer in the Lone Star state.