Unveiling the New H-E-B on Exposition, a Premier Grocery Shopping Experience
You're Going to Like Visiting the Grocery Store Again
Arguably the most beloved grocery store in Texas, H-E-B opened its newest location at the corner of Lake Austin Boulevard and Exposition Boulevard. While grocery shopping can be a polarizing activity, the new H-E-B makes grocery shopping in Austin an experience that both enthusiasts and skeptics should check out.
This well-designed, 97,000-square-foot store opened its doors on February 15, after three years in the making and COVID-related delays. The Austin area’s first multi-level H-E-B features an underground parking garage and a two-story porch for outdoor dining.
Jim Smith, store leader at the Lake Austin H-E-B, has worked for H-E-B for 15 years. He oversees store operations and prioritizes employee welfare, enabling them to provide excellent customer service.
“We have long wanted to serve the West Austin community,” Smith says. “We jumped on this rare opportunity when it became available.”
H-E-B’s New Food Powerhouse
Not only is it Austin’s inaugural two-story H-E-B, it delivers both a premium shopping experience and unmatched convenience.
“It’s a fresh-forward food powerhouse,” says Smith. “There’s an expanded produce department. We have fresh sushi made everyday in-store. It has an expanded seafood offering with fresh fish flown in daily.”
“It features dry-aged beef aged in-house,” Smith continues. “There’s an extensive wine department with some of the most educated wine stewards in Austin.”
“We also have a catering manager in-store to make birthday parties, events and large celebrations stress-free for customers.”
Upon visiting for the first time, prepare to be blown away by the clean and open space. The natural light and high ceilings give the new store an elevated feel.
With open indoor and patio seating, patrons work on their laptops, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi.
For more formal dining options, there are about 65 seats in the True Texas BBQ restaurant and at the bar. There are also 35 restaurant seats on the patio upstairs and 20 seats on the patio for coffee and pizza guests.
But make no mistake: the new H-E-B is a grocery store, first and foremost. And the aisles are vast and diverse.
You’ll find bulk food items and a nut grinding station. There’s a large selection of cheeses, cold cuts and fresh bread from the bakery.
There’s also a beauty department and a full-service pharmacy with a drive-through.
“Come sample your way through our store,” Smith says. “Meet some of the most educated and friendliest staff in all of Austin.”
Designed With the Neighborhood in Mind
When purchasing a home, many buyers consider the accessibility to a good grocery store. Along with centrality and safety, proximity to a grocery store increases real estate values. The new H-E-B is good news for the surrounding neighborhoods, like Tarrytown and Westfield.
It also adds a community hub — a spot to meet up or get some work done — to Exposition Boulevard.
With a previously limited selection of food options in the area, the new store is a welcome addition.
“We met with the neighborhoods several times during the design phase of this store,” Smith says. “We originally did not design a restaurant or seating area in the store.”
“But we heard loud and clear from the residents that they wanted a restaurant, a breakfast offering and places to meet.”
Dine In at H-E-B
On the first floor is Austin’s Coffee Spot and SouthFlo Pizza. The coffee shop is open daily from 7 am to 10:30 am for tacos, and until 9 pm for coffee and freshly made pastries.
From 11 am to 9 pm, SouthFlo Pizza offers made-to-order New York-style pizzas with artisan ingredients, alongside a selection of wings.
Upstairs you’ll find True Texas BBQ, named the best barbecue chain by Texas Monthly, with indoor seating and a beautiful outdoor patio.
Along with delicious Texas barbecue, the restaurant’s bar serves a range of Texas craft brews, including beers from several Austin breweries, and cocktails. Happy hour is 3 pm to 7 pm, Monday through Friday.
H-E-B and Corporate Responsibility
H-E-B has a long history in the Lone Star State. In 1905, the first small, family-owned store opened in Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country. Today HEB serves families all over Texas and Mexico with more than 420 stores and over 145,000 employees.
Its vast success, however, refuses to compromise its dedication to offering excellent service, low prices and a friendly shopping experience.
H-E-B is also committed to public service and giving back. Annually, it allocates five percent of its pre-tax earnings to charitable organizations supporting hunger relief, education, environmental sustainability and diversity initiatives.
H-E-B is also a strong proponent of sustainability practices. In line with these initiatives, the design includes eco-friendly elements like energy-efficient refrigeration and condensation capture for irrigation. H-E-B also has plans to install rooftop solar panels and electric vehicle chargers.
The underground parking facilitates a pedestrian-friendly perimeter, encouraging walking and biking, while enhancing the neighborhood’s aesthetics. The design team artfully integrated neighborhood-inspired elements, like vine-covered walls, natural light, pitched roofs and textured materials such as limestone and wood.
The new H-E-B is also heavily involved with the community. To celebrate the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s centennial, an art exhibit throughout 2023 showcases the beauty of the state parks. The stunning works of art are displayed in the store lobbies.
The store supports the community in a variety of ways, including delivering meals and financial support to teachers and the O’Henry Middle School behind the store. In April, H-E-B sponsored Family Day at the West Austin Youth Association, where it gifted free barbecue plates.
It also funds birthday boxes for foster children and donates food from the store to the Central Texas Food Bank.
Exposition’s new H-E-B is much more than a grocery store. It’s a community gathering place that gives back in countless ways. Whether or not you’re in the area, it’s worth the trip.