When H-E-B finally announced last week that it was going to break ground on its long-awaited grocery store in Mansfield, I was excited, but not because I know anything about the Texas grocer personally. Until last week, I’d only been in one H-E-B.
Nope, I was excited because everyone is just so happy. Texans love H-E-B! Like, a lot.
I heard about the fresh-made tortillas, the salsas, the produce, H-E-B’s house brands. Mansfield is ready to welcome the first H-E-B in Tarrant County, with the groundbreaking in 2023 at the southeast corner of the US 287 and East Broad Street intersection and the store opening in 2024.
My husband and I weren’t willing to wait two years to find out why this place is so great, so we immediately headed to the Waxahachie H-E-B.
We have been to one H-E-B before while vacationing in Wimberley about seven years ago. At the time, we were only looking for snacks, so we didn’t get the full impact. This time we took our whole shopping list, went up and down every aisle and poked our noses into just about every corner.
First thing we figured out is that Waxahachie loves its H-E-B. The parking lot was almost full at 5 p.m. in the middle of the week, and people were swarming the store. A huge garden center with tons of plants, herbs and flowers greeted us near the door. I slowed down long enough to check the prices (not bad), the selection (pretty good), and the quality (really good).
Husband was itching to shop, so I kept moving.
Just to get it out of the way, H-E-B has all of the extras we’ve come to expect from massive grocery stores: a pharmacy, florist, bakery, deli, sushi, meat and fish markets, plus a gas station out front.
Now for the completely random stuff that had us hopping on the H-E-B bandwagon.
- There was a massive produce section, we’re talking like a huge chunk of the store and people stocking as fast as they could. But we couldn’t find the elusive strawberries or the exotic potatoes. Seriously, no strawberries or potatoes? We asked the guys stocking the shelves and they gave us an exhausted look. “Try in the morning,” they told us. “Not the afternoon. It’s crazy.” Did I say Waxahachie loves its H-E-B? Do Waxahachie residents know that they can get strawberries and potatoes at other stores?
- An aisle of cold beer, lots of beer, including Shiner in a handy-size keg, and two aisles of wine.
- Food samples – and not the weird crunchy thing that nobody is actually going to buy. We got chips and brisket queso on one aisle and jalapeno sausage on the next. Oh heck yeah!
- H-E-B doesn’t just sell food, it sells pots, pans and appliances to cook the food, dishes and silverware to eat it and towels and scrubbers to clean up the mess . If you have nothing in your kitchen, H-E-B can set you up.
- Yes, there is a tortilleria turning out fresh tortillas and you can watch the adorable little woman cranking them out and bagging them. What you can’t do is eat any of them because the Waxahachie residents GRAB THEM FASTER THAN THE CUTE LADY CAN MAKE THEM!
- It’s summer so, of course, there’s a swim aisle with towels, toys and even blow-up pools, because that’s what I always buy at the grocery store.
- My personal favorite, next to the cakes in the bakery was a cup of H-E-B real whipping cream, just in case the cream-covered cake needs a couple (or a dozen) dabs more.
- We quickly learned to look for yellow coupons stuck on the shelves and will be downloading the H-E-B app before we go again.
The No. 1 reason we think people love H-E-B (or soon will) is the customer service. There were people in every area ready to help. Best of all, there were eight self checkout lanes open and eight checkout lanes with actual humans, plus even more people bagging our groceries.
H-E-B, sign us up. We’re fans.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.