Grocery Shopping Not at Its Finest

I live in the birthplace of the HEB grocery stores.  If you don’t live in Texas, you probably don’t understand the impact that HEB has on the daily life of Texans.  It’s big.  Locals literally get warm-fuzzies talking  about their love for their local HEB stores.  Only in my little town, you wonder why we have two of them and both are sadly in need of a makeover.  The groceries are notably  more expensive here.  They have less selection of products and the freshness of produce feels like we were the last stop on the delivery truck.

When I lived in Austin, I loved to go to the HEBs around town and note the differences in products and prices. (that’s the domestic nerd in me)  Get ready for my grocery store rant.

When I go to my local small town HEBs, I stay on my usual track around the grocery store to pick up my usual staples.  There doesn’t seem to be a selection of new things and product innovations available that are reasonably priced.  The layout of the store makes no sense, however, just recently they are resetting it and it set off a firestorm of criticism from the locals.   (How dare them change the layout!)  The parking is terrible.  I guess that’s a good sign of healthy growth of a small town, but geez!  And finally, they stack the product just out of the reach of my 5′ frame.

Don’t get me wrong, HEB still makes me swell with Texas pride.  The amount of support they threw at the Hurricane Harvey crisis made FEMA look like an afterthought. I even wanted to work there after I saw the news highlighting their convoys of well designed mobile kitchens and supply trucks leaving for Houston. Bravo HEB!

So it pains me somewhat to complain about them.  You hear rumblings of discontentment with our little grocery stores, but the other day, I heard one that took me by surprise.

I drive my dogs almost daily to an “over-55 community” so they can have a nice quiet place to walk.  We know a lot of the locals and their dogs from doing this over the last 3 years.

The other day, I came a across a very unhappy woman in her 70s.  She had a rough transition to our little town and sees nothing of value to living here. Apparently, she has had a hard time making friends. She started complaining about our grocery stores. Her biggest complaint was how they cut meat.  Since I must have had a puzzled look on my face, she then began to explain.

“They grind their meat and it comes out like little pink worms. You cook it and it comes out to be little gray worms.”  As I sat there listening to her rant, I couldn’t help myself and started laughing out loud… because I knew precisely what she was referring to. I chop my ground meat as it’s cooking just so I don’t have those little wormy looking shapes in my dishes. I thought that was normal in every ground meat, but she informed me that Walmart doesn’t do it that way.

So here I am tonight chopping up my little pink worm meat into taco filling thinking about her rough transition to our little town. It was a hard move  for me too for different reasons, but I hope she hangs in there.  I think she if she added a few friends to her social circle, chopping up the meat wouldn’t be such a big deal.

HEB is working on making it better, but I think it’s going to take time. Until then, I will just take the same route at the store picking up my usual products and search out some new dishes to make.

Maybe if I got out of my home office a little more and create my small town tribe, the grocery shopping wouldn’t be such a drudge.   However, I would like a little more from our local HEBs.   After all, your roots took hold here in 1905.

Rant over.

HEB, we love you dearly!  Stay true to your mission and don’t forget us in your birthplace.

Posted by Kristi Curry

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.