H-E-B kicks off 80th anniversary celebration

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

May 14, 2014 at 12:14 a.m.
Updated May 15, 2014 at 12:15 a.m.

For the past 80 years, no store has done more in Victoria - at least that's what the folks at H-E-B say.

From locally grown produce, 100 percent pure beef and hundreds of products from around the world, H-E-B is more than a grocery store; it's a way of life.

"You hear people all the time say 'my H-E-B,'" said Doug Wallace, manager of the H-E-B Plus! on Navarro Street. "It becomes a very personal experience."

The store kicked off a monthlong celebration Wednesday for its 80th anniversary.

The celebration includes shopping sprees, in-store sweepstakes, a chance to win groceries for a year, special in-store coupons, an essay contest, promotions and more.

"It speaks to the amount of time we've supported our customers," said Wallace, who started working for the company 40 years ago.

When H-E-B opened its first location in 1934, Bonnie and Clyde had just met their demise, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived in the White House, and a loaf of bread cost a nickle.

While a lot more than the price of bread has changed in the past 80 years, the company's charitable philosophy and community support has stayed constant, said David Castillo, the company's director of advertising and promotions.

"Not many companies have been around 80 years, and at the end of it all, we haven't changed," he said. "Our goal has always been to put the customer first."

Throughout the years, Victoria's grocery store added air conditioning, remodeled, upgraded and expanded.

The Rio Grande location opened in 2001, and H-E-B Plus! opened in November 2006, recently celebrating a grand reopening.

Michael Greenly, manager of the Rio Grande store, has been with the company for 33 years, working his way up from a sacker.

The customers are the ones who made it all happen, he said.

Companywide, H-E-B boasts annual revenue of $19.4 billion and is one of the largest privately held companies in the state.

The company, which was founded in 1905, has grown to include more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico and employs more than 80,000 people.



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