Special—H-E-B At 110: From Humble Beginnings To A Texas Icon

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It was Nov. 26, 1905, to be exact, when Florence Butt opened the C.C. Butt Grocery Store with her savings of $60 to support her ailing husband and three children. For $9 a month, she leased the 450-s.f. store on the ground floor of a small frame building on Main Street in Kerrville, Texas. Sales for that first month were $50.60, a tiny beginning for what would become a Texas icon.

While Florence ran the store, she also put down roots in her new community. She eventually came to rely on her youngest son, Howard, to help out at the store after school and make grocery deliveries to customers using a hand-drawn red wagon. When Howard took over leadership of the family business, he moved to a cash-and-carry operation and expanded across the state of Texas.

In 1971, Howard handed the reins of leadership to his youngest son, Charles C. Butt. Under Charles’ direction, H-E-B has grown into one of the largest privately held retailers in the country, with more than 360 stores, multiple manufacturing plants, warehouses and transportation depots.

H-E-B, with sales of more than $22 billion, operates more than 360 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, and recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices.

“Since our humble beginnings, H-E-B has remained dedicated to making the lives of Texans better by providing an exceptional shopping experience and quality products and services at affordable prices,” said Craig Boyan, president of H-E-B. “It is because of the longstanding relationships we share with our amazing Partners (employees) and our loyal customers that we are able to celebrate 110 years in business, and we hope to celebrate many more to come.”

Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 85,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities.

The Shelby Report salutes H-E-B on 110 years of serving customers in Texas and Mexico and presents this history in honor of its success. See the special section below; it also appears in the October print edition of The Shelby Report of the Southwest.

About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.

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