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Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
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Mateo Barnstone
Mueller Community

Posts: 134
Joined on July 21st, 2012
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Mateo Barnstone on July 26th, 2013

Fairly impressive line up of life music going all this weekend including Vallejo tonight!
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Alejandra De Angulo
Mueller Community

Posts: 2
Joined on December 2nd, 2011
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Alejandra De Angulo on July 26th, 2013

Interesting article. The HEB looks nice, but 1) side walks need to be built all around it and 2) A light is needed on the intersection of Barbara Jordan and Mueller. I see a lot of accidents on that intersection and it is going to get worse now that the HEB is open. Anybody knows if they are putting traffic lights there? . The stop sign is not enough.
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C. Frimire
Mueller Community

Posts: 64
Joined on August 2nd, 2009
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by C. Frimire on July 27th, 2013

Last night I went to the HEB, but there was so much going on that I couldn't get a fair read on the place, so I set my alarm clock for 5:30 this morning, rode my bike over, and was waiting at the door by 6am along with a handful of fellow early birds ready to catch our worms.
I really didn't need anything, so I wandered around with an empty basket making note of where things were. Here are my first impressions:

The Bike Rack is nice. I put a little air in my tires and even tightened a couple of hex bolts. This put me in a good mood, but I'm afraid this was the high point.

Walking in I was struck by how uninviting the produce section was. And though I'm not a grocer, I would think that for your Grand Opening Weekend Extravaganza you'd want to make this place a magical kingdom of green, red, and yellow stacks of fresh and beautiful fruits and vegetables. Instead there were a couple of racks of sad looking produce being rearranged by two even sadder looking pimply faced kids. I had planned to peruse this section for half an hour, but instead it took me about 2 minutes to ascertain that there was nothing there of interest.

Onward past the bakery, fish and meat and then I was in the midst of frozen/refrigeration row with a shockingly large portion of space dedicated to pre-made meals like lunchables and other convenience oriented mal-nutritional delivery devices. My mood was now completely deflated. What the hell is going on here?

Nothing else of interest, so I sought out the Bulk section, which was striking for its lack of offerings. My question "What the hell is going on here?" now started looping over and over in my head. I decided that I'd get a bagel and go home to make breakfast,

Back to the bakery I went, where you can buy any imaginable arrangement of sugar infused crisco on a pedestal of cake, but they don't sell individual plain bagels. Instead you have to buy a bag of 5 and they only had blueberry. My internally looping question now spilled out into the verbal universe and fell unfairly on the innocent ears of the unsuspecting baker's assistant, "What the Hell is going on here?" I apologized and left the store.

By now I really wanted a bagel, so I rode my bike over to Hancock, came home and just ate a delicious breakfast.

I have two Theories to answer my own question:

Theory 1 (the optimistic one): The store is new and it takes time for a store to air out that new cookie cutter feel and actually discover how it can serve the community. Some dude or dudette in corporate HEB Land down in San Antone, made the initial decisions regarding inventory and priority for this new store. Now we have a Store Manager on the ground and hopefully that individual will hear and respond to our requests, and discover what we are and are not buying.

Theory 2 (the pessimistic one): HEB knows exactly what it's doing and has leveraged the opportunity presented by the Mueller community and its developers in order to service Greater East Austin, and according to their calculus, the majority of East Austin residents want Lunchables and sugar infused Crisco treats, and they apparently don't give a rat's ass about fresh produce, bulk goods, or plain bagels. So HEB Executives slap on a thin veneer of luxury to satisfy the architects, and then serve up the grocery store equivalent of particle board.

I hope my first Theory is right.
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Ms Ice Monkey
Mueller Community

Posts: 460
Joined on November 18th, 2007
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Ms Ice Monkey on July 27th, 2013

We cannot be more thrilled that we will never again need to brave the chaos of the Hancock Center HEB. With a quick perusal yesterday, we found all of the staples we usually buy. Overall, there seems to be a similar selection but much better organization than Hancock. And, there are some very exciting bonuses that do make it feel more like Central Market - in-store roasted meats in the deli, organic beef at the meat counter, in-store packaged meals that look healthy, the cafe.

I'm surprised by all of the negativity here, compared with the excitement on the Facebook group. This is our grocery store, and we should make it ours. If you don't see something you want, why not mention it to the management? I've already got a couple of ideas I plan to pass along.
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Mueller Community

Posts: 120
Joined on January 15th, 2008
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Cynthia on July 27th, 2013

Unfortunately, the reason Mueller is such a big deal is that it's the first modern effort in a city and state that's very auto-centric. We are seeing the struggle play out between our wish for a more walkable and attractive city and the reality that there's still not much transportation infrastructure to support it.
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Henry DeAngelis
Mueller Community

Posts: 22
Joined on January 22nd, 2012
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Henry DeAngelis on July 27th, 2013

I too am surprised by the number of negative remarks about the new HEB. And even name-calling: the comment about the "pimply faced kids" in the produce section was not necessary or relevant.

The Mueller HEB is definitely not Central Market, which is what I suspect many were hoping for. I understand the disappointment there. But the cafe is quite nice. It has a nice selection of groceries and other items that I need.

I do agree that the "walkability" factor is lacking, which I think is partly due to the large surface parking lot, lack of shade, and lack of parking garage. It may be better once the initial crowds have died down a bit, trees have grown in, and the other side of Berkman Dr is finished, which I think will make it safer to walk / bike there.

It's not perfect, but I'm happy to have HEB in Mueller.
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Samuel Cox
Mueller Community

Posts: 12
Joined on January 30th, 2013
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by Samuel Cox on July 28th, 2013

I am thrilled to have this beautiful store nearby. I love the cafe. Thus far the staff and management has been courteous and helpful and pleasant. The busy parking lot, traffic and rapidly moving customers is to be expected. It will all calm down soon and be a regular grocery store.
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Mueller Community

Posts: 179
Joined on January 5th, 2009
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by dhs on July 28th, 2013

I also like the store - nice cafe, good selection of local beer with very good prices on growlers, much better layout and lighting than the typical big box food store.

Yes, it's not Whole Foods, but then it's also not whole paycheck; and it's not Central Market but it does have a pharmacy and a good selection of hard goods and sundries. It's certainly the nicest HEB in the city.

One of the overlooked goals of the Mueller project is the kind of commercial development that can only be sustained by the disposable incomes that Mueller residents bring to the table (or grocery store, in this case). Think of this store as the Upper East Side HEB.

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Mueller Community

Posts: 470
Joined on May 26th, 2009
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by misselaine on July 28th, 2013

But boy, did they really make enough parking? It was packed when I drove by yesterday and that does not bode well since there are zero other businesses even moved in yet! What happens when there are lots of other stores? I feel like they pretended to go urban, without really thinking it through. Sort of a "let's make it look urban by putting few parking spaces in to give the appearance of walkability..." I guess we will have to see.
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Mueller Community

Posts: 488
Joined on October 20th, 2007
Less-than-flattering piece on the new HEB
by henningspruth on July 28th, 2013

Think of this store as the Upper East Side HEB.


I like that.
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