AUSTIN, Texas -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. will launch a new prepared-foods concept, a separate meals store-within-a-store inside a new supermarket unit to open here this summer.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet have been earmarked for the meals store at the front of the new unit, which will be approximately 90,000 square feet in total, said Kristy Ozmun, director of public affairs, for the central Texas division of San Antonio-based H-E-B.
"It [the meals store] will be a separate entity with its own entrance at the front of the building," Ozmun said.
The operation will feature nearby parking reserved for meals-solutions customers and a section devoted to children's meals, she added. The emphasis will be on self-service merchandising. Even milk and bread will be offered for quick pickup in the meals store.
"It will be completely different from any of our more conventional stores," Ozmun said.
A local source familiar with the 239-unit chain said the key at the new location -- in a middle-class suburb here -- will be convenience for fresh-meals shoppers.
"It's designed for people who want to run in and grab something quickly, maybe for tonight's dinner," the source said.
The source said H-E-B's plan for the meals store builds on the success of grab-and-go at the chain's celebrated food-only Central Market here.
The self-service prepared-foods section at Central Market has tripled in size since it opened three years ago, Ozmun told SN.