Supermarket giant H-E-B is continuing its expansion in the DFW Metroplex with plans to open a sibling concept: Called Joe V’s Smart Shop by H-E-B stores, it's a cheaper version of H-E-B, and will open two stores in the Dallas area, both south of I-30.

Joe V’s Smart Shop launched in 2010 and has nine stores in the Houston area. These will be the first outside the Houston area, as follows:

  • 4101 W. Wheatland Rd., at Highway 67, set to open in late summer 2024
  • 5204 S. Buckner Blvd. at the corner of Samuell Street, set to to open in spring 2025

Joe V's is smaller than a full-size H-E-B with a smaller selection, carrying about 9,000 items, versus a traditional supermarket's 37,000 items. They offer a price-conscious shopping experience but still with features such as:

  • in-store made H-E-B Bakery tortillas
  • H-E-B Sushiya sushi made in-house daily
  • chef-inspired H-E-B Meal Simple assortments
  • fresh cut fruit
  • in store baked breads and pastries
  • Meal Simple chef-inspired meals

To provide these high-quality items and keep prices low, they leverage operational efficiencies and new technologies.

Each store is typically 55,000 square feet in size and employs about 150 people.

“With the introduction of Joe V’s Smart Shop to Dallas, we are excited to build on our longstanding presence in the area and commitment to serve more customers in this dynamic and growing part of Texas,” says Roxanne Orsak, H-E-B Chief Operating Officer.

As a multi-format retailer, H-E B also operates Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop, and Mi Tienda stores, as well as Favor Delivery.

Central Market came to DFW in 2001 and has locations in Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Fort Worth. H-E-B stores around the Metroplex include Burleson, Hudson Oaks, Granbury, and Waxahachie, plus newer stores in Plano and Frisco that opened in 2022.

More H-E-B stores are coming to McKinney, Allen, Alliance, and Mansfield, which are currently under construction.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B

Texas' H-E-B rolls out new sustainability initiatives for Earth Month


Texas' favorite grocery chain H-E-B is celebrating Earth Month with some new environmentally-conscious initiatives for all of its stores.

The new measures were planned with the ultimate goal of boosting the company’s ongoing commitment to reducing its overall waste while maximizing eco-friendly choices in the communities they serve. H-E-B Partners will also spread awareness of their practices through community events and donations to sustainability-focused organizations across the state of Texas.

A few of the new initiatives include improving awareness of the company's pre-existing plastic bag recycling program with more prominent bins at every store, and rolling out a new curbside plastic bag collection system.

Many municipalities don’t accept plastic bags at their recycling centers, so H-E-B is stepping up to provide their own alternative to landfills. With the new curbside program, shoppers can bundle their eligible plastic bags and items for an H-E-B employee to collect during the customer’s designated curbside pickup time. If a customer would like to bring their plastic items while shopping in-store, they can drop them off in the newly designed, highly visible bins at the main entrances.

Plastic items that will be accepted by the new Curbside program and in-store drop off bins are:

  • Retail shopping bags
  • Produce bags
  • Bread bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Newspaper bags
  • Plastic over wrap, such as the plastic packaging that comes around toilet paper

H-E-B will also switch all their plastic cutlery to biodegradable versions at all stores, restaurants, and business locations. The new cutlery and straws are made from agave and other plant-based materials.

Additionally, H-E-B will host their annual reusable bag giveaway on April 22 to honor Earth Day. 250,000 reusable bags will be given to shoppers, free of charge.

Other actions the company will take include their annual “School Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge” at 600 Texas schools, their 2023 H-E-B Community Recycling Grants for funding improvements for infrastructure and educational recycling resources, and participating in other community-based events.

In 2022 alone, H-E-B recycled 19 million pounds of plastics thanks to its “Our Texas, Our Future” commitment.

More information about H-E-B’s sustainability initiatives can be found on their website.


Dallas-Fort Worth bags 3 new Kroger supermarkets opening in 2024

Supermarket News

Three Dallas-Fort Worth cities are set to score new supermarkets.

According to a release, the Kroger supermarket chain is opening three new Kroger Marketplace format stores in North Texas in three cities: Plano, Melissa, and Fort Worth.

Alas, the exact addresses are still TBA. "Exact locations/addresses will be announced in advance of the groundbreaking events later this summer," a spokesperson said.

These will be the first new-build Kroger stores in North Texas since 2019 when they opened a store in McKinney at 1801 North Lake Forest Dr.

The stores will open in 2024.

Kroger's Dallas Division president Keith Shoemaker says in a statement the three areas were chosen because of their "booming growth."

Kroger currently operates more than 100 stores in North and East Texas and more than 200 stores total throughout Texas.

Marketplace format stores are multi-department stores offering full-service grocery, pharmacy, and expanded general merchandise including outdoor living products, electronics, home goods, apparel, and toys. Marketplace stores typically range in size from 100,000 to 130,000 square feet. Hello, direct shot at H-E-B.

In 2022, Kroger opened a Fulfillment Center in South Dallas to focus solely on the growing demand for grocery delivery service. With spoke facilities since constructed in Austin, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City, the company has added the capability to serve an ever-increasing digital audience and more remote communities without the need for brick-and-mortar stores.

With Boost by Kroger, digital shoppers can get next-day delivery and same-day delivery in as little as two hours. Boost members can also save up to $1,000 a year on gas, groceries, and delivery fees.

Kroger also has plans to deploy a fleet of driverless trucks from autonomous vehicle supplier Gatik, to transport goods between an automated e-commerce warehouse in Dallas and grocery stores in the market. They're using Class 3-6 vehicles that can handle items that need to be kept refrigerated or frozen as well as ambient-temperature goods, seven days a week.

Photo courtesy of Sprouts Farmers Market

Dallas' Oak Cliff wins its own location of Sprouts Farmers Market

Supermarket News

A supermarket is coming to Oak Cliff: Sprouts Farmers Market won the approval of the Dallas City Council to open a location at the northeast corner of Fort Worth Avenue and Hampton Road.

The approval came after nearly two years of negotiations, with the grocery chain offering multiple proposals to accommodate the neighborhood's exacting demands.

What the Dallas City Council actually approved at its March 8 meeting was a rezoning request, since that area is a Planned Development District, with restrictions on issues like making sure that what faces the street is a storefront and not a parking lot.

There's no street address yet but Sprouts has it on their website at the northeast corner, which is currently home to a Cost Plus Supermarket — which by the way has a parking lot in front — and a Chinese restaurant, Crown Buffet.

The store will come with extra features including a restaurant with a patio, plus landscaping and eco-friendly elements such as permeable pavement.

A motion presented by City Council member Chad West included stipulations such as:

  • Shopping carts must come with an anti-theft wheel lock
  • A 3,500-square-foot open space at least 50 feet wide is required within 125 feet from the property line along Fort Worth Avenue
  • Any loudspeakers for a drive-thru cannot be located within 150 feet from the property line along Hampton Road and must be oriented away from residential lots within 1,000 feet
  • Exterior lighting must be oriented down and onto the property they light, and away from residential properties

A spokesperson for Sprouts said there was no information yet on opening date.

The chain has been on a bit of an opening spree around Dallas-Fort Worth, most recently a Trinity Hills location in North Dallas which opened at 17795 Dallas Pkwy on February 24, and the Hillside Village location at 6465 E. Mockingbird Ln., which opened in November 2022.

This marks the second major mainstream retail addition to Oak Cliff in a week, following the news that Target has plans to open a store in the beloved Wynnewood Village neighborhood shopping center.

Photo courtesy of Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market prepares to open its newest supermarket in Dallas

Supermarket News

North Dallas is about to get a great new grocery: Sprouts Farmers Market, the Phoenix-based supermarket chain, is getting ready to open Sprouts Trinity Mills, coming to 17795 Dallas Pkwy., on the west side frontage road for the Dallas North Tollway, at the corner of Briargrove Road and a block north of Trinity Mills Road.

According to a spokesperson, the store will open the last week of February.

That address was previously Sullivan's Steakhouse, although the grocery did a complete new build. The store is just under 20,000 square feet.

Sprouts has been on an opening spree in Dallas-Fort Worth. That includes stores in Irving/Las Colinas at 7730 N. MacArthur Blvd. #150, and Grand Prairie, at 2500 S Carrier Pkwy., both of which opened in March 2022; and a store that opened in the Hillside Village shopping center at Abrams Road and Mockingbird Lane, in the former Stein Mart, in November.

There are currently 51 locations across Texas (Trinity Mills will be #52) including 28 in the DFW area.

For the Trinity Mills store, they plan to hire 80 people and are hosting a hiring fair January 17-18, in a partnership with Snagajob, the hourly hiring company.

  • Tuesday, January 17: 8–11:30 am and 1–6 pm
  • Wednesday, January 18: 8–11:30 am and 1–5 pm

Walk-in interviews are welcome, and will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn–Richardson, 1001 George Bush Turnpike in Richardson. Attendees can speak directly with the Sprouts’ hiring team on openings such as Front End, Bakery, Bulk, Deli, Grocery, Meat/Seafood, and Produce Vitamin.

Business Wire

Walmart now delivering groceries via drones at 11 stores around Dallas

Drone News

The drones have landed at Walmart: Drone delivery service is now available at 11 stores in the Dallas area, including East Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Plano, and Richardson.

This marks the entry of Walmart’s drone delivery service in Texas, part of a plan to expand its drone offering to 4 million additional households across six states.

In partnership with DroneUp, Walmart will offer drone delivery in five other states in addition to Texas by the end of the year — Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Utah, and Virginia — for a total of 34 stores making drone delivery in 23 cities nationwide by year end.

Drone delivery is now offered from these Texas stores:

  • Neighborhood Market #29753959 Broadway Blvd, Garland
  • Walmart Supercenter #3224555 W Interstate 30, Garland
  • Walmart Supercenter #18001801 Marketplace Dr, Garland
  • Walmart Supercenter #2973115 West Fm 544, Murphy
  • Neighborhood Market #56573100 Custer Rd, Plano
  • Neighborhood Market #29741501 Buckingham Rd, Richardson
  • Neighborhood Market #2976915 N Town East Blvd, Mesquite
  • Neighborhood Market #30152827 S Buckner Blvd, Dallas
  • Neighborhood Market #50212275 Gus Thomasson Rd, Dallas
  • Walmart Supercenter #32252501 Lakeview Pkwy, Rowlett
  • Walmart Supercenter #4264691 State Highway 121, The Colony

Customers who live within a mile of a participating store can place orders through www.droneupdelivery.com between 8 am-8 pm. Drones can deliver more than 10,000 eligible Walmart items up to 10 pounds, including fragile items like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes.

There are no order minimums and the delivery fee is $3.99. (With use of promo code FreeDeliveryTX, customers using drone delivery for the first time will have the delivery fee waived.)

Once the items are packaged and loaded into the drone, the order is delivered using a cable that gently lowers the package into the customer’s yard.

DroneUp deliveries are powered by a team of certified pilots operating within FAA guidelines to safely manage flight operations. Deliveries will be made to the safest location of the customer’s home, such as in the front or backyard or driveway. Customers can check if drone delivery is available to their homes by visiting www.droneupdelivery.com.

Founded in 2016, DroneUp is a technology company based in Virginia Beach that combines airspace solutions, software applications, and analytics platforms to help companies operate at scale with drone innovation. In 2021, DroneUp received a significant investment from Walmart, how much exactly, they do not say.

Walmart VP Vik Gopalakrishnan says they're proud to be on the forefront of innovation.

“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package that’s frankly really cool," Gopalakrishnan says. "It may seem like a futuristic option, but it’s giving our customers what they’ve always wanted, and that’s time back to focus on what is most important to them."

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Top Dallas chef re-emerges at upscale Mexican pop-up at West Village

Chef News

There's culinary action brewing in Dallas' West Village with an award-winning chef turning out some amazing Mexican food. It's a new restaurant pop-up called Mexican Test Kitchen, located at 3699 McKinney Ave. #307, and it stars Matt McCallister, one of Dallas' most high-profile chefs.

Mexican Test Kitchen is the working title for a new concept in the works between McCallister and restaurateur Mike Karns, who recently took ownership of the West Village. It occupies the space that was previously Honest Tacos (and before that, Taco Diner); Honest Taco closed in April.

For now, they are doing a pop-up, with a menu that McCallister has designed, featuring tacos, bowls, and salads, plus inventive margaritas.

"I didn't want to see the West Village get hurt with the closure of a restaurant, so we mobilized our team and opened Mexican Test Kitchen as a pop-up," Karns says.

Their plan is to be open this summer with an interim menu of dishes they are developing, while they reconcept and redesign the space.

"It'll still be Mexican but leaning a little more healthy than Tex-Mex — more like healthy Mex, with a lower price point and a little more casual," Karns says. "We feel like it will bring some energy to West Village."

McCallister is now working with Karns' Local Favorite Restaurants (El Fenix, Snuffer's, Meso Maya, Taqueria La Ventana, Tulum, Village Burger Bar, Jalisco Norte, Twisted Root) full time. He joined following the untimely closure of Homewood, the award-winning restaurant on Oak Lawn Avenue.

"When Homewood closed, I reached out to Matt," Karns says. "He works with us now as well as Alex Urrunaga (Plan B Group, Reach Restaurants)."

That team will help create their fun new concept. Karns says they'll close the pop-up in late August, then re-open in September after the remodel is complete.

"Mike is a super cool guy, it's kinda crazy I get to work for him," McCallister says. "At the end of the day I just want to contribute my slice of the pie to Mike's vision for the company."

Those craving McCallister flavors can meanwhile enjoy the current pop-up menu featuring:

  • Citrus pig with citrus-braised carnitas, griddled onions, pineapple, cotija cheese, & mint
  • Brisket, barbacoa style with rajas, blistered corn, & chipotle mayo
  • Asada Steak with cilantro, caramelized onion, peanut salsa macha
  • Grilled chicken with smoky chipotle marinade, chiles toreados
  • Habanero lime shrimp with pickled red onion & watermelon radish
  • Tempura cod with Mexican tartar sauce, & green cabbage crunch
  • Griddled Came, with sweet potato, goat cheese, toasted pepita sprinkle, charred green onions
  • Mexican mushroom with caramelized creminis, maitakes, trumpets, & oyster mushrooms, griddled onion, cilantro, & watermelon radish

Chips & queso feature a pale whipped queso fresco with peanut salsa macha and pumpkin seed crunch. Guacamole comes topped with pomegranate and toasted pistachio.

Salads and bowls include a beautiful ensalada rossa with wild arugula & matchstick beets; a “shades of green” salad with hearty greens, spinach, tri-color quinoa, crispy chickpeas, avocado, roasted corn, cried cranberries, & green Carognola olives; and a Ranchero bowl with black beans, white rice, sweet potato, marinated beets, crispy Brussels sprouts, Mexican kimchee, hearty greens, & mojo.

If all that's not enough, everything's crazy-cheap: Tacos come in at $4-5, and salads and bowls at $12.

Chicago Italian restaurant Quartino readies for Texas debut at The Colony

Italian Restaurant News

A new Italian concept from Chicago is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth: Quartino Ristorante and Wine Bar, a Chicago-based authentic Italian neighborhood restaurant, pizzeria, and wine bar, is making its Texas debut with a location in the Grotto District of Grandscape, in The Colony.

According to a release, it'll open June 19.

Quartino will occupy two levels of indoor and outdoor bar and dining room seating. A red-toned brick exterior with awnings gives the space a relaxed yet refined vibe.

Quartino features an approachable menu of Italian shared plates that feature regional specialties, like artisanal salumi, housemade cheeses, Neapolitan-style pizza, handmade pasta, Aquerello risotto, and seafood.

The bar program includes an expansive, value-driven wine list highlighting family-owned, small-production wines available by the quartino (quarter liter), mezzo (half-liter), litro (liter) and bottle; plus craft cocktails, negronis, and house-made limoncello.

Quartino is part of Gibsons Restaurant Group, which also owns and operates American brands like Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and Gibsons Italia in Chicago and The Boathouse at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida.

GRG chose to expand into Texas because of the area’s promising future. This is the first Quartino to open since the original opened in 2005. It is the latest location for GRG, one of the highest-grossing independent restaurant groups in the nation.

Quartino's General Manager, Erick Starke, recently relocated his family from Chicago to The Colony. He says, “Quartino selected The Colony as its first home in Texas because of its friendly people, incomparable growth, culture, and diversity. Our goal is to serve up southern hospitality Italian style and create an unforgettable experience for our customers."

Customers can make dining reservations at www.quartinoristorante.com.

GRG founder Steve Lombardo says that customer satisfaction is at the heart of every GRG restaurant.

“Quartino is known for its commitment to the highest quality, authentic Italian food and wine, a lively dining experience, and putting the customer first, and we are excited to bring this experience to North Texas," Lombardo said.

Quartino is located at 5754 Grandscape Blvd, The Colony, TX 75056, directly behind and across the street from Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, and next to Thirsty Lion.


About Quartino:
Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar first opened in December 2005 by Gibsons Restaurant Group and founding chef John Coletta in Chicago’s vibrant and bustling River North neighborhood. Quartino is the recipient of the coveted Ospitalita Italiana, which is awarded by the Italian government and recognizes restaurants that uphold the traditions of Italian culture. In 2022, Thrillist named Quartino as one of the Best Italian restaurants in Chicago. Quartino is on Open Table’s 2019 list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out. In 2018, Quartino was named one of the world’s 70 best restaurants with a pizzeria by Ristorazione Italiana Magazine. Always festive and welcoming with two spacious levels and outdoor seating, Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Brooke Shields to headline trailblazing Dallas nonprofit's big fall fundraiser

More than a pretty face

Model, actress, and author Brooke Shields will deliver the keynote address at the 2023 Trailblazer Awards Luncheon on September 29 at the Hilton Anatole. The annual fundraiser - one of Dallas' most anticipated luncheons of fall - benefits The Family Place, Texas’ largest family violence service agency marking its 45th year.

Lindsay Jacaman and Holly Krug will serve as luncheon co-chairs, with philanthropists and former Real Housewives of Dallas stars Stephanie and Travis Hollman as honorary chairs, the organization announced on June 6.

"We hope attendees will be inspired by our featured speaker Brooke Shields as she shares her unique story and her personal resilience that led her to become the role model she is today," says The Family Place CEO Mimi Sterling in a release. "Through the collective efforts of our co-chairs and honorary chairs, we know we will raise important funds to serve women, men and children in need of safety."

Shields, who turned 58 on May 31, has made headlines recently as the topic of a critically acclaimed new docu-series about her life. Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, released in April on Hulu, examines her journey "from a sexualized young girl to a Princeton graduate, mother, and advocate who has embraced her identity and voice," Hulu says.

Shields famously started her career as a child star, becoming - at age 14 - the youngest fashion model ever to grace on the cover of Vogue. In addition to garnering awards as an actress onscreen, Shields is now a best-selling author and creator of an apparel and accessories line called Brooke Shields Timeless.

The wife and mother of two teen daughters is also, the release notes, "an advocate for women and the arts and serves on the board of WIN, an organization dedicated to providing housing, services and programs to homeless women and children in New York City."

The Trailblazer Awards Luncheon is The Family Place's biggest annual fundraiser. Proceeds will help further the nonprofit's mission to empower survivors of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling, and skills that create independence, organizers say.

The event will include a VIP reception, seated luncheon, and recognition of this year’s Texas Trailblazer Award recipient (not yet announced). Tickets start at $350 are available on The Family Place's website.

Family Place Luncheon 2023, Brooke Shields

Courtesy photo

Brooke Shields will headline the Trailblazer Awards Luncheon on September 29.