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Sprouts Farmers Market

In the latest supermarket news, there's an opening date for the newest Sprouts Farmers Market coming to Dallas.

Located in the Lakewood-ish area at the Hillside Village center at 6465 E. Mockingbird Ln. #322, it's opening on November 18. A release says that they'll host a ribbon-cutting on Friday morning at 6:45 am. Oooh, that's a tad early.

But there'll be opening-themed events all weekend. To wit:

  • Friday, the first 250 shoppers will receive a reusable goodie bag filled with product samples from featured brands.
  • Saturday, beginning at 7 am, the first 200 guests will receive a golden envelope filled with coupons.
  • A caramel apple charcuterie demo from Thyme & Date with samplings will be available all weekend.

Throughout the weekend, they'll distribute samples from pioneering brands at the Vendor Village, with kids’ games, a DJ, and more.

From November 18-20, customers who text “DALLAS” to 777-688 will receive 20 percent off their purchase when they scan their account barcode at checkout. Through the app, shoppers can view the Sprouts’ weekly ad and save more than $100 with digital coupons on grocery staples and new items every month.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Sprouts is one of the largest and fastest growing specialty retailers of fresh, natural, and organic food in the U.S., with approximately 380 stores in 23 states.

The new store, which is going into what used to be a Stein Mart, will feature locally produced products, including fruits and vegetables from Chip Berry Produce, South Tex Organics, and True Harvest Farms.

Additionally, through Sprouts’ Food Rescue program, the new store will donate groceries that are no longer fit for sale but remain edible and nutrient rich to the North Texas Food Bank.

The intersection is not without supermarket presence: There's a Tom Thumb directly across Abrams Road. However, the Albertson's that used to be across Mockingbird Lane is no longer there.

H-E-B

Plano welcomes its own H-E-B supermarket, second to open in Dallas area

Supermarket News

The day has arrived for Plano shoppers with the arrival of their own location of the beloved H-E-B grocery chain, now open at 6001 Preston Rd.

The store is the second H-E-B in the DFW area following Frisco which opened in September.

The store is 118,000 square feet, same size as the Frisco store and possesses some of the same features including the in-house BBQ restaurant True Texas BBQ, a pharmacy with drive-thru, and a home décor department with furniture, textiles, and accent pieces from the Haven + Key and Texas Proud collections.

Open 6 am-11 pm daily, the store features a bakery, deli department, sushi, Asian grill, floral, backyard department, beauty, produce, frozen, beer & wine, and H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery, which allows customers to place orders online for pickup at the store or home delivery.

Additionally, H-E-B has introduced a new line of DFW sushi options, sushi and sashimi by the pound, and a DFW Roll with avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna, and salmon, plus a new Café Ole coffee blend called Taste of DFW, which is described as medium bodied with caramel, chocolate, and pecan flavors. Their DFW bakery also has items like chapati and roti breads.

H-E-B will be building a 55,000-square-foot e-Commerce Fulfillment Center, which stocks goods found in stores, to support the rising demand of online shopping. The facility will be located adjacent to the Plano store and is expected to become operational by mid-2023.

According to a release, Plano was one of three stores that H-E-B opened, along with two in the Houston area: its first location in Willis, a community north of Houston, and a second store in Magnolia, northwest of Houston.

H-E-B President Central Market Division Stephen Butt said in a statement that it was "a history-making day for H-E-B."

Still to come in DFW: McKinney and Allen, which are under construction; and Alliance and Mansfield, which haven't yet broken ground.

H-E-B is also celebrating the anniversary of its Central Market concept being introduced to DFW in 2001. There are now six Central Market stores in Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Fort Worth. And let's not forget the H-E-B stores already open in areas surrounding DFW including Burleson, Hudson Oaks, Granbury, and Waxahachie. Never forget.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B

Second Dallas-area H-E-B supermarket to open in Plano in November

Supermarket News

There's an opening date for the H-E-B store in Plano: November 2. That's a Wednesday.

This is the second H-E-B to open in the Dallas area, following the flagship store that opened in Frisco in September.

The H-E-B Plano store is located at 6001 Preston Rd. in Plano. The store will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. At 118,000 square feet, it's similar to the Frisco location.

It'll have True Texas BBQ, their in-house barbecue restaurant; a full-service pharmacy with drive-thru; curbside and Home Delivery service, fuel station and car wash.

Additional store highlights include:

  • Bakery featuring breads, cakes, and tortillas
  • Deli department with cheese and a charcuterie station
  • Sushiya offering handmade sushi selections made in-store daily and an Asian grill with rice bowls, teriyaki, and more
  • H-E-B Meal Simple with convenient meals prepared in store
  • Cooking Connection with live demonstrations and samplings of recipes to make at home
  • Produce, meat, floral, beer, frozen foods sections
  • Craft beer and wine with sampling station
  • Healthy Living department with bulk food items, sports nutrition products, and supplements
  • Backyard department, featuring plants, pottery, grills, and outdoor essentials
  • Beauty department with a wide selection of cosmetics and other beauty items
  • Pet department featuring Heritage Ranch by H-E-B pet food, where 1 percent of sales from the product line supports Texas animal shelters.
H-E-B

Ta-da opening day for H-E-B supermarket in Frisco is finally here

Supermarket News

Ssshh, it's still kind of a secret but the new H-E-B in Frisco officially opened on September 21.

This is the first H-E-B to open in the Dallas area, and it's a flagship store with 118,000 square feet and all of the bells and whistles that a supermarket chain can add to a single store.

That means a location of True Texas BBQ, their in-house barbecue restaurant; a full-service pharmacy with drive-thru; and Home by H-E-B, a home décor department featuring furniture, woven textiles, and accent pieces from the Haven + Key and Texas Proud collections.

This location also has a new sushi line that includes sushi and sashimi by the pound and a DFW Roll, made with avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna, and salmon; a new Café Ole coffee blend called Taste of DFW, which they say is medium bodied with caramel, chocolate, and pecan; and bakery items like chapati and roti breads.

"Opening our flagship H-E-B format in the DFW area has been an aspirational goal of ours for many years, and the company has a long-term commitment to serve a broad range of customers and communities across North Texas,” said Stephen Butt, President – Central Market Division, and H-E-B Board Member. “The DFW Metroplex is among the most competitive markets in the nation, and our H-E-B Partners are committed to work hard every day to earn the trust of our customers.”

The H-E-B Frisco store is located at 4800 Main Street in Frisco. The store will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Additional store highlights include:

  • Bakery featuring breads, cakes, and tortillas
  • Deli department with cheese and a charcuterie station
  • Sushiya offering handmade sushi selections made in-store daily and an Asian grill with rice bowls, teriyaki, and more
  • H-E-B Meal Simple with convenient meals prepared in store
  • Cooking Connection with live demonstrations and samplings of recipes to make at home
  • Produce, meat, floral, beer, frozen foods sections
  • Craft beer and wine with sampling station
  • Healthy Living department with bulk food items, sports nutrition products, and supplements
  • Backyard department, featuring plants, pottery, grills, and outdoor essentials
  • Beauty department with a wide selection of cosmetics and other beauty items
  • Pet department featuring Heritage Ranch by H-E-B pet food, where 1 percent of sales from the product line supports Texas animal shelters

Design
H-E-B designed the store to reflect the Frisco community, plus energy-efficient inclusions such as CO2 refrigeration units, LED lighting, native landscaping and an outdoor community space.

Art installations from local artists are featured throughout a two-acre greenspace next to the store including a mosaic bench from Wanda Montemayor, which used tiles decorated by H-E-B Partners, art teachers, firefighters, area kids, and other locals; fruit sculptures from Luke Sides; and interactive sculptures from Robertus van der Wege, who created two metal structures, a large cargo bike and shopping cart.

It's also Insta-friendly: There's an installation of the FRISCO letters where people can stand in as the letter “I”.

Photo courtesy of Sabal

New swimwear is a perfect fit in this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas designer launches uplifting swimwear for women with itty bitty fit issue. Highland Park native and TCU grad Hartley Lynn launched SABAL, a new brand of swimwear for women with smaller chests, on August 22. Designed for AA to C cups, SABAL swimsuits are specially designed to retain their shape and feel in and out of the water. The line currently includes two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.

2. Kroger reboots in Frisco just in time for great supermarket battle of 2022. The supermarket throwdown is on in Frisco, and Kroger is readying for battle. The grocery store chain just celebrated the reopening its store at 3205 Main St. The renovation was completed in the nick of time to preempt the earth-shattering imminent arrival of H-E-B, which will open on September 21.

3. New restaurant with affordable Japanese-style comfort food warms up Plano. A new Japanese restaurant has come to Plano with a unique and authentic approach to dining. Called Tokyo Shokudo, its goal is to offer the Japanese "Teishoku" experience, said to be reminiscent of everyday dining in Tokyo. It officially opened at 4709 Parker Rd. #450 on September 15.

4. Fashionistas live la dolce vita at Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas events. Known as the unofficial opener of fall gala season in Dallas, Crystal Charity Ball's Ten Best Dressed Women of Dallas event has become so popular that this year it was done in shifts. The traditional morning gathering at Neiman Marcus NorthPark Center was followed by an evening assembly, both of which began with a Champagne and Aperol spritz reception and finished with a daring fashion show from Dolce & Gabbana.

5. Audacious over-the-top brunch spot from the Northeast debuts in Dallas. A New England-based brunch restaurant with some crazy, over-the-top food and drink is headed for Dallas: Called The Place 2 Be, it's a small chain from Connecticut opening its first location outside of the Northeast in Dallas' Victory Park, at 2401 Victory Park Ln., the space that used to be Dibs on Victory.

SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.

Photo courtesy of Sabal
SABAL currently consists of two bikini top styles and two bottom piece styles, plus one style of one-pieces.
Courtesy photo

Kroger reboots in Frisco just in time for great supermarket battle of 2022

Supermarket News

The supermarket throwdown is on in Frisco, and Kroger is readying for battle. The grocery store chain just celebrated the re-opening its store at 3205 Main St. on September 9 with pomp and circumstance, including a performance by the Wakeland High School Marching Band, samples, gift card giveaways, and a $1,000 check to the WHS Band Boosters Association.

The location underwent major renovations with an emphasis on the unique needs of the community in mind. Take that, H-E-B.

Store upgrades include a new Murray's Cheese counter, Kroger's specialty cheese store-within-a-store, featuring fine cheese and charcuterie. Murray's began as a store in New York selling butter and eggs, before evolving into a fancy cheese shop, with whom Kroger forged a partnership in 2008. Kroger eventually acquired Murray's Cheese in 2017.

Other renovations include:

  • Upgrades to fresh departments, including produce, deli, bakery, and meat/seafood
  • New cold cases
  • Improvements to the front of the store for more convenient checkout
  • New signage and décor aesthetics
  • Flooring upgrades

They're also upgrading their wine selection and installing a climate-controlled case to feature the most elegant bottles.

The renovation was completed in the nick of time to preempt the earth-shattering imminent arrival of H-E-B, which will open on September 21.

The H-E-B store is located just a mile east at 4800 Main St., at Legacy Drive; the Kroger is at 3205 Main St., at the corner of Teel Parkway. It's a good thing Kroger's renovation included floor upgrades; while all supermarkets across DFW will feel the H-E-B quake, this store is likely to feel it most profoundly.

If you are a grocery shopper in Frisco, you are at ground zero right now.

Kroger has been diligent on opening stores in Dallas' inner city neighborhoods and was also the entity that pretty much single-handedly turned Dallas from dry to wet, funding an initiative that resulted in all supermarkets being allowed to sell beer and wine.

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Elegant new coffee shop from Dallas influencer blooms in Garland

Coffee News

There's a cool new coffee shop in Garland, opened by a Dallas influencer and her family. Called Bloom Café, it's in a small center just north of George Bush Turnpike, at 1815 Campbell Rd., where it's doing coffees, breakfast goods, and desserts.

Bloom is owned and operated by Saria Almaktabi, famous for her Dallas Food Wanderer Instagram page, and her entire family.

A UTD graduate who now works in healthcare management, she and her family have lived in the area for more than 20 years, which is how she knew it was missing a boutique coffee shop.

"I was hoping that somebody would open something different beyond a chain coffee shop, it was always on my mind," she says. "It ended up being us."

They serve coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and have a selection of innovative signature drinks that include:

  • Bloom Latte: rose, vanilla, espresso, milk
  • Dreamy Latte: vanilla, espresso, milk, cream, and caramel drizzle
  • Judy Moody Latte: toffee crunch, caramel, espresso milk
  • Pistachio Latte: Pistachio, espresso, milk

They rotate in seasonal drinks such as peppermint hot chocolate and pumpkin latte. Almond and oat milk are available as alternative options for an extra charge.

They also offer baked goods including croissants, muffins, pumpkin bread, chocolate-chip cookies, cranberry & blueberry scones, Danishes, and cake pops from New York Bagel and Bakery, also family-owned.

Eventually, they'll expand the menu, adding specialty teas and chai, plus gluten-free and savory food items.

Everybody in Saria’s family is involved. Her dad and brother worked on the site construction, and her siblings are baristas. Her mom and sister worked on menu and design alongside Saria.

The atmosphere is warm, elegant, open, and airy. Colors are bright and luxurious, a mix of rose, gold, and black. Tables have marble tops. The cups, done in a tasteful black, have inspirational quotes.

Beyond meeting the coffee needs of their neighborhood, they hope to cater to the Arab and Muslim community in North Garland, with late-night hours during Ramadan, for example.

"We're getting requests to use the space for women groups, and I'm also thinking about hosting monthly events and pop-ups," Saria says. She wants to bring events that are typically found in Dallas right to her shop.

"The drive can be too long to Dallas. I want to bring the same experiences to Garland," she says.

Dallas-Fort Worth jingles all the way to a top spot on new list of most festive U.S. places

Holiday Best

As Dallas-Fort Worth residents start to decorate their homes and view spectacular Christmas lights all around town, we might take for granted that our Yuletide cheer is one of the best in the country. In fact, one recent study names DFW the No. 2 most festive metro area in the U.S.

Is it any wonder, with blockbuster holiday displays and experiences like Lightscape, Enchant, Prairie Lights, and all the happenings in Grapevine, "the Christmas capital of Texas?" Even Hallmark Channel chose DFW as one of eight cities for its "Countdown to Christmas" pop-up.

This survey, though, was about homes and neighborhoods. Thumbtack, an app helping millions of homeowners care for their homes, compiled data from millions of home projects across all 50 states to reveal their list of the Most Festive Cities in the U.S.

The company used data from consumer requests on their platform between January 2022 to November 2022 for holiday lighting installations and removals. Basing their rankings on the relative frequency of such requests adjusted for the population of state and metropolitan areas, four Texas cities made the list, with three in the top five.

Austin was deemed most festive city of all.

The most festive cities in the U.S. based on Thumbtack’s findings are:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Phoenix, Arizona
  7. Atlanta, Georgia
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Kansas City, Missouri
  10. San Antonio, Texas

According to the release, the average cost to hire a holiday lighting pro is $168-$300 and wrapping outdoor trees with holiday lights can cost $60-plus, depending on the type, shape, and height of the tree.

So, when should you book your holiday lights installation? The second to last week of November (21-27) is the most popular time of year. (Oops, better get on that.)

“Christmas light installers book very quickly once the holiday season is in gear, so plan to call and schedule your installation as early as possible,” states David Steckel, home expert at Thumbtack, in a release.

To read more about the most festive U.S. cities and a list of tips and tricks to save money on home holiday decorations this year, check out the full report at Thumbtack.

JSX launches new flights from Dallas to Cabo in time for a Feliz Navidad on the beach

Viva Mexico

Dreaming of a warm Christmas on the beach? Open the closet and dig out the bikini: JSX, the Dallas-based hop-on jet service, is introducing new flights to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and holiday cocktails in cabanas are waiting.

Nonstop international flights from Dallas to Cabo will launch Friday, December 16, with fares starting from $599 one-way. While these are considered seasonal flights, there's no end date and they're expected to run through spring, the company says.

Details are:

  • Flights between Dallas (DAL) and Cabo San Lucas (CSL) will begin Friday, December 16, 2022, and will operate Monday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Introductory fares start at $599 one-way and include at least two checked bags (weight/size restrictions apply), complimentary onboard cocktails, and business-class legroom.
  • Customers may check in just 40 minutes before their flight from JSX’s private terminal located at 8555 Lemmon Ave., Dallas. (Note that check-in for JSX domestic flights is 20 minutes prior, but 40 minutes for international flights.)
  • Arrive at and return from Cabo San Lucas Airport (CSL), Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico at a private terminal, free of crowds and lines.

The new route comes after a successful test-run of pop-up flights to Los Cabos in spring 2021.

"We are steadfast in our commitment to easing access to vacation-worthy destinations by offering the most convenient and hassle-free travel possible,” says JSX CEO Alex Wilcox in a release. “We are thrilled to now offer a seasonal international flight service that provides an opportunity for Customers to enjoy the warm sandy beaches of Mexico this holiday season and skip long lines, unfriendly airports, and packed planes.”

JSX continues to tout its "no crowds, no lines, and no fuss" travel experience that made them especially popular during the pandemic. Dallas travelers fly out of a private terminal at Love Field and can arrive less than an hour before "hopping on" their flight. Passengers have access to valet parking, touchless check-in, Wi-Fi lounges, and speedy baggage retrieval.

The 30-seat planes will beam up to SpaceX's Starlink Wifi soon, they say, and there's a pet-friendly policy that allows small dogs and cats to fly for free.

A new partnership with United Airlines also now allows JSX travelers the opportunity to book directly through United and earn coveted United MileagePlus miles. According to a November 29 release, customers may now:

  • Book most JSX public charter seats directly on United.com via a special sales channel.
  • Earn MileagePlus miles when flying on JSX public charter flights purchased via JSX or United.

To receive mileage credit, travelers should present their MileagePlus number when they make reservations. Read more about the benefits, terms, and procedures here.

“This new partnership with United Airlines allows our Customers the opportunity to reap the rewards of flying JSX public charters with one of the most respected airlines in the world,” says Wilcox.

Founded in 2016, JSX relocated its headquarters from Irvine, California to Dallas in 2018. JSX debuted service from Love Field in June 2020, with introductory flights to Las Vegas and North Carolina, then added service to Houston and Austin, the West Texas golf resort Lajitas, Las Vegas, and special routes to Los Cabos, Mexico, Miami, and Destin, Florida.

New daily nonstop flights from Dallas to Orlando, Florida will begin December 15, and new nonstop winter-seasonal service from Dallas to Rifle/Aspen, Colorado will start December 16.

The new Cabo San Lucas flight is JSX's only regular international flight service from Dallas Love Field currently.

Customers can book tickets online at www.jsx.com, via its mobile app, or by calling 800-435-9579.