H-E-B: Here Everything’s Better

September 27, 2020

“Here, Everything’s Better,” might be a catchy slogan, but it really stands for Howard Edward Butt. But, it wasn’t Butt who founded H-E-B, it was his mother, Florence.

H-E-B’s 315 U.S. Store Locations

On November 26, 1905, Florence Butt opened the Mrs. C. C. Butt’s Staple and Fancy Grocery on the ground floor of her family home in Kerrville, Texas.

In 1919, Florence’s youngest son, Howard Edward Butt, returned from World War I and took over the store.

After four failed expansions, Howard finally launched a second successful store in Del Rio, Texas in 1927. His next venture was to purchase three grocery stores in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. By 1942, he had expanded chain statewide.

The initials of Howard E. Butt — H-E-B,
became the name of his second

and all subsequent stores.

H-E-B Plus! stores offer electronics, lawn and garden equipment, baby supplies and household products. 

Charles Butt, Howard’s younger son, became president of
H-E-B in 1971. As chairman and CEO of H-E-B, Charles grew the business from annual sales of $250 million in 1971 to $13 billion in 2006.

In 2006, H-E-B introduced Mi Tienda, a brand targeted at a Hispanic market. The Mi Tienda stores are designed as Mexican village markets, and offer products such as pan dulce, pupusas, and piñatas.

In 2010 H-E-B opened Joe V’s Smart Shop, a budget-minded store similar to Aldi and Save-a-Lot.

In 2010, Craig Boyan was named H-E-B’s President and COO, and in 2018, Martin Otto, the former CFO and Chief Merchant became the COO.

In 2016, with a plan to have 15 percent of its company employee-owned, H-E-B began granting stock to its employees. Today, H-E-B employs over 100,000 workers.

Everything’s bigger in Texas!
H-E-B is the largest privately held company and largest private employer in Texas. 

H-E-B also operates four different H-E-B takeout restaurants, offering everything from boiled crawfish and tacos to
pizza and rotisserie chicken.

In 2019, H-E-B began replacing cashier stations with self-checkout kiosks or smartphone apps, all at a cost of millions.

H-E-B, 115 years in business and
still family-owned-and-operated.

H-E-B also owns and operates the exclusive Central Market, which offers a European bakery and an international deli.

H-E-B operates 50 stores in Mexico and
crossed the $1 billion mark in 2012.

H-E-B has its own in-store, full-service restaurants.
Currently, there are four H-E-B restaurants that serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch and are licensed to pour wine and beer. Some of the restaurants also offer live entertainment.

H-E-B full-service restaurant

H-E-B also operates its own culinary academy in San Antonio. The cooking school is used to train H-E-B staff who work the sampling stations and prepared food departments as well as its in-store restaurants.

H-E-B gives five percent of annual pretax earnings to local education and food banks.

In 2019 Charles Butt was named a top CEO in Glassdoor’s Top CEO list for 2019, ranking second out of 100 chief executives from across the nation. (Glassdoor, is one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites.)

And, that’s the story on H-E-B.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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