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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Best of Aggieland: Here, everything really is better

The+H-E-B+located+at+the+intersection+of+Wellborn+Road+and+Harvey+Mitchell+Parkway+is+the+first-ever+winner+for+the+Best+Grocery+Store+in+the+%26%238216%3BBest+of+Aggieland%26%238217%3B+magazine.
Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

The H-E-B located at the intersection of Wellborn Road and Harvey Mitchell Parkway is the first-ever winner for the Best Grocery Store in the ‘Best of Aggieland’ magazine.

Despite newcomer Brookshire Brothers joining Texas A&M’s campus in April of 2021, Aggies still prefer Texas staple H-E-B.
The votes are in, and the Jones Crossing H-E-B has been chosen as the best grocery store in Aggieland. The store, located off Wellborn Road, is open from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Managers, employees and customers alike are drawn to its person-first customer service approach.
Francisco Hidalgo, Class of 2007 and general manager at the Jones Crossing H-E-B, said in an email to The Battalion that the store is successful because of its goals to serve the community.
“We are a purpose-driven company,” Hidalgo said. “We want to make every Texan’s life better. We do it through the products we sell, hunger relief, emergency response, health and welfare and public education.”
H-E-B is able to serve a myriad of customers and drive community outreach because of its employees, or partners, Hidalgo said.
“Our partners are our greatest competitive advantage,” Hidalgo said. “We invest in our partners, and they are the heart of everything we do.”
The partners at H-E-B couldn’t agree more, many of whom are current students at A&M. Human resources and sociology junior and H-E-B partner George Crump said his team works well because of the manager’s hands-on leadership style.
“The main store director, or store manager, is very vocal that he wants all of us to succeed,” Crump said. “He motivates us every day. He even works out there with us sometimes.”
The team at the Jones Crossing H-E-B operates effectively because of their personal bonds, both inside of the store and outside of the workplace, Crump said. This social aspect is an asset to the store’s day-to-day operations.
“We all know each other outside of work, and we do so much team building,” Crump said. “Team bonding, like anything, is essential because you’re building up your traits and characteristics … such as leadership skills, communication skills, mostly your everyday type of skills that you need to inherit … while you’re working your way up toward your career.”
Building relationships at H-E-B extends beyond the trust he has with coworkers, Crump said.
“I like being a cashier, being up front or welcoming people,” Crump said. “I have time to get to know customers, know the people who could potentially work at H-E-B. I call everybody family for a reason, and I use that characteristic at work, too, for a reason.”
Customers can feel the passion H-E-B partners pour into their store. Geography junior Jared Collinge said he’s always had good customer service.
“My main experience with employees is speaking to cashiers, and they’re professional,” Collinge said.
The main draw of the Jones Crossing H-E-B is the convenience factor, due to location and wide availability of products, Collinge said.
“It’s really easy to just pull in there and leave,” Collinge said. “It’s really convenient to go there for gas — they usually have good rates — and then just stop by for groceries. It’s my one-two punch.”
H-E-B was able to still effectively serve its customers and provide convenient service during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic because of good preparation, Hidalgo said.
“The most obvious adjustment was having a plan for a pandemic long before it started,” Hidalgo said. “Our company had the foresight to prepare for the unthinkable.”
Those preparations proved to be a significant help as Collinge said he relied heavily on H-E-B’s alternative services during lockdown.
“I had to rely on H-E-B delivery, and that became really affordable and my go-to option when the pandemic hit,” Collinge said. “Everyone was really cautious about the virus, especially back then, so it provided the best way for me to get healthy food.”
Although the delivery services H-E-B provided were helpful, Collinge said he still preferred shopping for groceries in the store.
“I like retail environments, I guess,” Collinge said. “Especially during the pandemic when I wasn’t doing much, it would be fun to go outside [and] have a purpose to go do something.”
The partners at H-E-B also love working face-to-face with their customers; Crump said he enjoys his role because of the people he meets.
“It doesn’t feel like work because every time I’m there, I’ll be learning something,” Crump said. “I’m always having a great time, interacting with customers and getting to understand individuals besides myself.”
Perhaps most significantly, the Jones Crossing H-E-B serves Aggieland as well as it does because it’s run by Aggies. Hidalgo said being a former student influenced his decision to come back to College Station and help other Aggies climb the chain at H-E-B.
“[We have] set up a lot of processes to help my fellow Aggies succeed in getting a job with H-E-B,” Hidalgo said. “[Being an Aggie] has impacted me greatly. It’s one of the reasons why I came back to Aggieland.”

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  • The H-E-B located at the intersection of Wellborn Road and Harvey Mitchell Parkway is the first-ever winner for the Best Grocery Store in the ‘Best of Aggieland’ magazine.

    Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

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