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Thursday, November 16, 2006 

When in Austin....

Stop, oogle and shop at the Central Market....a top destination for foodies everywhere. Of course, they're so popular, they've spread out to other parts of Texas, but Austin has always held a special spot in our heart. Our talented and handsome friend, Jeff, is a transplanted New Mexican schooled up and living and lawyering Austin style.

You can always keep "a breast" (turkey or otherwise) of the goings on with their fun and fanciful email newsletter, "Central Market Foodie".

And, boy...what a foodie mecca it was...and is.

The original store opened in 1994 on North Lamar in Austin, Texas, two years after its current competitor Whole Foods went public. A cult-like following began immediately after the store opened. Many Texas foodies were attracted to the store's offerings and were willing to travel from other cities just to shop in the store. Beyond supplying hard-to-find products, Central Market's highly trained staff are knowledgeable about all things Epicurean.

It was not long before H.E. Butt Grocery Company expanded the chain to San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. The chain's second store opened in 1997 in a converted H-E-B on Broadway in the San Antonio area (in the Alamo Heights city limits). Two years later, a third store was opened on South Lamar in Austin. Fort Worth and Houston were introduced to the chain for the first time in 2001, with stores on West Freeway and Westheimer, respectively. Central Market's sixth and seventh stores opened in 2002 in Dallas and Plano on East Lovers Lane and Coit, respectively. Continuing its Dallas-area expansion, plans are underway for an eighth store to open at The Shops of Southlake on December 6, 2006.

According to a 2000 article in the Houston Business Journal [1]... "The two Central Market stores in Austin have become a tourist attraction of sorts, drawing in more than 1.5 million visitors a year, second only to the state Capitol in terms of Austin tourist attractions." - Wikipedia.

Fantastic place. Absolute Heaven. When I was in Austin I would go there just to hang out and walk the aisles, just drinking in the abundant life. I want to go there now dagnabbit.

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