Checkout lane: Discount grocer Aldi plans an Oct. 24 opening of its Kemah store, 222 FM 518. To celebrate the opening, Aldi plans an 8:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting Oct. 22.
The ribbon-cutting is open to the public, of which members can sample exclusive Aldi brands and tour the new store.
No-frills Aldi sells only about 1,400 of the fastest-moving products, mostly under its private label and for prices 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets. Aldi credits efficiency for low pricing.
The grocer eliminates overhead cost by such practices as a cart rental system through which shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return.
Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint, open carton displays and encouraging customers to bring their own bags.
Aldi also lowers costs by keeping stores open during prime shopping times. The Kemah store will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Altogether, Germany-based Aldi plans to open 30 Houston-area stores in the next three years The chain operates 1,200 U.S. stores.
Chew on this: Two popular food concepts are biting into the bay area. First, fast-casual restaurant chain Zoës Kitchen is planning an eatery in the Baybrook Village shopping center, 1507 W. Bay Area Blvd.
The Birmingham, Ala.-based chain serves up Mediterranean-inspired comfort foods using fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch recipes.
The concept offers fresh, gourmet sandwiches, salads, pitas, hot entrees and chicken or steak roll-ups. The Zoës Kitchen chain has grown to more than 70 restaurants in 12 states with plans for more expansion. No word on an opening date.
Seeing Red: Meanwhile, frozen yogurt and smoothie purveyor Red Mango also is planning to move into the Baybrook Village shopping center. Along with all-natural frozen yogurt and fruit smoothies, Dallas-based Red Mango is known for yogurt parfaits and probiotic iced teas.
Red Mango has more than 200 shops in North America. Opening date information wasn’t immediately available.
Center of attention: The 240,000-square-foot Baybrook Village shopping center, with a tenant roster that include Ross Dress For Less, PetSmart, Sports Authority and Jo-Ann Fabrics, has been generating quite the food buzz lately. In August, Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market said it had signed a lease at the shopping center.
The Fresh Market, which bills itself as a specialty grocery retailer, has 137 stores in 26 states
It’s known for bountiful produce, a full-service meat counter, gourmet and prepared foods and an in-store bakery.
The grocer is aiming for shoppers in Webster, Friendswood and League City, officials said.
This will mark The Fresh Market’s fifth Houston-area store. Houston specialty grocer Rice Epicurean in November announced it had entered into agreements to lease four of its Houston stores to The Fresh Market. Look for The Fresh Market to open its Webster store sometime next year.
Taco tattle: Rumor has it that popular chain Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is scouting for an island site. Officials with the Fort Worth chain, however, say there’s “no paperwork” on an island eatery and declined to confirm the spicy speculation.
Fuzzy’s started on Berry Street in Fort Worth before father and son restaurateurs Alan and Chuck Bush bought it in 2003. After revamping the original store, they commenced expanding.
Fuzzy’s tacos are laced with feta and a signature sauce. The Baja-style tacos have a cultlike following. The chain has since spread to 11 states with 60 stores. Stay tuned.
Original idea: For sandwich seller Schlotzsky’s, it all began 42 years ago with one menu item — The Original, an 8-inch freshly-baked sourdough bun stuffed with three meats, cheeses, lettuces, tomatoes, olives and dressing.
Schlotzsky’s, which launched in 1971 in a small shop on South Congress Avenue in Austin, is marking its 42nd year in business today by offering The Original for $1.99 — no coupon necessary. The offer, good for today, is available at all area Schlotzsky’s shops.
Just to be clear: An Oct. 1 Biz Buzz should have said that brewery complex at 33rd and Church streets was originally one of Adolphus Busch’s regional projects. Busch was never affiliated with The Falstaff Brewery, which later operated in the building. The former complex was built in 1895 at the intersections of 33rd and Church Streets for Galveston Brewing Co.
According to The Western Brewer, published May 15, 1897, Busch and William J. Lemp of St. Louis were major stockholders of the corporation that raised $400,000 to start the Galveston Brewing Co.
Although it changed hands several times, the brewery operated for more than 80 years, including as The Falstaff Brewery, according to the Galveston Historical Foundation.