A gourmet supermarket chain originating in Austin
and owned by H.E.B. supermarkets of San Antonio
. All 7 locations are in Texas.
Locations exist in the four major metropolitan regions of the state—Dallas
, Austin, and San Antonio. The number of locations in each of the metro areas is 4, 1, 1, and 1 respectively. This is ironic, as H.E.B. does not have and never has had any of their regular supermarket locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area while having a large presence in the other three regions. However, this may be due to the very competitive nature of Dallas/Fort Worth's grocery business environment.
The Central Market concept has been very successful and well-received since its inception. One is hard-pressed to find an equivalent in other U.S. states in terms of store size, gourmet/world product selection, price competitiveness, and customer traffic. The store is viewed by both the company and its customers as a destination supermarket, much like IKEA
is viewed as a destination furniture store or The Home Depot's EXPO Design Center is viewed as a destination home interiors store.
All Central Market locations feature "Cafe on the Run," a fast-gourmet eatery catering to both shoppers and non-shoppers alike. Special events also occur at the markets weekly or monthly. Some locations have live music, an upstairs lounge, and other amenities.
I went to Central Market yesterday to pick up some Fenilla olives and garbonzola cheese.