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Community-based independent Rice Epicurean Markets’ unveiled its remodeled store in the West University neighborhood of Houston, which was designed specifically for its upscale, urban neighborhood.
"We want to awaken the senses from the moment you walk in to the store, and provide an enticing welcome that prepares you for a fabulous shopping experience," said Bruce Levy, one of the store's owners.
The store features a robust variety of fresh produce, along with a distinctive architectural design – by Hermes Architects – that includes an array of boutique style permanent displays of unique products throughout the store. New in the deli are The Carvery, which offers ready to eat meals and gourmet sandwiches, a $5 Buck Cluck Hot Rotisserie Chicken case providing delicious all-natural chickens in a variety of flavors, and a special Smoked Salmon program bringing NY deli style, fresh sliced salmon back to Houston.
The store also has an expanded floral department, a See's Candy boutique, which offers counter service and a wide assortment of pre-packed products, and the new Stonewall Kitchen boutique that pulls together a line of delicious and award winning products that includes marinades, all-natural preserves, and dips. The bakery department features fresh baked breads, treats, and its famous Killer Brownies in a variety of flavors. The expanded meat department employs a full-time staff of butchers.
The store’s exterior was also updated, with U.S. Builders serving as the general contractor for the renovation. "With this new store concept, we wanted to provide a dynamic shopping experience that works for both the residential customers from West U, Braes Heights, and other surrounding neighborhoods, while also providing relevant services for the people that work next door at Kelsey Seybold and in the nearby Medical Center," said Gary Friedlander, president of Rice Epicurean Markets.
Also prominent in the remodel are the display of treasured family photographs, and a pictorial history of the chain's 73-year presence in the Houston market. The huge black and white photos, posted around the store's interior, offer a nod to the chains storied past in the city, with a primary focus on the original Rice Blvd. Food Markets Village location and early advertising campaigns.
Family-owned Rice Epicurean Markets operates five stores in Houston.