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Texans are raving about H-E-B as the beloved grocery chain provides food and comfort amid a nightmarish storm

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6 days ago (Mary Meisenzahl)
a group of people in a park: People waiting outside H-E-B in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider People waiting outside H-E-B in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images
  • Texans are showing love for grocery chain H-E-B on social media.
  • Winter storms left millions without power and water; H-E-B is known for disaster preparedness.
  • The chain has long been beloved in Texas and referred to as the state's "moral center."
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Severe winter storms devastated parts of Texas last week, leaving millions without power and drinking water in dangerously cold temperatures. Now, Texans are turning to the familiar for comfort and help in a time of crisis: H-E-B.

Fans of the San Antonio-based grocery chain, which has dozens of locations largely concentrated in Texas, turned to social media to express gratitude for the store and talk about it being a staple in tough times.

The chain has long been beloved in Texas. People buy shirts that say "H-E-B for President" and call it the "moral center of Texas," according to the New York Times. It's also considered a "model of emergency preparedness" in retail, and by March last year it was already rolling out pieces of a pandemic response plan first developed a decade earlier.

When the power went out in one Austin-area H-E-B, store employees reportedly let customers get groceries and leave without paying. A video of the incident was posted on Instagram.

"Watching that video made me teary," Texas resident Katie Thurman told Insider in an email. "It was in the midst of the storm and so reassuring to see that H-E-B was already working to get Texas food and water when our elected officials where giving platitudes instead of plans.  Many people have kind of jokingly said they wish H-E-B ran our government!"

a person standing in front of a store: H-E-B in Corpus Christi, Texas. Reuters © Reuters H-E-B in Corpus Christi, Texas. Reuters

"HEB is so committed to making sure Texans stay safe during tough times like these. They helped organized safe, socially distanced lines for people to quickly shop and get their essentials during this huge storm, making sure they had as much stock as possible," Hannah Jacobs, another Texas resident, told Insider. 

"Acts of kindness like that make a huge difference in people's lives, shows true HEB values, and makes me want to keep supporting them in return. I definitely try to shop there as much as I can."

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