Green's Grocery Fills with Curious Customers After Grand Opening


A new San Angelo start-up opened up this week, attracting shoppers and diners interested in perusing the shelves of Green’s Grocery, which has been under construction and labeled “Coming Soon” for almost a year now.

Contemplation and rumors as to what would stock the shelves has circulated among the curious, many deducing the market would be a health food store while others simply wondered when the doors would open.

On Monday at roughly 1 p.m., the Green’s Grocery staff quietly removed the barricades from the front of the store and opened the doors to the public. The grand opening had not been publicized, but despite the lack of promotion, the store quickly filled.

“We didn’t make any Facebook announcements, we didn’t do anything, we just took the barricades down,” said Assistant Director Mary Beam Thursday. “As soon as we took the barricades down, people just started coming in. It was very nice. We were very excited with the turnout…we had a ton of people in here.”

With a “hot-to-go” dining area, a café, fresh produce and the basics, the store centers on a fresh and local concept that offers a little bit of everything without the big-box hassle.

“The concept is that we’re a fresh local company to come to,” Beam said. “A lot of people thought that we were—and we’re still getting comments—that we’re a health food store. We are not a health food store; we are a grocery store that does carry healthy options. We have organic options, we have local options, but what we want to focus on is fresh.”

The store was abuzz with diners and shoppers on Thursday, many navigating the store without carts and just seeking to get an impression of the products.

Two Thursday visitors, Gail Moore and friend Joy, had come to see what was offered and were impressed with what they found.

“We’re excited about it,” Moore said. “It reminds us of a Neighborhood Market and we’re excited about the meat and the produce, especially. The rest of it, we were just saying, it has enough of the essentials of what you need to stop in and pick up.”

Beam explained that what she and the owners are aiming to create is a market that people can visit daily, without spending hours shopping and searching and waiting in line.

“A lot of what happens is you go to big box grocery stores and you stand in line or you buy what you need for a week and then life happens and you end up throwing it all away,” Beam said. “Well, we want you to feel good about coming here every day, whether it’s to buy groceries for what you need or stuff that we’ve made for you.”

Although the entrepreneurs behind Green’s are putting emphasis on locally- and Texas-grown produce, the timing of the opening coincides with the effective end of growing season, Beam said, so at the moment the only locally-grown produce on the shelves are jalepeños grown here in San Angelo. There is a special section, however dedicated to Texas-grown produce.

Products are purchased all over, but encourage local growers to bring in their wares for sale in the store. Currently, we’re in the end of the growing season, Beam said, so the only thing currently available from local growers is  but the store has a section dedicated to Texas-grown produce.

“I had a gentleman that came up to me just yesterday who grows figs and pecans and so we’re the process of talk and negotiation,” she said. “It’s a good thing.”

Feedback on the store has been all-positive at this point, Beam said, but the staff is still working on the line of products.  

“We’re listening to what San Angelo wants right now,” she said. “We’re listening to people. People are coming up to us every day to bring suggestions of items they’d like to see; we’re definitely taking notes and if we can get it, we’ll get it in here.”

Most of the requested products include specific brands or items from those brands, as well as other items like ghost peppers. Beam said Green’s wouldn’t be able to carry them all, but they are hoping to be able to carry as much as possible of the popular items. 

One of the store’s biggest attractions so far has been the “hot-to-go” area run by chef Tom Granger, who plans a new menu every day including two entrees and four sides. On Thursday, corned beef and cabbage and lasagna was served to guests in the packed dining area to the left of the main entrance.

Granger is the creative genius behind the menu items prepared in store and has experience in several local restaurants, including as the owner of the Mesquite Bean. Utilizing items from the store shelves, the entrees are served from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with both eat-in and take-home options.

“We have no secret sauce,” Beam said. “The menu is posted on the website daily along with the recipes so those who want to recreate dishes can do so.

“It’s fun for me,” she continued. “I have a family of three kids. When I get off work sometimes I don’t want to cook, but for me and for plenty of other people, I can grab food and [take] it home and no one ever knows that I didn’t even make it. I enjoy that. It’s not loaded with preservatives, it’s a home-cooked meal that I can take to my family.”

Beam estimated that roughly 40-45 percent of the food items sold at Green’s Grocery are organic, while the others are not. She said the store purchases from a variety of entities throughout the state, basing their judgment on freshness and quality.

Responding to a comment that some of the products are a bit higher priced than those in the city’s big box stores, Beam explained the status of the store and the shopping experience.

“We’re a single entity,” she said. “We don’t really have the buying power that big box grocery stores have. Also, when you’re coming here, you’re buying an experience. You’re coming here you should be getting great customer service, you should be getting people that want to help you, serve you, and you should be able to get in and get out. You’re not going to see that at a lot of other places that are around here.”

Green’s Grocery is located at 4240 Southwest Blvd. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and also hosts free weekly events, such as Thursday evening’s wine and cheese tasting and pairing.

For more information, visit the Green’s Grocery website

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