HEB connects Waco community

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

Coming to college, there are plenty of things we need to adjust to, not only in the classroom, but especially the rigors of living independently. While it may seem small, HEB does more to help the Baylor student assimilate to life on their own more than any business in the area.

Unless you come from central or southern Texas, HEB was probably not the grocery store chain you grew up with. With Baylor’s diverse student population hailing from all corners of the United States, students come in from Kroger, Piggly Wiggly, Stop and Shop or Trader Joe’s households and are first exposed to HEB when they arrive in Waco. In every way possible, HEB delivers on making people feel like they are at home even after they leave home for the first time.

Like Baylor’s student population, HEB’s offerings are diverse. From Extra Toasty Cheez-Its to a bulk food section, HEB has just about every major food brand you can think of. If it is a major brand available at your hometown grocer, you can almost certainly find it at HEB, too. There are also a hefty amount of HEB brand products at discount prices that are often better than the brand-name product. There is also no shortage of foods and ingredients for patrons with allergies as HEB fills its massive storefronts to the brim with every option you can think of.

HEB not only can accommodate everyone with its selection of products but also the different services it offers. HEB stores offer a curbside pickup in which customers can order all their groceries online and have them bagged and ready for them to pick up at their convenience, saving them the time in the store and in line. This could be crucial for the student who is always in a hurry, the mother trying to get home at the end of a long day or the elderly person who struggles to get around the store on their own. Even if you cannot make it to the store to pick up your groceries, HEB provides a delivery service that will bring your groceries right to your door the same day, sometimes in as little as four hours. For the student who does not have their own car on campus, HEB allows for them to still cook at home and eat healthy without worrying about getting to the grocery store to do their own shopping.

When you do go to HEB, though, it seldom offers a bad experience. For the store on Valley Mills, easily the most accessible for most students, there is nary a time when the parking lot is full. There is always ample parking and the added benefit of having a gas station right in the parking lot, where you can earn points on your HEB card. It is tough to go through your weekly shopping without running into a fellow student or friend in the aisles. What can sometimes be a stressful experience, food shopping can become all the more warm when you see a familiar face, which is so often the case at your local HEB.

The HEB stores not just on Valley Mills but also in Bellmead offer a meeting place for locals and students to mesh. This allows for people of all ages, ethnicities, classes and backgrounds to blend and build a sense of community even when Baylor can feel so disconnected with the rest of Waco.

Whether you need food, gas or a warm smile and greeting, HEB will have you covered. You may not think it, but HEB may be the place that makes you feel the most welcome and could be the biggest link between Baylor and the Waco community.