By Anthony Garcia |

Recently, I flew back to Texas for a visit while I interned with Baylor’s communication program in New York City. I left with one suitcase but came back with two. The second was mostly filled with smuggled goods from H-E-B, something not even heard of in the Big Apple.

From Frank Sinatra to Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, artists literally sing praises about the city that is New York. Filled with diversity, opportunity and culture, this concrete jungle measured up to expectations the semester I lived there. However, there’s one hole in my heart that cannot be filled—H-E-B.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Anthony, what about your family and friends?” Well, I do miss them, but I can’t FaceTime H-E-B or fly my own personal store up for a visit. It isn’t until you’re out of Texas that you realize how spoiled we are to have such an efficient and well-stocked grocery store nearly everywhere we go. Safeway, Kroger’s, Food Lion, Publix—none of those regional chains compare.

The folks at H-E-B have mastered their craft. The store understands its customers and caters specifically to their needs. Most people I know prefer H-E-B brand products over the name brand. Stores often boast a huge selection of organic options, a fresh deli, good produce and sometimes even delicious aguas frescas at the entrance. H-E-B lives up to their slogan, “No store does more.”

As a public relations major, I can’t help but analyze H-E-B’s marketing strategy. The company has shaped itself as a store by Texans and for Texans. I mean, let’s just talk about their commercials…

This one features a few San Antonio Spurs players. LOS SPURS PEOPLE.

Don’t get me started about their “CarneSazo” campaign. This campaign is aimed at the large Mexican market H-E-B serves. I could tell you as soon as they got Tejano star Michael Salgado on board it was going to be a success. It’s as if a camera crew invaded my family’s backyard on a Saturday night.

I miss H-E-B Borracho Beans with a hint of Shiner Bock. I miss H-E-B’s Café Ole Taste of San Antonio coffee. I miss H-E-B Ready-to-Brew iced tea. I miss H-E-B flour tortilla mix. Not to mention the endless “made in Texas” or “sourced in Texas” products. The list can go on.

You can imagine how happy I was to stock up on all those things and bring them back with me. Every morning, I enjoy my cup of Taste of San Antonio coffee. I think I’ll be able to handle staying in New York just as long as Mom keeps sending H-E-B care packages.

God bless Texas. God bless H-E-B.