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H-E-B to open first Metroplex grocery store

Posted Monday, Sep. 20, 2010  comments  Print Reprints
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San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co., the well-regarded, family-owned supermarket chain that operates Central Market, has been playing coy with the Metroplex, a big but often cutthroat region for food retailers.

Now, "after years of planning," it will open an 88,000-square-foot H-E-B supermarket Friday at 165 NW John Jones Drive in Burleson.

"Located less than 15 miles from our store in Cleburne and 30 miles from our store in Waxahachie, the city of Burleson is a natural progression for the growth of our H-E-B stores in North Texas," said Jeff Thomas, a senior vice president who manages the chain's Central Texas region.

Much to the benefit of local consumers, Dallas-Fort Worth's hyper-competitive grocery market grew even stronger in the past year with the first steep-discount, limited-assortment Aldi stores. The German-owned chain ratcheted up price rivalry in the crowded market, which includes Kroger, Walmart, Safeway's Tom Thumb, Albertsons, Fiesta and Brookshire's, as well as numerous independent markets and Hispanic-themed chains.

Burleson's new H-E-B will have a seafood counter supplied by daily deliveries, freshly made sushi, a tortilleria, a cooking demonstration area, 400 varieties of cheese, 950 wines, a floral shop, a drive-through pharmacy, a gas station with carwash and a from-scratch bakery -- meaning it doesn't finish off partially baked loaves or use tubs of factory-mixed dough like some.

When the doors open at 6 a.m., the first 100 customers will get a free tote bag filled with store-brand items, the chain said.

15 years for tax fraud

Don't cross the IRS.

Tax preparer Herbert Jena got 15 years in prison Thursday and ordered to pay $485,100 in restitution for defrauding the Internal Revenue Service and obstructing justice, the U.S. attorney's office in Dallas said Friday.

Jena, 33, of Zimbabwe, operated Jackson Hubbert Tax Services -- not to be confused with Jackson Hewitt, although that might have been the point -- at Fort Worth's La Gran Plaza on West Seminary Drive and a similar business called Montford in Dallas.

For a while, the immigrant entrepreneur did well, raking in at least $500,000 for himself, the feds say. That was until he got caught.

And Jena didn't help himself by violating his pretrial arrangements. He has been detained since 2008.

The prosecutors alleged that Jena told employees to make up tax-credit claims and refunds that resulted in more than $2.7 million paid out by the IRS to 774 people. Co-defendants Aurora Perez and Nancy Munoz, both of Irving, pleaded guilty three years ago to a conspiracy charge and testified against Jena; they have not been sentenced.

Bilingual series

The Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday begins its fourth session of the Bilingual Business Development Series on how to start or expand a business.

The 10-week series is held Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1327 N. Main St.

The classes cover such topics as writing a business plan, financing a startup, dealing with employees, marketing and promotions. Instructors are specialists, with all classes offered in English and Spanish. Seating is limited.

For more information, call Frank Valtierra, the chamber's business development manager, at 817-625-5411.

Chase job fair

Chase Bank is having a job fair Thursday for 175 full-time positions in Fort Worth. The jobs are in mortgage lending and include processors, closers, underwriters and team managers, the bank said. The event is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 14320 Centre Station Drive in Fort Worth.

For more info, go to www.chase.com/careers.

Airport medallions

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is adding a little granite to its Founders' Plaza.

The airport dedicated six granite sidewalk medallions that commemorate local aviation history at the public observation park.

The plaza, at North Airfield Drive and Texan Trail, south of Texas 114 in Grapevine, is a popular plane-spotting location.

The etched medallions, 4 feet in diameter and made of black granite, were funded by: Suzanne and Jan Collmer; Mike Bowman Century 21; the D/FW Airport Ambassadors program; Nelson Spencer and Janet Shaw; Joe Denton; and the North Texas Commission.

The airport also is selling personalized bricks for the plaza's walkways at $125 each. More information can be found at www.dfwairport.com/founders.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

sabaker@star-telegram.com

Scott Nishimura,

817-390-7808

snishimura@star-telegram.com

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

barry@star-telegram.com

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165 NW John Jones Drive, Burleson, TX
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