The grand opening of Blue Star Provisions, a new grocery store in the Blue Star Arts Complex, is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 19, but the store has been quietly doing business since its soft opening in July.
Store manager Al Chavez said much of the store’s produce and meats come from South Texas. “We support local farms and ranches,” he said. “A lot of our products are locally crafted.”
Shelves are slowly filling up with product selections – and they are quickly depleted with frequent shoppers. Owners Joey and Maggie Villarreal, also own nearby Blue Star Brewing Company and Joe Blue’s bar. They aim to serve their customers by asking them to suggest products for purchase.
“Business is increasing. Right now, most of our customers come from the neighborhood,” Chavez said.
“We have a huge paper on the wall and we invite everyone to suggest the products and services they’d like to see,” Joey Villarreal said.
One woman stopped in for several containers of yogurt. “I am not a planner,” she said, “so I appreciate a place nearby that has the products I want.”
Parking was tight at the Blue Star Arts Complex on a Friday evening.
“One thing I’d like to see is a 15-minute parking space for the in-and-out customer,” she said. “I know it might not be easy to enforce, but I don’t want to search 15 minutes for a parking space for a 10-minute shopping trip.”
After voicing her suggestion, she wrote it on the wall. And Villarreal is listening.
“Our specialty is organic foods and local products but we want to appeal to our customers’ needs,” he said.
“Our family had Sanitary Tortillas for years,” Villarreal said, “so we’re proud to carry this product.”
Other products Villarreal is proud to carry are the brews from next door. “Customers can fill their growlers with a variety of (beer) from the Blue Star Brewing Company,” Villarreal said. “And we use spent grain from the brewery in our granola and smoothies.”
Cold-pressed juices are another in-house specialty item offered at this Southtown grocery store. “We make our juices daily so the shelf life will be good,” Villarreal said.
Customers can expect to pay a premium for convenience, with items priced similarly to other specialty grocers, including national chain Whole Foods and the neighborhood’s other small grocery, Uncommon Fare, located in the Cevallos Lofts.
Fowler Honey from La Vernia, River Whey Creamery dairy products from Schertz, CKC Farm Fresh Goat Cheese from Blanco, Mother Culture yogurt from New Braunfels, and Parker Creek Ranch chickens from D’Hanis are just some of the local and regional products available at Blue Star Provisions.
“We want to carry local products, but we also want to carry the brands people want,” Villarreal said. “Basically, our store appeals to anyone who eats.”
He said suppliers will give demonstrations of their product lines during the grand opening.
“Our plan is to grow as traffic increases,” Chavez said.
Find Blue Star Provisions at 1414 S. Alamo St. – old timers will remember the location where SAY Sí used to be before they moved to Probandt Street. Readers can keep up with the store via their Facebook and Instagram pages.
*Rivard Report freelancer Kay Richter contributed to this article.
Featured/Top Image: The Blue Star Provisions logo as you approach the store entrance. Photo by Scott Ball.