Central Market’s New Features Include Bean-To-Bar Chocolate And Much More

Central Market grocery store celebrated its relaunch on Wednesday, May 17 following a 51-week renovation to add 10,000 square feet and several new in-store features. It’s the first renovation since it opened in 2001. In addition to an expanded fresh produce department, the store introduces several unique goods and services new not only to Central Market, but to parent company H-E-B as well.

One of the innovative features is the in-house “bean to bar” chocolate kitchen, which allows customers to watch as staff crafts single-origin cocoa beans from five different countries into bars. Customers can try before they buy, as samples are available.

Central Market olive oil tasting station
Remodeled Central Market features an olive oil tasting station to help consumers find their favorites Photo courtesy of Central Market

In another nod to customer education and fine food exploration, the store features an olive oil “tasting bar”. After trying oils that represent a variety of flavor profiles, staff can direct buyers to the right one for their needs based on taste and price.

Attention to quality and variety also applies to the new coffee, tea and smoothie bar, which aims to please serious coffee drinkers and compete with the city’s best specialty shops. Single-origin, coffee produced in small batches is roasted in-house. Customers can opt for pour-over coffee or nitro cold brew in addition to expertly made espresso drinks. The efficient layout means coffee drinkers won’t need to wait in the same line as those buying made-to-order smoothies.

High windows overhead make checking out at Central Market a much brighter process. Photo courtesy of Central Market

Finally, an exciting development for fine wine buyers and collectors comes in the form of a new premium wine wall, which includes 185 specially sourced bottles not available anywhere else in Texas. The collection of hard-to-find wines is sourced from many different regions—many rating 98 and above—and at prices to suit almost any budget.

The renovation finished just in time for Taste of the South, a two-week long event celebrating southern products and dishes. More information on the relaunch and the event can be found on the store’s website.

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