Rice Epicurean Markets leaves Lantern Lane to make room for arrival of The Fresh Market
A 75-year-old family-owned business, the Rice Epicurean Markets concept was created in 1988 to serve the increasingly affluent trade areas in which its Rice stores were located. The stores were designed to serve as both neighborhood grocery markets and specialty foods retailers. The concept was well-received by Houstonians, who appreciated the quality products, personal service and exceptional shopping experience it offered.
Although still loved by its customers, Rice Epicurean Markets made the decision in late 2012 to close all but one of its Houston-area stores, including the Lantern Lane location, at the end of January 2013. Those locations were then all leased to The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service.
The Fresh Market, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., operates 128 stores in 25 states, primarily located in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
“Our family established our retail grocery business in Houston, Texas, 75 years ago, and we are proud of Rice Epicurean Market’s many years of service to the community,” said Rice company spokesman Bruce Levy. “We are excited to welcome The Fresh Market to the Houston metropolitan area and to introduce their concept to our customers and neighbors. We believe their stores will be an excellent fit in this market.”
While the neighborhoods served by the Lantern Lane shopping center will miss Rice Epicurean, The Fresh Market promises to offer an outstanding alternative for grocery shopping in a marketplace often dominated by large-format box stores. The Fresh Market plans to open its Lantern Lane store this fall after an extensive renovation of the existing space.
“We are excited that The Fresh Market chose Lantern Lane as one of its first forays into the Houston market,” said Charles Scoville, senior vice president of operations for AmREIT, the owner of the Lantern Lane Shopping Center. “They are widely respected in the grocery industry for their quality perishable food, excellent customer service and unique shopping experience, and we are confident that The Fresh Market will successfully serve our Lantern Lane customers.”
The Fresh Market promises to offer a distinctive food shopping experience, providing high-quality products in an inviting atmosphere. Like Rice, The Fresh Market stores evoke a European market feeling, offering an old-style butcher shop and fish market, a bakery, produce and floral stands, and a delicatessen.
Until The Fresh Market opens later this year, Lantern Lane will continue to meet many of the daily shopping and service needs of Memorial neighborhood residents. The shopping center offers a typical range of goods and services, from retail to banking to personal care and restaurants. CVS Pharmacy joined Lantern Lane last year and, as one of the only pharmacies in the area, was an important addition to both the shopping center and community.
Lantern Lane is also home to the local Starbucks and to The Union Kitchen, a popular neighborhood restaurant. The center also includes unique shopping opportunities such as Baubles and Beads.
With addition of The Fresh Market this fall, Lantern Lane Shopping Center will continue its 50-year history of serving the Memorial neighborhood.
Lantern Lane Shopping Center is located at 12510 Memorial Drive. For leasing information, contact Neal Wade at 713-860-4953.
To learn about The Fresh Market, visit http://www.thefreshmarket.com
Local Advertising by PaperG