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HEB founder Florence Butt behind the counter of the first store.Like many Texans, I always assumed that Howard Edward Butt was the mastermind behind our state’s favorite grocery chain. The business is named for his initials, after all. Women tend to be relegated to minor roles in rags-to-riches stories, when their names are remembered at all—and it’s time to correct that. H-E-B—arguably the most beloved brand in the state, with roughly 430 stores and a well-oiled disaster-response machine that Texans trust more than the government in times of crisis—wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Howard’s mother, Florence Thornton Butt, who opened the family’s first store, in the Hill Country town of Kerrville, in 1905. She did so out of desperation. Florence’s husband, Charles Clarence “C. C.” Butt, fell ill with tuberculosis and couldn’t work; it was up…

The post How Florence Butt—Not Her Son—Launched the H-E-B Empire appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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