Fiesta Mart

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Fiesta Mart / Carnival Food Stores
Founded1972 (47 years ago) (1972) in Houston, Texas, United States
HeadquartersHouston, Texas, United States
ProductsBakery, beer, dairy, delicatessen, frozen foods, gasoline, generalmerchandise, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, wine
Fiesta Mart headquarters
Fiesta Mart location in Midtown, Houston, Texas, United States

Fiesta Mart Inc. is a Latino-American supermarket chain based in Houston, Texas that was established in 1972. Fiesta Mart stores are located in Texas. The chain uses a cartoon parrot as a mascot. As of 2004 it operated 34 supermarkets in Greater Houston, 16 supermarkets in other locations in Texas, and 17 Beverage Mart liquor store locations. During the same year it had 7.5% of the grocery market share in Greater Houston. Many of its stores were located in Hispanic neighborhoods and other minority neighborhoods.[1]

The chain caters to Hispanic and ethnic customers; Allison Wollam of the Houston Business Journal said "The company has been successful at targeting the Hispanic market and specifically catering to their needs and shopping styles."[2] Bernie Murphy, a spokesperson for Fiesta, said in 2006 that at some stores Hispanics make up to 70% of those stores's clientele.[3] Fiesta caters to these customers with a large selection of foods and ingredients that are generally not available at a typical grocery store. Fiesta stores also often include several other stores owned by independent operators, such as discount jewelry and banking. Fiesta also operates Fiesta Liquor Stores, where only alcohol is sold.


In 1972, Donald Bonham and O.C. Mendenhall started Fiesta; neither of the men had Hispanic ethnic backgrounds. Bonham had farmed in Belize and Guatemala and supervised the creation of a Chilean supermarket chain.[2] When Bonham returned to Texas, he believed that Houston-area businesses did not adequately cater to Mexican Americans, a large segment of the city's population. Bonham opened the first Fiesta, which catered exclusively to Hispanic Americans,[4] in the Near Northside.[5]

As the demographics of Houston changed, by the late 1970s Fiesta added African, Indian, Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese items.[4] By the mid-1980s Fiesta had 15 stores.[6] By 1989 the stores also featured items catering to African Americans and Thai Americans. By that year Fiesta had $420 million in annual sales, including $25 million in apparel sales.[4] As the chain developed, its clientele became larger and included second and third-generation Hispanics.[2]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Fiesta operated a very large supermarket and general goods store, an early version of modern supercenters like Walmart Supercenter or SuperTarget, at the southwest side of the intersection of I-45 and Texas State Highway NASA Road 1 in Webster, TX. This store was targeted towards the surrounding community, which was one of the more affluent Houston suburbs. It featured a large, sloped hydroponic garden along the north wall. The floor space was slowly sold off in portions in the 1990s.[1] As of 2011, the location is now called the NASA Value Center Shopping Center and has no Fiesta presence.

In 1994, Fiesta acquired four locations sold by Appletree Markets.[7] In 1998 Fiesta made a marketing agreement with Conoco Inc. to allow the gas station chain to build gas stations on the properties of Fiesta supermarkets.[8] In 1999 Fiesta had 10.9% of Houston's grocery market.[6]

In 2003 the Houston Press ranked Fiesta as the "Best Grocery Store" in Houston.[9]

In 2004, Fiesta Mart was acquired by Grocers Supply, a family owned Houston-based wholesale groceries distributor.[10] On July 23, 2008 Fiesta Mart acquired eleven Carnival Brand stores from Minyard Food Stores.[11] In 2015 the Levit family, the owners of Grocers Supply, sold Fiesta to Acon Investments, a company based in Washington, DC.[5] California-based Bodega Latina and its Mexican parent company Chedraui acquired Fiesta Mart from Acon in April 2018.[12]

Headquarters and locations[edit]

The headquarters was in the Cottage Grove area for many many years.

The property was sold and the office moved the Capital One building on Westheimer Road near the Galleria in 2018.[13][14]


Former stores[edit]


  1. ^ Kaplan, David and Nancy Sarnoff. "Wholesaler Grocers bags Houston's Fiesta Mart." Houston Chronicle. Thursday August 26, 2004. Retrieved on December 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Wollam, Allison. "Grocers Supply may bag Fiesta Mart in acquisition deal." Houston Business Journal. Friday August 24, 2004. Retrieved on July 7, 2010. "The grocer now caters to more second and third-generation Hispanic Americans."
  3. ^ "H-E-B Opens Mi Tienda Format in Pasadena Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine." The Gourmet Retailer. October 5, 2006. Retrieved on July 17, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Hisey, Peter. "Ethnic food flavors Fiesta Mart; Houston chain poised to open hypermarket-size unit - supermarket chain." Discount Store News. September 4, 1989. 1. Retrieved on July 7, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Sarnoff, Nancy (2015-04-29). "Grocery icon Fiesta has new owners". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  6. ^ a b Sit-DuVall, Mary. "`Right' store was ripe for picking / Randalls joins trend with deal." Houston Chronicle. Saturday July 24, 1999. Business 1. Retrieved on December 1, 2011.
  7. ^ Hassel, Greg. "AppleTree to hand over most stores this week." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday January 4, 1994. Business 1. Retrieved on December 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Elder, Laura. "Fiesta atmosphere: Conoco partners with grocery chain to build stations." Houston Business Journal. Friday May 22, 1998. Retrieved on July 7, 2010.
  9. ^ "Best of Houston® /// Shopping & Services /// 2003 Fiesta Best Grocery Store". Houston Press. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  10. ^ Wollam, Allison. "Grocers Supply digs deeper into Dallas market with Minyard buy." Houston Business Journal. Friday August 1, 2008. Retrieved on July 7, 2010. "Houston-based Fiesta Mart Inc., which was bought by Grocers Supply in 2004,"
  11. ^ Howe, Aleisha. ""Fiesta parent purchasing Carnival stores from Minyard[permanent dead link]." Fort Worth Business Press. July 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
  12. ^ "Houston-based Fiesta Mart to be acquired by El Super grocery chain". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-03-27.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Privacy Policy Archived 2010-09-23 at the Wayback Machine. Fiesta Mart. Retrieved on July 7, 2010. "Direct Mail Address: Fiesta Mart Inc. Attention: Privacy Office 5235 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77007"
  14. ^ "Fiesta Main Office" (PDF, JPG). Harris County Tax Office, Block Book Maps. Volume 117, Page 454. Retrieved on July 25, 2017. See the text "Cottage Grove" - See also the following pages showing the section of the "Cottage Grove" neighborhood where the Fiesta headquarters is located: 184 (JPG, PDF), 185 JPG, PDF), 186 (JPG, PDF) and 187 (JPG, PDF)
  15. ^ Dawson, Jennifer. "99 Ranch Market hitches Asian post to Houston with first store in Texas". Houston Business Journal. October 13, 2008. Retrieved on July 15, 2011. "The store, 99 Ranch Market, will set up shop in a vacant space formerly occupied by a different kind of international grocery store — Fiesta Mart, which closed at the end of last year. 99 Ranch Market will occupy the 84,000-square-foot (7,800 m2) former Fiesta space on the northwest corner of I-10 and Blalock in the Blalock Market Shopping Center."
  16. ^ "Boundary Map[permanent dead link]." Spring Branch Management District. Retrieved on December 8, 2009.
  17. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (January 12, 2012). "Apartments to replace Montrose Fiesta". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  18. ^ Kaplan, David. "Sugar Land area Fiesta is closing." Houston Chronicle. March 24, 2014. Retrieved on March 25, 2014.

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