One of the most iconic East Texas-owned businesses is the Brookshire Grocery Company.

W.T. Brookshire started the company back in 1928. And today, they operate more than 180 stores in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

They come such a long way these days and now operate four "banners" under the Brookshire's umbrella: Brookshire's, Spring Market, Super 1 Foods, and of course, Fresh by Brookshire's.

Just to keep it simple, we'll just call the last in that list "Fresh, " ok? Fresh is one of my happy places. 

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When many of us heard about the Fresh by Brookshire's concept years ago before it was built on Old Jacksonville Hwy in Tyler, we were super excited.

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We'd heard rumors that it was going to be a type of "Whole Foods" or "HEB Central Market" concept that would offer a wider variety of specialty and/or organic foods for those in East Texas who might be interested in those things.

And then when it opened, it quickly became a fave go-to for many an East Texan grocery shopper. However, many East Texans still go to the more traditional Brookshire's stores for their needs. But what are the real differences between these two concepts?

Recently, Tyler residents had a fairly long online discussion on what they perceive to be some of the real differences between the store brands. There was even a former Brookshire's manager who shared his thoughts, as well.

Tyler, Texas residents are discussing the differences between Fresh by Brookshire's and the more "regular" Brookshire's stores in East Texas. Here's what they had to say...

The initial post came from a woman who was slightly confused after her initial trip to Fresh. She'd been shopping at one of the 'regular' Brookshire's stores and noticed some differences in her experiences there.

One question raised was regarding why it is that Fresh doesn't take the 'Thank You Card' so many East Texans are used to at their other stores?

Just like you can't use the TY card at Super 1 or Spring Market, they don't take it at Fresh either. The Thank You Card is a Brookshire's ONLY thing. Though many confirmed you CAN use your points for gas at Fresh.

Another question asked was regarding why it's not a standard thing to have your groceries carried out at Fresh like it is at the other Brookshire's stores.

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I used to wonder this myself, as the staff at Brookshire's stores are so very friendly and often quite adamant about helping you to your car with your groceries...which is nice. :)

I will say, speaking from personal experience, though I don't usually accept I have noticed that Fresh employees WILL ask if you want help to your car, but it's not a standard practice like it seems at other stores. And if you WANT help and ask, they are more than willing to help.

Other Tyler, TX residents shared their own personal perceptions of what makes the two Brookshire Grocery Company brands different.

Comments made included opinions that the meat and produce seem a little "fresher" at Fresh. They also seemed to be quite fond of the Fresh pharmacy.

Others said they felt that the employees at Fresh were just as friendly and helpful as they are at other Brookshire stores, even though we don't see as many "Freshie" employees wandering the aisles these days.

There were several comments regarding the "higher prices" at Fresh as compared to other Brookshire's stores. Though several said that's to be expected at a store as pretty as Fresh--a store that offers more specialty items, taco bars, and live music.

Another interesting note shared by a man who was once a member of the BCG management team, Mr. Dalton Parker, was that Fresh was essentially designed to be more of an "experience" as opposed to basic "grocery shopping."

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Parker shared that Fresh by Brookshire's was meant to cater to a demographic more interested in organic and specialty foods with less of an emphasis on basic grocery items.

Parker also said that Super 1 was created to compete more with the likes of Sam's Club-type stores that offer lower prices for buying in bulk.

So how about you? Are you a Fresh-aficionado or do you prefer the traditional Brookshire's stores? Super 1, perhaps?

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Grocery prices for common Thanksgiving staples gathered the week of November 1, 2021, on Brookshires.com and Super1Foods.com.

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