Industry / Retail

James Avery Opens Three Grocery Store Locations


For Texans and anyone who collects charms, the name James Avery evokes images of special-occasion jewelry and mementos that become family heirlooms. Now, customers can discover the brand in a new way: James Avery Artisan Jewelry is opening three new locations inside Texas’ H-E-B grocery stores.

The first two locations—a 1,650-square-foot location in League City and a 352-square-foot space in Portland outside of Corpus Christi—are now operational. The third will open Oct. 13 in San Antonio, the two companies said in a statement.

Jewelry in a grocery store? It’s different, but not that surprising. Retailers have long shared their spaces with related stores, although many of them focus on food, goods, and services, such as eyeglasses and fittings. In recent years, Walmart has partnered with local businesses such as barbers as well as national brands like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Domino’s. Target has a Starbucks or Pizza Hut inside many of its stores.

Charms are the heart of James Avery Artisan Jewelry
Charms are the heart of James Avery Artisan Jewelry. Many people collect them over years.

The idea behind the H-E-B and James Avery partnership is to make shopping for James Avery jewelry as convenient as picking up your groceries, says Lindsey Avery Tognietti, director of customer service and marketing communications for James Avery.

If someone wants to add a taco-shape charm to their bracelet, or pick up a special gift for friends or family, stopping into the local H-E-B for James Avery is as easy as finding the right avocado, Tognietti says.

“Just like all Texans, we love H-E-B and are thrilled to partner with this iconic brand,” she says. “While [customers are] at H-E-B, they’ll now be able to add James Avery to their shopping list.”

Tognietti says the H-E-B locations offer customers many of their favorite James Avery classic designs, as well as new releases and popular services, including charm soldering and jewelry cleaning. The stores are also convenient pickup spots for customers who have shopped on the brand’s website, officials said.

James Avery was a self taught jeweler
James Avery was a self-taught jeweler who started with religious themes and expanded to open retail stores.

The two companies share something else in addition to their devotion to Texas: Both were founded in Hill Country, something customers say on social media that they like about the partnership.

Avery himself started the business as a self-taught jeweler in the 1950s. He began working from a Kerrville, Texas, garage that belonged to his in-laws in 1954, creating religious charms and related jewelry. He sold his work on consignment through churches and soon had a popular following. He brought on more employees and opened his first store in Dallas in 1973. He died in 2018 at age 96.

Now, the James Avery Artisan Jewelry business is run by John McCullough, the first non-family member to operate the business. Chris Avery, who took over from his father in 2007, retired in 2019.

Some of the most popular charms relate to food
Some of the company’s most popular charms relate to food or food memories. 

James Avery has more than 100 locations in four states.

H-E-B is a venerable Texas grocer that opened its first store in 1905. It now has more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico, with $32 billion in annual sales, according to the company’s website. These stores offer grocery, bakery, deli, produce, floral, meat, and other departments in the company’s original and primary store format, the company said.

Top: You can now shop for avocados and an avocado charm in one spot, as James Avery Artisan Jewelry, a Texas-based and family-owned jewelry retailer, opens stores in the H-E-B grocery chain. (All photos courtesy of James Avery Artisan Jewelry) 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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