The Two Women Behind Texas’ Most Iconic Brands
Meet the inspiring ladies we have to thank for Whataburger and H-E-B.
Texans are no doubt familiar with H-E-B and Whataburger, but what about the pioneering woman who helped turn them into the powerhouse brands they are today?
In honor of National Women in Business Day, KVUE came up with the brilliant idea to highlight the two women responsible for two of Texas’ most iconic chains.
As the Austin-based television station points out, H-E-B would be nothing without Florence Butt. In 1905, Florence opened the "C.C. Butt Grocery Store" in Kerrville, Texas, as a way to provide for her five sons after her husband became sick with tuberculosis. She ran it for 15 years before handing the reigns to her son, Howard E. Butt, in 1926. Howard later renamed the business with his own initials. Today, with more than 350 locations throughout the Lone Star State, H-E-B is ranked 20th on the National Retail Foundation’s list of the top retailers in the country, all thanks to Florence.
And then there’s Whataburger. Most people know the legend of Harmon Dobson, the man with a vision of a burger so big that people couldn’t help but exclaim “What a burger!” But the lesser-known part of the story revolves around his wife Grace, who ran the business alongside Harmon from 1955 until his death in 1967. And though many pushed her to sell, Grace dug her heels in and decided to run the business herself, taking the store from 40 locations to 300 locations in just 13 years. Today, with 800 restaurants across 10 states, Whataburger hasn’t forgotten its family roots.
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Let’s hear it for Florence and Grace y’all!