Longtime Houston specialty food retailer Rice Epicurean Market today announced that they plan to close four of their five stores and lease spaces to The Fresh market, a specialty food retailer from North Carolina.

Press Release from Rice Epicurean

Press Release from The Fresh Market

The store on Fountain View at Inwood will remain open.

Our take:

We think it's unfortunate to see an iconic Houston gourmet grocer sell out to a national firm, but we can't say we're surprised that it happened.  Rice Epicurean has always been a pleasant, serene place to shop, but their prices often aren't competitive with other specialty grocers and their selection is lacking compared to other, bigger stores.

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