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'It starts with local' | Tiny Grocer to open second location at historic site in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood

After a beloved post office had to close, local grocery store owner Steph Steele knew the space needed a refresh.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Hyde Park neighborhood is making room for a new neighbor coming this summer.

Tiny Grocer, a local name in Austin, has taken over what used to be a post office in the area. It's a fresh start for a historic corner at the intersection of 43rd Street and Speedway, which was once home to a post office loved by the Hyde Park community.

After the post office had to close, local grocery store owner Steph Steele knew the space needed a refresh.

"I would say that I'm a self-proclaimed grocery nerd who has kept lists for years of what I would want to carry in my own spot," Steele said.

Credit: Google Street View

Steele worked with Whole Foods for over two decades. Later, she realized that keeping things hyper-local – and with her own twist – is what Austin needed.

"I will also say that one of the main values behind this business is to sell local. So when I pick the product mix, it starts with local and I fill in around it," Steele said. "If it's made in Austin and it's as good as what I'm currently selling, I'll replace it to carry the one made in Austin."

David Pollack, a friend and customer of Steele's, says it reminds him of the "ma and pa" feel he's been looking for since moving from New York in 1983.

"I think it's like the old time delicatessen, where you can walk in and buy the product and get the immediate food made and prepared foods," Pollack said.

The new Hyde Park location will have an outdoor seating area, a bar, a deli and of course, an extensive list of some local groceries. To get an idea of what the location will look like, you can visit Tiny Grocer's location on South Congress.

"It is everything you would find in a big grocery store, just in a very small space and kind of handpicked by me," Steele said. "I think what I'm missing at South Congress that I'm gaining here is the ability to really create community."

Steele hopes with this project, Hyde Park will see a vibrant community staple be reborn.

Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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