Happily Outside The Loop

Hubbell & Hudson doubles up in The Woodlands: Gourmet market emerges as a power suburb force

Hubbell & Hudson doubles up in The Woodlands: Gourmet market emerges as a power suburb force

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Hubbell & Hudson has expanded into a two store Woodlands force. Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Hubbell & Hudson specializes in fresh, prepared foods. Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Hubbell Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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Photo by Amber Ambrose
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News_Hubbell_Hudson Kitchen_foods
News_Hubbell_Hudson Kitchen_Soup
News_Hubbell_Hudson Kitchen_salad
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News_Hubbell_Hudson Kitchen_meat case
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Finding the new Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen — a small market with prepared foods, gourmet coffees, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as dessert, of course — is a little tricky. It’s not in the thick of things like the Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro location (which has been open for two years) near The Woodlands Mall, where retail is the main draw.

Hidden away (literally, behind all those beautiful trees) in a new development closer to the businesses on the north side of The Woodlands, the new Hubbell & Hudson location on Research Forest Drive caters to a more residential, working crowd with a smaller, more convenient and meal-focused satellite location — down to the funky, upbeat music blasting out of speaker set up outside of the 5,000-square-foot store. 

Reminiscent of an upscale, smaller version of Central Market’s prepared foods section, there are plenty of ready-to-eat entrees available that transfer to a home kitchen just as easily as they do to a table in the roomy, but casual dining area. 

Everything in the cozy new place (the original Hubbell & Hudson clocks in at 25,000 square feet) comes freshly baked or prepared from the flagship location just up the road — the selection of soups, the ingredients and pre-made salads on the extensive salad bar, the fresh meat for the gourmet burger choices and all the French-pastry-chef-baked breads, pastries and desserts as well as a vibrantly varied case of gelatos facing the tempted diners at their tables.

Created to better utilize the already-comprehensive gourmet resources at its flagship store, Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro, the Kitchen location is an alternative for dine in or takeout that has very little competition in its part of The Woodlands for casual, gourmet food. There are 100 cheeses, 200 wines and 100 beers in the store.

On first impressions, it seems like a much-better execution of the idea behind Byrd’s Market & Café in downtown Houston — casual, counter ordering, a small but broad offering of groceries and an easily navigable setup (take note Byrd’s). It also created a more convenient, less all-encompassing way for loyal gourmands in the neighborhood to pop in and out easily instead of fighting the crowds and bulk at the main location.

With no plans in the near future of any Hubbell & Hudson concepts expanding beyond the now two Woodlands locations, it looks like inner Loopers will have to make the haul to what some of us affectionately refer to as “South Dallas” to get our H & H fix within the now, even more, self-contained suburb/destination to our north.

"Thanks to this community, Hubbell & Hudson has flourished during tough economic conditions," Cary Attar, president and founder of the Texas-based Hubbell & Hudson said at the Kitchen's opening. "Our customers have wrapped their arms around us and embraced our unique culinary concept and dedication to service. Both locations are food lovers’ destinations."

Attar is a former Central Market general manager who named Hubbell & Hudson after the great-great-great grandparents of his son Hudson.