a new H&K
Modern general store set to open second location at historic Houston Farmers Market
The Houston Farmers Market announced that it has signed Henderson & Kane as its newest tenant. Owners Veronica and John Avila will bring their modern general store to the property this fall.
First opened in 2018 in a historic building in the Old Sixth Ward, Henderson & Kane sells a range of products created by local artisans alongside grocery items, beverages including beer and wine, and barbecue prepared by Avila, a talented pitmaster who once worked at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue. He tells CultureMap that opening a second location at the market appealed to him and his wife Veronica.
“To hear [the market’s owners] thought our brand has a great reputation and that it was a really good fit, that was very meaningful to us,” Avila says. “The vibe they're presenting is what we’re trying to accomplish with Henderson & Kane.”
It’s a vibe Avila knows well. The native Houstonian would join his parents on trips to the market during his childhood. As an adult, he came to rely on former market vendor Canino’s Produce for fresh ingredients such as corn and acorn squash. Since Henderson & Kane will occupy the same building Canino’s did, Avila hopes his customers will find his wares just as useful.
“We know we have access to some of the best products in the city and some of the most talented folks making these products,” he says. “For us to have the stage to bring these people to light and offer their products on a larger scale means a lot to us.”
Opening a second location in a larger space will bring other benefits as well. Design plans call for picnic-style seating both indoors and out as well as a demonstration counter for vendors to display their wares.
In terms of food, the market location of Henderson & Kane will offer a full barbecue menu for both lunch and dinner. In addition, it will expand its selection of housemade sausages from the half dozen it currently makes to as many as 15 different varieties.
Avila notes that he's observed two types of shoppers at the market. Some come to grab a specific product, while others wander through the stalls and the recently opened butcher shop from Texas wagyu purveyor R-C Ranch. In that spirit, Avila thinks shoppers will enjoy some fair-style foods they can eat while they shop such as smoked turkey legs and elotes-on-a-stick.
Opening a second Henderson & Kane is one of a few projects the Avilas have undertaken. They recently opened a brick and mortar location of their Burro & Bull barbecue concept in Cypress. Earlier this month, they announced they've partnered with Houston chef Monica Pope to open Telegram Tea Room, a neighborhood market and cafe that will also open later this year.
“We’re thrilled to have a concept like Henderson & Kane as part of the dynamic offerings at the Houston Farmers Market,” said Todd Mason, principal, MLB Capital Partners, in a statement. “Houston is filled with talented local artisans, and we believe Henderson & Kane has the ability to elevate these small, up-and-coming businesses and take them to the next level. They are a perfect fit for our growing community of local talent.”
Adding Henderson & Kane is the latest step in real estate development firm MLB Capital Partners’ plans to transform the historic, 18-acre property into a citywide destination for food lovers. Since acquiring the site in 2017, MLB has upgraded the market’s stalls, renovated its buildings, and added features such as modern restrooms and a green space.
In addition to the new butcher shop, the market has recently welcomed two new concepts from James Beard Award winner Chris Shepherd: Underbelly Burger and Wild Oats, a restaurant devoted to Texas cuisine. Later this year a second location of acclaimed Viet-Cajun restaurant Crawfish & Noodles will open on the property. As Avila notes, this kind of development isn’t typical for Houston.
“When I found out Canino’s was closing, I thought for sure that property would turn into a luxury high-rise or something,” Avila says. “I’m sure there’s a fortune to be made by turning it into condominiums. In Houston that would have the go-to for most everybody. It was cool to find out they weren’t going to do that.”