Photo Courtesy Missouri City

More movers hauled their belongings to Texas than any other state last year. And those headed to the Greater Houston area were mostly pointed toward Missouri City and Conroe, according to a new study.

In its recently released annual growth report, U-Haul ranks Missouri City and Conroe at No. 13 and No. 19, respectively among U.S. cities with the most inbound moves via U-Haul trucks in 2022. Richardson was the only other Texas cities to make the list coming in at No. 15.

Texas ranks No. 1 overall as the state with the most in-bound moves using U-Haul trucks. This is the second year in a row and the fifth year since 2016 that Texas has earned the distinction.

“The 2022 trends in migration followed very similar patterns to 2021 with Texas, Florida, the Carolinas and the Southwest continuing to see solid growth,” U-Haul international president John Taylor says in a news release. “We still have areas with strong demand for one-way rentals. While overall migration in 2021 was record-breaking, we continue to experience significant customer demand to move out of some geographic areas to destinations at the top of our growth list.”

U-Haul determines the top 25 cities by analyzing more than 2 million one-way U-Haul transactions over the calendar year. Then the company calculated the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a specific area versus departing from that area. The top U-Haul growth states are determined the same way.

The studies note that U-Haul migration trends do not directly correlate to population or economic growth — but they are an “effective gauge” of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents.

Missouri City is known for its convenient location only minutes from downtown Houston. The city’s proximity to major freeways, rail lines, the Port of Houston, and Bush and Hobby Airports links its businesses with customers “around the nation and the world,” per its website.

The No. 19-ranked city of Conroe is “the perfect blend of starry nights and city lights,” according to the Visit Conroe website. Conroe offers plenty of outdoor activities, as it is bordered by Lake Conroe, Sam Houston National Forest and W. Goodrich Jones State Forest. But it also has a busy downtown area with breweries, theaters, shopping and live music.

To view U-Haul’s full growth cities report, click here.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Brad Paisley joins George Strait and Selena with induction into RodeoHouston's prestigious Star Trail of Fame

paisley park

Country superstar Brad Paisley's RodeoHouston performance on Saturday, March 18 will mark more than his 15th time taking the Rodeo stage.

The amiable singer and crooner will also be inducted into the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s prestigious Star Trail of Fame at 3 pm the same day.

This honor makes Paisley the 10th star honored with a gold plaque to commemorate his years of outstanding entertainment at the Rodeo. For those keeping score (and there are many), Paisley has played at RodeoHouston every year since 2014. He's also famous for his choice of wife, noted actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

"Brad Paisley is a great addition to our Star Trail of Fame, as he’s playing his 15th show at RodeoHouston this weekend and continues to be one of our top performers each season," Jason Kane, RodeoHouston's director of entertainment, tells CultureMap. "We’re thrilled to recognize Brad and welcome him to our RodeoHouston family, alongside fellow artists who have helped shaped our show over the years."

As for those other artists on the trail, those include names like the King of Country George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, and our beloved Tejano queen Selena.

Fans who want to check out the official Star Trail of Fame can find it on the second floor of NRG Center outside the Rodeo’s offices.

New Houston-area grocery stores offer shoppers bulk restaurant food and supplies without a membership

that's a lot of popcorn

Houstonians have a fresh new option for stocking up on groceries and party supplies. Gordon Food Service opened four stores this week with two more to follow soon.

Open this week:

  • Champions: 4701 FM 1960 W at Stuebner Airline
  • West Houston: 12533 Westheimer at Dairy Ashford
  • Katy: 649 S. Mason Road at Kingsland
  • League City: 215 W Main at Hwy 3

Coming soon:

  • Meyerland: 99 Braeswood Square at Chimney Rock
  • Northwest Houston: 5151 Antoine Drive at Pinemont

They’re the company’s first Texas locations and the most stores it has opened at one time. Overall, the company operates more than 175 stores in 13 states.

Although the stores are primarily aimed to supply restaurants, bars, and other professional food businesses, Gordon Food Service stores are open to the general public, too. Unlike typical warehouse stores, they do not require shoppers to purchase a membership.

Sized between 25,000 and 30,000-square feet, each store is stocked with fresh produce, meat, and dairy items as well as paper goods, cleaning supplies, and cookware. Shoppers will also find a range of prepared items such as rotisserie and fried chicken, ribs, and deli sandwiches as well as snacks like guacamole, cut fruit, and freshly squeezed juices.

A tortilleria produces fresh tortillas throughout the day, and 15 varieties of fresh popcorn are available.

Gordon Food Service popcornThey're perfect for movie night.Courtesy of Gordon Food Service

"Gordon Food Service Store believes in the power of good food and its ability to bring people together and make moments special," Gordon Food Service Stores president Tim Grabar said in a statement. "We are excited to open our doors to the greater Houston community and provide the chef-quality food products our stores are known for."

Heights Chicken Shack owner dishes on her Mandy Moore-approved sandwiches and big national plans

What's Eric Eating Episode 275

On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Pace Webb joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Daddy's Chicken Shack. The native Houstonian and HSPVA alum turned a former dry cleaners in the Heights into a flagship location of her California-based chicken restaurant that opened in October.

Pace Webb Daddy's Chicken Shack

Courtesy of Daddy's Chicken Shack

Chef Pace Webb is this week's guest.

The conversation begins with Webb sharing the story of how her interest in entertaining evolved into operating a catering business in the Los Angeles area. When a fried chicken sandwich she made for a party caught the attention of actress Mandy Moore, she shifted her focus to a restaurant. Ultimately, she developed a concept that blends Southern flavors with Asian touches across a range of chicken sandwiches, salads topped with chicken, chicken fingers, and breakfast items

Working in partnership with her husband Chris Georgala and RE/MAX founder Dave Liniger, Webb plans to grow Daddy's as a franchised business to locations across the country. She shares that the restaurant's plans include 10 additional Houston-area locations, starting in neighborhoods like Montrose, West University Place, and Katy. Sandler asks the chef about how Daddy's positions itself relative to other chicken sandwich restaurants.

"We're selling you time back," she says. "Our target is dual working households — maybe they have kids, maybe they don't — that are short on time. That's where my husband and I are in our lives. Placing an order ahead to pick up is a weight off your shoulders. You know you'll get it on time. You don't have to cook, and it's going to be accurate, tasty, and fresh."

Prior to the interview, Sandler is joined by co-hosts Matt Harris and Michael Fulmer to remember the life of Lee Ellis, the veteran restaurateur who died last week at the age of 63. They share a couple of favorite stories about the man who helped found restaurants such as BRC, Liberty Kitchen, and State Fare.

In the news of the week segment, Sandler and Harris discuss the changes coming to Hobby Airport after Houston City Council approved a new concessions contract that will replace Pappas Restaurants with Areas, a Spain-based company that operates restaurants in airports all over the world. They also talk about the closure of Kraftsmen Cafe in the Heights.

In the restaurant of the week segment, Fulmer, Harris, and Sandler raves about Jūn, the new restaurant in the Heights from Top Chef finalist Evelyn Garcia and her business partner Henry Lu. They're impressed by the food, decor, and service at this self-described “New Asian American” restaurant that draws on their cultural backgrounds as well as their time cooking at restaurants in New York City.


Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 2 pm on ESPN 97.5.