Celia Hernandez opened her grocery store Don Tomate Meat Market on Kuykendahl Road in April 2022 after establishing its first location in Cypress in February 2020.

“I lived in Cypress for a while—for about 14 years—and I saw the need for a meat market,” Hernandez said.

Customer relations

Hernandez said she spent around two years on construction before Don Tomate’s Cypress location opened. After the Cypress location was in business for a while, Hernandez said she began to look at expanding.

Now with two Don Tomate locations, Hernandez said each location sees around 175-250 customers a day, with that number increasing slightly on the weekends.

The grocery store sells products of all kinds—from meat and produce to homemade items—with a focus on products that hail from countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Brazil. The Tomball location also features a bakery.

“It’s not just a Mexican meat market,” Hernandez said. “We have items from all over Central America and South America as well.”

Hernandez said her goal is to be able to serve her customers.

“It’s rewarding just seeing the clients and seeing their smiles on their faces when they find those items: ‘Oh you have this,’” Hernandez said. “It [is] a little piece of their country or their background.”

Hernandez said providing these products to her customers is so important that the cashiers keep a list of products customers could not find in the store.

“Then we contact our vendors, and so we go really out of our way,” Hernandez said. “Sometimes there is only one item, and the vendors don’t want to come and bring [it] ... so we personally go and pick up those items for the clients.”

In terms of Don Tomate’s products, some of the most popular items include its fajita meat and homemade items, such as tamales and tortillas, Hernandez said.

“You have to place an order for [the tamales] because they do run out every day,” Hernandez said.

Local involvement

The Kuykendahl Road location by West Rayford Road is not the first business she has operated in the Tomball area, she said. She also opened an insurance and tax agency in 2018.

In addition, Hernandez is on the board of directors of Families Feeding Families, a Tomball-based nonprofit that provides Thanksgiving meals and other resources.

Hernandez said she hopes to open another Don Tomate location.

“I haven’t thought about where yet, but we’re excited,” she said.

Don Tomate Meat Market
  • 24026 Kuykendahl Road, Ste. 150, Tomball
  • 281-205-1304
  • www.dontomatemarket.com
  • Hours: Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.