“Imagine having a 1,500-square-foot pantry,” suggested Lakeside resident Roland Shepard, “and someone to stock it every day with things they think you’ll want, and things you request.
“Every day it’s filled with beer, wine, and milk (coconut, soy, and almond), on top of the limes for your gin and tonics. Chips. Produce. Sandwich meats.”
“I could go on, but you’ve just imagined The Market at Lakeside.”
The Market opened in mid July near the northwest corner of Lakeside and Northwood, next to the soon-to-open Mena’s Grill & Tex-Mex Cantina.
Lakeside residents have been imagining (and requesting) a grocery market for some time. But as residents have learned, business owners or entrepreneurs have to be willing to risk their money to make dreams a reality.
“When we moved to Lakeside,” said Lakeside residents Billy and Talitha Ledet, “we planned to stay for six months —- until we fell in love with the community. And saw a need.” The need for a community market.
“When we lived in Pecan Plantation (south of Granbury),” said Billy Ledet, “there was this little market in the community (the nearest HEB was miles away).
“Talitha and I would ride bikes, take the golf cart, or walk there to pick up staples. We soon found ourselves dropping by almost every day, picking up essentials but always leaving with some additional items.”
“That’s the model that inspired The Market at Lakeside.”
Products and services
Within its bright and tidy 1,500 square feet, The Market stocks a surprising variety of goods.
Groceries include gluten-free, low-sodium, and vegan items (including conventional and organic produce). Household items include natural health, cleaning, and beauty goods.
“My wife Kathy and I are plant based,” explained Lakeside resident Darren Beck. “The Market gives us all kinds of options including non-dairy cheeses and non-dairy ice cream.
“They even carry a non-dairy sour cream.”
You’ll find locally sourced wines chosen especially for the Lakeside market. Wine-tastings on Friday nights (6-7 pm) give residents a chance to fine-tune the selection.
Small-batch, brewery-fresh craft beer (imported and domestic) also are stocked at the Market. If you can’t find a brew you like, just ask.
“I told Billy about a beer I had in Hawaii,” said Shepard, “and within two days, they had my Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter chilled and waiting for me.”
In addition, the Market offers prepared foods from breakfast to dessert. Saturday mornings, for example, breakfast tacos are brought in from Tacodeli (a favorite in Austin that recently opened a Dallas location). Be sure to arrive by 8:30; they don’t last long.
The responsiveness of the Ledets was telegraphed when, weeks before the opening, Lakeside residents were given a chance to voice their wishes in an on-line survey. That desire to learn more about their customers reflects the backgrounds of both Billy and Talitha Ledet.
In a national marketing role for Frontier (formerly Verizon), Billy Ledet’s experience in telecommunications ranges from soup to nuts, and includes retailing, pricing, and merchandising.
“I also worked for Anheuser-Busch for seven years out of college,” he said. “I worked with a lot of grocers and learned from them about customer service and marketing.”
Talitha Ledet spent 15 years running the operations of private Montessori schools, including their food service operations.
“I have helped businesses open, set up operations, and hire staff,” she said. “And I have always seen the importance in understanding customers’ needs and wants.”
Like so many Lakeside merchants, the Ledets bring a passion and energy to their enterprise that only an owner/operator can muster. It shines through their products, the details of their finish-out, and their customer service.
And living in Lakeside among their customers offers the Ledets special insights.
“Lots of residents at Lakeside have kids in college or just out of college,” said Billy Ledet. “We are almost there with two daughters in college and a third in eighth grade.
“We all share a similar lifestyle. I think the stars are aligned.”
Many who reside in and around Lakeside would agree.