The Container Store

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on November 18, 2011 in Reviews, Woodlands Events |

The Container Store in The Woodlands

We here at TWE! Woodlands Blog don’t normally write about retail stores or their grand opening exploits but, this one warrants some time and text. The Container Store, for those who are unaware, is now located in what was previously Circuit City, where the prices could sometimes be… short-circuit-ed. While the name might initially conjure thoughts of a store that offers boxes and bags, cabinets, glasses and other things to hold the things that would otherwise be rolling about and becoming play toys for the cats, it’s a bit more than that. The container store has thousands of organizational tools, hangers, stuff to stick on the walls and erasable boards to write notes and reminders for everyone in the house or office to read.

So what is it about this particular grand opening that makes us want to write about it here? Well, a lot of things actually – from having what can only be described as my favorite checkout counter ever, to the the various departments featuring culinary delights in very unique displays, to the live band, to local celebrities, this event had it all!

Entry to this ‘private’ event was held outside where everyone obtained a self-completed badge, with whatever one chose to write upon it; in typical fashion, most everyone simply wrote or signed their own name – it might have been nice to know where at least some of these people were from – businesses and such. Or maybe I am simply too accustomed to The Woodlands Chamber events where names and businesses are the norm… We then ventured into the brightly lit emporium of goods similar to what one might find at Target or IKEA, yet at pricing that is definitely not the same.

The Food

Food at the Grand Opening of the Woodlands Container StoreThe various foods were interesting but the placement / location for the foods didn’t really seem to be in any particular order. The entry way into The Container Store is centered and you had a choice of going left or right (seemingly preferred by the greeters) through a second set of doors and then on into the retail area. By proceeding to the left, you first hour d’ oeuvre station was about halfway down to the left. Had you not stopped at the (soon to be) check out stand, you would arrive at this initial station and have both hands free which is great for being able to grab a plate, napkin and some grub. We had our choice of some skewered grilled chicken, some interesting little vegetable combo rolls (which were quite tasty) and tortilla-like chips. These items were served in small containers and trays that were on display, which tended to make you look twice at the food – is it really food or just part of the display. Very creative and entertaining placement of food mixed in with their products brings about thoughts of holiday office parties.

The center area of the store was occupied by the band “Fried Ice Cream“, and a portable dance floor otherwise known as ‘no mans land’; for the first hour or more of the evening as no one seemed to venture out on to it for more than the time it took to pass around the crowd and back to the presumed safety of the carpeted floor. The band was really quite good playing a variety of jazz and easy listening type music; even some of the little people we saw were moving themselves to and fro to the rythm of the beat. As we made our way behind the stage, we happened upon the second food station featuring additional finger foods – some flatbread (naan) with smoked salmon and Parmesan, others with what appeared to be steak tartare, and other items on toasted baguettes. And so our journey continued around the store, food plate in one hand and napkins in the other we still had nothing to drink (well not really, but that could have been the case).  Fortunately, there were plenty of service staff floating around to pick up empties and other discarded items.

The Woodlands Container Store Open Bar Checkout Stand

The third hour d’ oeuvre station we happened upon featured an Asian assortment of foods including some sushi and other Japanese delicacies delightfully dressed up and ready for the taking – literally some in actual genuine looking, asian take-out style boxes! We didn’t spend much time in this area as neither of us are sushi or sashimi fans. Not far from this area and definitely the closest of any two food areas was a dessert bar. Oh yes, chocolates and other confections – personally, I really liked the bars with chocolate and walnuts; walnuts go with almost anything in my book. As this had us back around to the other side and near the front door, we happened upon a line of servers each with a tray of drinks at the ready. Had we not actually scanned the overall area before getting any food, we might not have found these beverages for quite some time. Strangely enough, there was a large number of food servers walking around the area with fried mushrooms, and fried green beans for the guests to sample yet the servers with the drinks were few and far between, and mostly stationed in one place – and on the far side from where the store personnel were directing new arrivals into the facility. But there were two bars, the larger of which in the aforementioned check out area in the front of the store; with literally tubs full of wine, champagne, beer and this tasty little concoction of ginger-lemonade and vodka.

Local Celebrities

Lest anyone doubt the level of excitement revolving around the opening of the Houston area’s third Container Store, the A-listers in attendance would confirm this was in fact, a very big deal. We ran into

Art Rascone KTRK The Container Store

KTRK-TV 13’s Art Rascon and his lovely wife Patti

Melissa Wilson FOX 26 The Container Store

Fox 26 Houston’s Melissa Wilson along with her mother Wanda

Jim Kuykendall Ann Snyder The Woodlands Container Store

Newly elected Oak Ridge North mayor Jim Kuykendall, his wife JJ Kuykendall, and Dr. Ann Snyder of Interfaith of The Woodlands/The Woodlands Chamber and Conroe ISD
as well as a multitude of area movers, shakers and business owners.

Charitable Integration with The Woodlands

In The Container Store’s “Commitment to the Community” statement, the company says since they opened their first store in 1978, they have proudly supported their stores’ local communities and they know the importance of being a good corporate neighbor. In continuing to give back to the community with a focus on supporting nonprofits that promote women’s and children’s well-being and health – they announced that a full 10% of sales (not net profits, total sales) from their grand opening weekend would be donated to Interfaith of The Woodlands; something that every one of us was happy to hear.

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