Rice Epicurean Markets was an American niche grocery store chain based in Southwest Houston, Houston, Texas. There is now just one supermarket left of the chain. Prior to 2012 the company operated five Rice Epicurean Markets, which ranged in size from 25,000 to 42,000 square feet (3,900 m2). At its height, it operated 35 stores. The last Rice Epicurean Market is wholly owned by founding family members. Founded on May 5, 1937, by William H. Levy, grandfather of the current owners, the first Rice Food Market store, a 2,400-square-foot (220 m2) building located on Rice Boulevard in Houston, was named Rice Boulevard Food Market. The store was located in Rice Village. In 1937, The Village shopping center west of Rice Institute (now Rice University) was an undeveloped, wooded area. Rice Boulevard was an unpaved dirt road and West University Place was in its developmental stages. In those early days, there were only two buildings in the shopping center, an ice house at the corner of Rice Boulevard and Kirby, and William H. Levys Rice Boulevard Food Market.