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Hy-Vee, Inc.
Industry Retail (grocery)
Founded Beaconsfield, Iowa, (1930)
Headquarters West Des Moines, Iowa
Number of locations
235 (2014)[1]
Key people
Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President
Tom Watson, Chief Retail Officer and Executive Vice President
Mike Skokan, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Paula Correy, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President
Steve Meyer, General Counsel, Executive Vice President
Ron Taylor, Executive Vice President North Region
John Wendel, Executive Vice President, West Region
Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President East Region
Andy McCann, Chief Health Officer and Executive Vice President
Monte Wiese, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain
Products bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gas, general grocery, meat and seafood, pharmacy, HealthMarket, wine & spirits, general merchandise, lawn and garden, fuel/convenience stores.
Revenue $8 billion (2013)
Number of employees
Slogan "Where there's a helpful smile, in every aisle"
Website hy-vee.com

Hy-Vee /ˌhˈv/ is an employee-owned chain of 235 supermarkets located throughout the Midwestern United States in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The largest Hy-Vee stores are full-service supermarkets with bakeries, delicatessens, floral departments, dine-in and carryout food service, wine and spirits, pharmacies, HealthMarkets (natural and organic products) and coffee kiosks (Caribou Coffee and Starbucks). Hy-Vee has also added fuel stations with convenience stores to some of its properties. Hy-vee has a rewards program called Fuel Saver, which gives customers a discount on gas for buying special items each week in their ad.

Hy-Vee's longtime advertising slogan, "Where there's a helpful smile in every aisle," was adopted for the chain's first television commercial in 1963. The slogan became a jingle in the 1990s with music by Annie Meacham and James Poulsen.

Hy-Vee's largest store opened in mid-August 2012 in Urbandale, Iowa, with 95,283 square feet (8,852.1 m2) of retail space.


The company was founded by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg when they opened a general store in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in 1930. More stores were started, and in 1938, the company incorporated into Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc. Hyde & Vredenburg had 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri at that point including the Leon Hy-Vee and Lamoni Hy-Vee.[3] In 1945 Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company.

Lamoni had been headquarters of the RLDS Church. Both Hyde and Vredenburg were members of the church. Vredenburg's previous partnership of Vredenburgh & Lewis was associated with the General Supply Company which was a church affiliated business based in Lamoni (Vredenburg was listed as president and Hyde was a director when General Store was formally incorporated in 1922). The initial name of the partnership was the Supply Stores from 1930 to 1935 when it was made singular 1935 as the Supply Store (with each town's name preceding it) which remained its name until 1952. In 1937 the affiliation with the church name was dissolved and the formal ownership was called Hyde & Vredenburg although continuing the use the Supply Store name in each individual store. In creating the new company its ownership plan involved an ownership by individual store managers setting the stage for its eventual majority employee ownership.[4][5][6]

A Hy-Vee Food Store in Dubuque, Iowa.

The Hy-Vee name, a contraction of Hyde and Vredenburg, was adopted in 1952 as the winning entry of an employee contest. The first store to open under the Hy-Vee name opened in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1953. In 1960 the company became employee owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund.[7] Its name was officially changed to Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc., in 1963. In 1969 Hy-Vee expanded into Minnesota after acquiring the Swanson Stores chain based in Cherokee, Iowa. That year it opened its first Drug Town pharmacy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; in 2005 all Drug Town stores were renamed Hy-Vee Drugstores in order to reflect the relationship between the chain's pharmacies and supermarkets.[8]

Hy-Vee is known to separate out departments into separate buildings as requirements dictate or to best serve the customer. This is most commonly seen by the construction of a separate building for Hy-Vee Gas. One of the more interesting situations is the Wine and Spirits department for the Prairie Village, Kansas store is in a separate building across the street in Kansas City, Missouri. In Minnesota, where grocery stores cannot sell alcoholic beverages over 3.2% alcohol by volume, some Hy-Vee stores have separate Hy-Vee branded liquor stores in adjacent facilities.

Hy-Vee continued expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, opening stores in South Dakota (1975), Nebraska (1977), Illinois (1979), and Kansas (1988). Hy-Vee's 100th store, which was also its first to use electronic cash registers, opened in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1975. By the end of 1989 Hy-Vee had 172 stores in seven states.[9] In 1995 Hy-Vee moved its corporate headquarters from Chariton to its current home in West Des Moines, Iowa, while shortening its name to Hy-Vee, Inc. The company still has its primary distribution center in Chariton; a second distribution center is located in Cherokee, Iowa.

Throughout its history Hy-Vee has branched out from its retail operations by acquiring several companies that provide services to its stores. Hy-Vee's non-retail subsidiaries are:

  • D & D Foods, Inc., a supplier of freshly prepared salads, dips, meat and entree items based in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Florist Distributing, Inc., a distributor of flowers and plants based in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Hy-Vee Construction,[10] L.C., a construction company based in Des Moines
  • Lomar Distributing, Inc., a specialty food distributor based in Des Moines
  • Midwest Heritage Bank, FSB, with branch locations and offices in Iowa
  • Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd., a distributor of meat, seafood, cheese and dairy items based in Ankeny, Iowa

Hy-Vee Inc. employs over 60,000 individuals and is the largest employer in the state of Iowa. [11][12]

Hy-Vee opened its first LEED-certified store in Madison, on October 27, 2009.[13]

In 2012, Hy-Vee, Inc. began the Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program which allows customers to earn discounts on fuel by purchasing select items. The discount is loaded onto a card that is inserted at the gas pump of all Hy-Vee Gas locations, Casey's General Stores and certain Shell Oil Company stations. Customers have thirty days to use the earned points before they expire.[14]


Hy-Vee purchased the naming rights to the Iowa Events Center's exhibition hall in 2001; the venue was completed in December 2004.

Hy-Vee serves as title or presenting sponsor for multiple major sporting events:

Hy-Vee previously served as title or presenting sponsor for multiple now-defunct sporting events:

Hy-Vee has served as a sponsor of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals since 2001, and in 2009 replaced Price Chopper as the official grocery store of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs.[15] Hy-Vee stores in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area sell Royals tickets, as well as outlets in St. Joseph, Missouri, Lawrence, Kansas, Topeka, Kansas and Manhattan, Kansas. In 2009, the upper deck of the Royals' Kauffman Stadium was renamed the Hy-Vee Level.

Board of Directors[edit]

Randy Edeker, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President

Tom Watson, Chief Retail Officer, Executive Vice President

Paula Correy, Chief Administrative Officer, Executive Vice President

Mike Skokan, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Executive Vice President

Steve Meyer, Executive Vice President, Secretary, General Counsel

Ron Taylor, Executive Vice President of Operations, North Region

Jon Wendel, Executive Vice President of Operations, West Region

Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President of Operations, East Region

Rose Mitchell, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs

Monte Wiese, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain


  1. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/default.aspx
  2. ^ "Hy-Vee, The Largest Private Companies". Forbes. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  3. ^ vhttp://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/history/
  4. ^ "Chapter7rev2". Welcometobibleverses.org. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/webres/File/Lamoni_Years.pdf
  6. ^ Spohnheimer. "Ames Tribune Weekly Photo". Ameshistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  7. ^ Sep. 3, 2012 Mark Hamstra (2012-09-03). "Hy Vee Builds a Legacy of Employee Empowerment | Retailer Awards content from". Supermarket News. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  8. ^ Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2005-06-08). "Drug Town Changes Name to Hy-Vee Drugstore". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  9. ^ FundingUniverse.com. "Hy-Vee, Inc., Company History". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  10. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/company/press-room/press-releases/hy-vee-acquires-total-stake-hy-vee-weitz-construction.aspx
  11. ^ http://www.thriftyrambler.com/2013/03/20/we-heart-hy-vee/
  12. ^ "Even in Iowa, married gays are still unequal in work benefits (Archive)". Lambda Legal. June 30, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Hy-Vee Plans First Grocery Store in Wisconsin". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  14. ^ "Hy-Vee Fuel Saver TM Terms and Conditions". Hy-Vee Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  15. ^ Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2009-04-14). "Hy-Vee Becomes Official Grocery Partner of Kansas City Chiefs". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links[edit]