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Hy-Vee, Inc.
Industry Retail (grocery)
Founded Beaconsfield, Iowa, (1930)
Founders Charles Hyde
David Vredenburg
Headquarters West Des Moines, Iowa
Number of locations
237 (2015)[1]
Key people
Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President
Mike Skokan, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Tom Watson, Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Officer
Andy McCann, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Health Officer
Jon Wendel, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer
Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President - Eastern Region
Sheila Laing, Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer
Darren Baty, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Brett Bremser, Senior Vice President - Western Region
Michael Long, Senior Vice President - Northern Region
Karl Kruse, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain
Jeff Markey, Senior Vice President, Store Development
Donna Tweeten, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
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 Increase $8.7 Billion (2014)
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 237 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, fitness centers, and full service restaurants 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 was founded in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg in Beaconsfield, Iowa.

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 Hy-Vee Market Grille Logo.
A Hy-Vee Store in Dubuque, Iowa.
A Hy-Vee Store in Urbandale, Iowa.


Early years & General Supply Company[edit]

Starting in 1917, Vredenburg & Lewis, David Vredenburg's previous partnership, operated stores as part of the General Supply Company, a RLDS Church owned company based in Lamoni, Iowa. When the General Supply Company was formally incorporated in 1932, David Vredenburg was president and Charles Hyde served as director. In 1930, Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg started their first store together in Beaconsfield, Iowa, officially founding what will become Hy-Vee, Inc. The initial name of the partnership was the Supply Stores in 1930. The name was made singular in 1935 as the Supply Store, with each town's name preceding it. In 1938, the affiliation with the General Supply Company and RLDS Church was dissolved with the incorporation of Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc. When first incorporated, Hyde & Vredenburg had 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri, including the Leon Hy-Vee and Lamoni Hy-Vee. The Supply Store name was still used on the stores until 1952. In 1945, Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company. In creating the new company, its management plan involved autonomy by individual store managers, setting the stage for its eventual employee ownership.[2][3]

50s and 60s[edit]

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. Hy-Vee introduced its first private label products in 1956, along with a new logo for the Hy-Vee name.[4] In 1960 the company became employee owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund.[5] 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.[6]

70s, 80s, and 90s[edit]

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.[7] 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.

Current era[edit]

Shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa, in April 2009, Hy-Vee expanded their spousal benefits to include gay couples. The new policy was implemented on all Hy-Vee stores, even in states such as Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, and Missouri that did not protect gay individuals. This action made Hy-Vee one of the first companies in the Midwest to give gay couples the same benefits as traditional couples.[8] Some of Hy-Vee's customers were upset by this decision and wrote letters to the CEO stating that they would no longer shop at Hy-Vee.[9]

Hy-Vee opened its first LEED-certified store in Madison, on October 27, 2009.[10] Hy-Vee has 6 LEED Certified stores as of July 2015.[11]

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.[12]

In 2013, Hy-Vee introduced Hy-Vee Market Grille and Hy-Vee Market Café, full service restaurants attached to stores. As of July 2015, there were 9 Market Grille[13] and 56 Market Café[14] locations.

In 2015, Hy-Vee introduced Hy-Vee Aisles Online, a new website for online grocery shopping. Items can be selected for delivery or pickup from select stores.

In 2015, Hy-Vee changed its Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program to Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks, which provides exclusive deals and rewards in addition to the gas discount. As well as exclusive deals, Fuel Saver + Perks also tracks the buying habits of individuals in order to make the system more personalized.[15]

Hy-Vee plans to open its first two stores in the Twin Cities market in September 2015. According to Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's CEO, he intends for the Twin Cities area to be "our largest market some day". Hy-Vee says it plans to open four to five stores to the Twin Cities area annually for the next ten years.[16]

Information and statistics[edit]

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, which are usually located close to a main store. It is also common for Hy-Vee to have attached liquor stores, which is the case in Minnesota, where grocery stores are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages over 3.2% alcohol by volume. In some cases, there is a completely separate building for the liquor department, such as the Prairie Village, Kansas store, where the liquor store is across the street in Kansas City, Missouri, and therefore applies to Missouri alcohol laws instead of Kansas.

Hy-Vee ranked 2nd on the National Center for Employee Ownership's list of Largest Employee Owned Companies in 2011.[17]
Hy-Vee ranked 45th on Forbes magazine's annual list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States in 2014.[18]
As of 2015, Hy-Vee Inc. employs over 78,000 individuals and is the largest employer in the state of Iowa. The company has annual sales over $8.7 billion.

Presidents & CEOs[edit]

Hy-Vee has only had 4 leaders in its 85 year history[19]
Dwight Vredenburg, son of founder David Vredenburg, became Hy-Vee's first president at 23 years old. He served as president for 45 years.

  • President: 1938–1983
  • CEO: 1978–1989
  • Chairman of the Board: 1978–1989

Ron Pearson, Hy-Vee's second CEO. During his time, Hy-Vee expanded its services to include gas stations, dry cleaning, and takeout meals.

  • President: 1983–2001
  • CEO: 1989–2003
  • Chairman of the Board: 1989–2006

Ric Jurgens, Hy-Vee's third CEO. Hy-Vee focused on healthy living during this time, adding pharmacies, clinics, dietitians, and health food sections to stores.

  • President: 2001–2009
  • CEO: 2003–2012
  • Chairman of the Board: 2006–2012

Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's fourth and current CEO. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has renovated many of their stores, introduced the Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program, and added online shopping.

  • President: 2009–Present
  • CEO: 2012–Present
  • Chairman of the Board: 2012–Present


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 serves as a sponsor for multiple cultural events in the Des Moines area:

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.[23] 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.


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 subsidiaries are:[24]

  • Midwest Heritage Bank, FSB, with branch locations and offices in Iowa
    • Purchased the National Bank & Trust Company of Chariton in 1963. Name was changed to Midwest Heritage Bank in 1995.
    • Ranked the 27th most healthy bank in the U.S. in 2015 by DepositAccounts.com[25]
  • Lomar Distributing, Inc., a specialty food distributor based in Des Moines
    • Acquired in 1990
  • Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd., a distributor of meat, seafood, cheese and dairy items based in Ankeny, Iowa
    • Became an affiliate in 1982 and a subsidiary of Hy-Vee in 1990
  • D & D Foods, Inc., a supplier of freshly prepared salads, dips, meat and entree items based in Omaha, Nebraska
    • Originally named D & D Salads, Inc., this subsidiary was purchased in 1992
  • Florist Distributing, Inc., a distributor of flowers and plants based in Des Moines, Iowa
    • Became a subsidiary in 1992
  • Hy-Vee Construction,[26] L.C., a construction company based in Des Moines
    • Partially purchased Weitz Construction in 1995 and named Hy-Vee/Weitz Construction L.C. Purchased the remaining share of the company in 2013, officially forming a subsidiary.
  • Amber Pharmacy
    • Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions and Amber Pharmacy began a partnership in 2009. Amber Pharmacy was fully purchased in 2014.

Notable employees[edit]

Executive officers[edit]

  • Randy Edeker, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President
  • Mike Skokan, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer
  • Tom Watson, Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Officer
  • Andy McCann, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Health Officer
  • Jon Wendel, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer
  • Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President - Eastern Region
  • Sheila Laing, Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer
  • Darren Baty, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer
  • Brett Bremser, Senior Vice President - Western Region
  • Laura Fulton, Senior Vice President - Northern Region
  • Karl Kruse, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain
  • Jeff Markey, Senior Vice President, Store Development
  • Donna Tweeten, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer


  1. ^ a b http://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/default.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/webres/File/Lamoni_Years.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/history/
  4. ^ https://view.publitas.com/hy-vee/smile-may-june-2015/page/12-13
  5. ^ https://businesscloud.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/proudly-employee-owned-hy-vee/
  6. ^ Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2005-06-08). "Drug Town Changes Name to Hy-Vee Drugstore". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  7. ^ FundingUniverse.com. "Hy-Vee, Inc., Company History". Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  8. ^ http://m.nonpareilonline.com/archive/gay-couples-still-finding-blocks-in-health-care/article_9ac0ec64-12aa-52f9-a5aa-5cc2afa7f307.html?mode=jqm
  9. ^ http://vitalsignsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/responding-to-hy-vees-decision-to.html?m=1
  10. ^ "Hy-Vee Plans First Grocery Store in Wisconsin". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  11. ^ http://www.hy-vee360.com/sustainability/green-building/leed-locations.html
  12. ^ "Hy-Vee Fuel Saver TM Terms and Conditions". Hy-Vee Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.hy-veemarketgrille.com/locations/
  14. ^ http://www.hy-veemarketcafe.com/locations/
  15. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/perks/about.aspx
  16. ^ http://www.startribune.com/hy-vee-has-aggressive-growth-plan-for-twin-cities-market/316143931/
  17. ^ https://www.nceo.org/assets/pdf/samples/newsletter_07_2011.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.forbes.com/largest-private-companies/
  19. ^ https://view.publitas.com/hy-vee/smile-may-june-2015/page/1
  20. ^ http://www.2015.80-35.com/festival-information/sponsors/
  21. ^ http://desmoinesartsfestival.org/sponsors/
  22. ^ http://www.iowastatefair.org/about-us/sponsorship/
  23. ^ Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2009-04-14). "Hy-Vee Becomes Official Grocery Partner of Kansas City Chiefs". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  24. ^ https://view.publitas.com/hy-vee/smile-may-june-2015/page/14-15
  25. ^ https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/health.aspx
  26. ^ http://www.hy-vee.com/company/press-room/press-releases/hy-vee-acquires-total-stake-hy-vee-weitz-construction.aspx
  27. ^ a b http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/02/12/kurt-warner-and-ashton-kutcher-talk-hy-vee-on-leno-last-prime-time-episode
  28. ^ http://www.ayoungblog.com/post/28351049111/hy-vee

External links[edit]