Hy-Vee, Inc.
Industry Retail (grocery)
Founded Beaconsfield, Iowa, (1930)
Founders Charles Hyde
David Vredenburg
Headquarters West Des Moines, Iowa
Number of locations
240+ (2016)[1]
Key people
Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President
Mike Skokan, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Andy McCann, Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer
Sheila Laing, Executive Vice President, Government/Industry Relations, Chief Customer Officer
Darren Baty, Executive Vice President - Eastern Region
Brett Bremser, Executive Vice President - Perishables
Products bakery, catering, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gas, general grocery, meat and seafood, pharmacy, HealthMarket, Market Grille, wine & spirits, general merchandise, lawn & garden, floristry, fuel/convenience stores.
Revenue Increase $9.3 Billion (2015)
Number of employees
Website hy-vee.com

Hy-Vee /ˌhˈv/ is an employee-owned chain of more than 240 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 + Perks, 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, in a small brick building known as the Beaconsfield Supply Store, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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 March 10, 2015, in Bloomington, Illinois, with 108,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of retail space.[2]

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


Early years and General Supply Company

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.

In 1921, Charles Hyde started working for the General Supply Company's store in Woodbine, Iowa, which was operated by Vredenburg & Lewis.

In 1922, the General Supply Company was formally incorporated. When incorporated, David Vredenburg was president and Charles Hyde was a member of the board of directors.

In 1924, Charles Hyde left the General Supply Company and started his own store in Cameron, Missouri.

In 1927, Hyde purchased a half stake of a store in Kellerton, Iowa, the other half being owned by the General Supply Company, whose president was Vredenburg.

In 1930, Vredenburg and Hyde started a separate partnership from the General Supply Company, named Supply Stores, and opened their first store in Beaconsfield, Iowa.

In 1932, The General Supply Company was dissolved because of effects of the Great Depression. Vredenburg purchased most of the former General Supply Company's remaining stores and mill.

Both Hyde and Vredenburg owned and operated other stores independently, outside of their partnership, at this time.

Hyde and Vredenburg's partnership was briefly dissolved for approximately six months in 1935 after Iowa enacted the Chain Tax Act of 1935, a heavy tax against chain stores, which was later declared unconstitutional.

In 1938, Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc was officially incorporated, with 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri. The incorporation consolidated all of Hyde's and Vredenburg's independently owned stores, with the stores they had in their partnership. The company was headquartered in Lamoni. In creating the new company, its management plan involved autonomy by individual store managers, setting the stage for its eventual employee ownership.

In 1945, Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company.

The Supply Store name, with each town's name preceding it, was still used on most stores until 1952. A few stores were named differently, with names such as: Hyde's Service Store, Vredenburg's Grocery, and Hyde & Vredenburg, which were all changed in 1952.[3][4]

50s and 60s

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 1956, Hy-Vee introduced its first private label products, along with a new logo for the Hy-Vee name.[5]

In 1957, Hy-Vee opened its first in-store Bakery in the Iowa City, Iowa, Store.

In 1960, the company became employee owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund.[6]

The slogan "Where There's a Helpful Smile in every Aisle" was first used in a TV commercial in 1963.

The company's 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.

In 1969, Hy-Vee opened its first Drug Town, a pharmacy separate from a regular store, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Hy-Vee had 66 stores at the end of 1969.

70s, 80s, and 90s

Hy-Vee continued expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, opening stores in South Dakota (1975), Nebraska (1977), Illinois (1979), and Kansas (1988).

In 1975, Hy-Vee's 100th store, which was also its first to use electronic cash registers, opened in Keokuk, Iowa.

By the end of 1989 Hy-Vee had 172 stores in seven states.[7]

In 1994, Hy-Vee updated its 30-year-old logo, which is the logo that is used today.

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.

In 1997, the first Hy-Vee Gas, a convenience store and gas station, opened in Davenport, Iowa. As of August 2015, there are over 125 Hy-Vee Gas locations[8]

In 1998, Hy-Vee introduced online grocery shopping. Items could be ordered online or by phone for delivery or pickup from certain stores.[9]

Current era

In 2005, Hy-Vee renamed all Drug Town stores to Hy-Vee Drugstores in order to reflect the relationship between the chain's pharmacies and supermarkets.[10]

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 straight couples.[11] 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.[12]

Hy-Vee expanded into Wisconsin in 2009 with a store in Madison, Wisconsin. This was also Hy-Vee's first LEED-certified store.[13] Hy-Vee has 6 LEED Certified stores as of July 2015.[14]

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.[15]

In 2013, Hy-Vee introduced Hy-Vee Market Fresh Grille, a full service restaurant attached to stores. The name was later changed to Hy-Vee Market Grille because of legal reasons. Hy-Vee also had locations named Hy-Vee Market Café, which had a smaller menu. All Market Café locations changed their name to Market Grille in 2016. As of September 2016, there were 99 Market Grille locations[16]

In 2015, Hy-Vee introduced Hy-Vee Aisles Online, a new website for their online grocery shopping. Items can now be ordered from any store for delivery or pickup.

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.[17]

Hy-Vee opened its first two stores in the Twin Cities market on September 22, 2015. According to Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's CEO, he intends for the Twin Cities area to be Hy-Vee's "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.[18]

Construction is underway for a store in downtown Des Moines. The $30 million project will include a 35,000-square-foot grocery store, 82 apartments above the store, a two-story parking ramp and space for a possible second phase of housing. The store is scheduled to open in February 2017 and will be the first Hy-Vee in a downtown market.[19]

In 2016, Hy-Vee added a clothing boutique to some stores in the Des Moines and Twin Cities markets. The clothing boutique has clothes from Tesco owned fashion brand F&F. [20][21]

Information and statistics

Hy-Vee is known to move departments into separate buildings as requirements dictate, or for optimal customer service. This is commonly seen in the construction of a separate building for Hy-Vee Gas, usually near 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 adheres to Missouri alcohol laws instead of the laws of Kansas.

Hy-Vee ranked 2nd on the National Center for Employee Ownership's list of Largest Employee Owned Companies in 2011.[22]
Hy-Vee ranked 32nd on Forbes magazine's annual list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States in 2016.[23]
Hy-Vee ranked 27th on "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" by Supermarket News in 2016.[24]
Hy-Vee ranked 4th on America’s Favorite Grocery Retailers by Market Force Information in 2016. [25]

As of 2016, Hy-Vee Inc. employs over 82,000 persons, and is the largest private employer in the state of Iowa. The company has annual sales over $9.3 billion.

Presidents and CEOs

Hy-Vee has only had 4 leaders in its 85-year history[26]
Dwight Vredenburg, son of founder David Vredenburg, became Hy-Vee's first president at 23 years old. He served as president for 45 years.

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

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.

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 emphasized expanding online shopping.


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 was named a founding partner for U.S. Bank Stadium and official partner of the Minnesota Vikings in August 2015. This partnership includes prominent signage in the new stadium.[30]

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.[31] 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:[32]

Notable employees


  1. 1 2 http://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/default.aspx
  2. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/hy-vee-ready-for-today-s-opening/article_f09cd538-2277-5441-b41e-a91f7c96c49c.html
  3. http://www.hy-vee.com/webres/File/Lamoni_Years.pdf
  4. http://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/history/
  5. https://view.publitas.com/hy-vee/smile-may-june-2015/page/12-13
  6. https://businesscloud.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/proudly-employee-owned-hy-vee/
  7. FundingUniverse.com. "Hy-Vee, Inc., Company History". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  8. https://www.hy-vee.com/stores/gas-finder/
  9. https://www.hy-vee.com/company/about-hy-vee/history/1990s-HyVeeHistory.aspx
  10. Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2005-06-08). "Drug Town Changes Name to Hy-Vee Drugstore". Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  11. http://m.nonpareilonline.com/archive/gay-couples-still-finding-blocks-in-health-care/article_9ac0ec64-12aa-52f9-a5aa-5cc2afa7f307.html?mode=jqm
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  14. http://www.hy-vee360.com/sustainability/green-building/leed-locations.html
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  16. http://www.hy-veemarketgrille.com/locations/
  17. http://www.hy-vee.com/perks/about.aspx
  18. http://www.startribune.com/hy-vee-has-aggressive-growth-plan-for-twin-cities-market/316143931/
  19. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2015/08/13/downtown-des-moines-hy-vee-farmers-market/31575239/
  20. http://www.startribune.com/new-hy-vee-grocery-store-in-lakeville-will-carry-clothing-too/383618551/
  21. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2016/06/22/grocery-hyvee-clothing-stores/86194976/
  22. https://www.nceo.org/assets/pdf/samples/newsletter_07_2011.pdf
  23. http://www.forbes.com/largest-private-companies/
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  27. http://2016.80-35.com/about.phtml
  28. http://desmoinesartsfestival.org/sponsors/
  29. http://www.iowastatefair.org/sponsors//
  30. http://www.vikings.com/news/new-stadium/article-1/Hy-Vee-Named-Founding-Partner-of-US-Bank-Stadium-Official-Partner-of-Vikings/06afd153-ff4f-4bd6-9608-95fb54912c9a
  31. Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2009-04-14). "Hy-Vee Becomes Official Grocery Partner of Kansas City Chiefs". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
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