Named after its founders, Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg, Hy-Vee is an employee-owned company that encourages each of its more than 56,000 employees to help guide it on its way. Its slogan, “A Helpful Smile In Every Aisle,” expresses the foundation of the company’s philosophy and continues to be the message it imparts as it opens new stores.
- Headquarters: West Des Moines, Iowa
- Founding year: 1930
- Number of locations as of February 2011: 232
- Brands: Hy-Vee Mother’s Choice, Garden Helpers, Home Helpers, Kitchen Helpers, and HealthMarket; Midwest Country Fare, Baking Stone Bread, LeTechniq
- Annual sales: more than $6.9 billion
In January, when the company opened its $17.8 million state-of-the-art store in Liberty, Iowa, store director Jeff Eslick told his 443-person crew, “It’s because of you we’re still here.” He told them to consider “the millions of possibilities…the thousands of memories you can create…” but also cautioned them to remember just one thing: “Remember the single customer standing in front of you.”