Originally Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2009, 9:08 am
Last Updated: Jan. 13, 2009, 8:09 pm

Hy-Vee opens 11th Q-C store

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Sean Leary, sleary@qconline.com

Photo: John Greenwood
Hy-Vee’s 225th retail outlet, located at 750 42nd Ave. Dr. in Moline, held its ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning with a large crowd anticipating the event. Jim Lehman, the store director, prepares to cut the ribbon with assistance from Moline mayor Don Welvaert and chamber president Rick Baker.
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Photo: John Greenwood
The Hy-Vee Club Room, located in the new Hy-Vee at 750 42nd Ave. Dr. in Moline, was utilized by many of those in attendance following the ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning. The room can accommodate roughly 40 people, said Melissa Whitehouse, Club Room manager. The room is available for private parties, cooking classes, healthy lifestyles classes, corporate gatherings, wine tastings and spirits parring. For further information, contact Melissa at 757-1085.
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Photo: John Greenwood
After the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of Hy-Vee’s 225th retail outlet, located at 750 42nd Ave. Dr., Debbie Geisler, Quad City Marketing Coordinator for Hy-Vee, visits with Michelle Beckwith, Mrs. Illinois, near the front of the latest Hy-Vee store to emerge in the Quad Cities.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
Hy-Vee’s 225th retail outlet, located at 750 42nd Ave. Dr. in Moline, held its ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning with a large crowd anticipating the event. Jim Lehman, the store director, cuts the ribbon with assistance from his wife, Linda. Moline mayor Don Welvaert and chamber of commerce president Rick Baker spoke at the ceremony. Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 225 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. The store features a food court offering Hy-Vee’s Kitchen, Chinese Express and Italian Express restaurants, a soup and salad bar and a New York-style delicatessen; a full-service meat and seafood department; expansive produce, bakery, dairy and frozen food departments; a Hy-Vee Club room; a pharmacy with drive-through service; a branch of the RIA Federal Credit Union; a 4,300-square-foot wine and spirits store; digital picture maker; a full-service floral shop; and a variety of additional customer services.
MOLINE -- Sub-zero temperatures didn't stop shoppers from packing into Moline's new 77,200-square-foot Hy-Vee superstore Tuesday morning.

The store at 750 42nd Ave., a site formerly occupied by an Eagle supermarket, had its grand opening at 8 a.m. accompanied by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and scads of sales and smiling employees.

What makes Hy-Vee think it can succeed in the location where Eagle failed?

``It has to do with the people involved, with the customer service," said Rick Lampkin, a retired store director and spokesman for Hy-Vee who has been with the company since 1966. ``Anyone can open a building and sell pork and beans. What you need are people that are going to make that shopping experience a good one. That will keep customers coming back.''

There was no shortage of people coming in Tuesday morning. Despite wicked temperatures, the spacious parking lot was jammed with cars and customers leaving halos of steamy breath behind them as they chugged into the warmth of the store.

``I'm happy to see it finally open,'' said Margaret Rosen, 63, of Moline. ``I've always liked Hy-Vee. They've got very good prices and very good customer service.''

``This will be an absolutely wonderful addition for Moline,'' Mr. Lampkin said. ``It's got a great location and a great crew. I think people will really enjoy their shopping experience here.''

The massive $14 million building includes a food court offering everything from Chinese to pizza to deli-style food; a vast array of groceries; a pharmacy with drive-through service; a Hy-Vee Club room; a branch of the RIA Federal Credit Union; a 4,300 square foot wine and spirits store; a digital photo center; full-service floral shop; a registered full-time dietitian; and a number of other amenities. It employs 450 people, many of whom have been with the company for decades.

One of those employees is the new store's manager, Jim Lehman, who started as a clerk at age 15 and 24 years later has risen to run his own store.

``The store opening is like a 100-pound gorilla off my back,'' Mr. Lehman said, noting that construction began in March 2008. ``It was a lot of hard work and I have to give all the compliments to my staff, which did a terrific job. I couldn't be more proud.

``It's great to be here,'' Mr. Lehman said. ``We could not be more proud to be here in Moline and we look forward to serving our customers for many years to come.''