Hy-Vee opens in Fitchburg

Scott Girard

Photo by Scott Girard. Hy-Vee opened its doors in Fitchburg Tuesday morning.

Carts rolled, scanners bleeped and items flew off the shelves as grocery shoppers flooded to the new Fitchburg Hy-Vee Tuesday on the store’s first day of business.

The store, located at 2920 Fitchrona Road across from Super Target, is the third Hy-Vee in the Madison area and brings the company’s heavy focus on health to Fitchburg.

The grocery chain, which has stores in eight states, sets itself apart from other chains with features like on-site dieticians, a fresh seafood tank and in-store dining. The Fitchburg store includes six chefs, new artisan breads cooked in a special oven and 187 specialty cheeses.

Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president Randy Edeker told the Fitchburg Star Monday at a pre-opening event that the company brings a presence in the community that other companies may not.

“I think we’ve done a good job of coming in and becoming a part of the tapestry of the community,” Edeker said. “We understand perishables well, we understand health well, like natural and organic like most people don’t.

“We do lots of little things that just make a difference.”

Last fall, Hy-Vee donated $15,000 toward the city’s splash pad efforts, something Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff thanked the company for at a grand opening ceremony Tuesday morning.

“Hy-Vee is committed to this area and today we are excited to have them come,” Pfaff said. “This store will provide people with the community services they want.”

Lucas Glasgow, the Fitchburg Hy-Vee store director, also cited the company’s three platforms of customer experience, culinary expertise and health and wellness as what sets Hy-Vee apart from other chains.

The store will have 605 employees, with 141 full-time jobs, Edeker said, including in the store’s “Market Grille,” which is similar but more fully staffed than the “Market Café” restaurants in the two Madison locations.

Gov. Scott Walker also attended the grand opening, and pointed to growth of grocery stores like Hy-Vee in Wisconsin and around the country as good for the state because of the food and beverages produced here.

“It’s part of a growing industry,” Walker said. “It’s part of an overall surge here in the state.

Pfaff said Hy-Vee first approached the city in summer 2011 about building, and that after “a couple of meetings,” the city knew it wanted to work to get the store built.

The store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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