9 Things You Should Know Before Shopping at Hy-Vee for the First Time

published Mar 15, 2022
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The facade of the Hyvee Supermarket on the west side of Madison, Wisconsin.
Credit: Shutterstock/Juli Hansen

Ever think you’d find yourself in a grocery store that made it fun to shop for spirits, makeup, and Chinese takeout, all in one place? The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a diamond in the rough Hy-Vee actually is in the Midwest. Founded in Iowa in 1930, as a single general store, it has since re-branded and expanded to include more than 280 retail locations across eight Midwestern states.

Another interesting thing to note about Hy-Vee? The store is employee-owned by both direct stockholders (store directors and executive staff members), and indirect stockholders, which includes more than 30,000 Hy-Vee employees. If you have yet to experience this unique and growing Midwestern store, here are some things to note before you step foot inside.

Credit: Meredith Schneider

1. The store has partnerships with two popular coffee companies.

Skip your morning coffee or the extra stop on the way to the grocery store: Hy-Vee has an extended partnership with both Caribou Coffee and Starbucks, so there will most likely be a full coffee shop at whichever location you’re visiting. 

Credit: Meredith Schneider

2. They have a growing wellness area.

Several years ago, Hy-Vee dedicated a small section of the store (one to two aisles) specifically to organic foods and health supplements. Since then, those sections have expanded across several aisles at each location to include organic snacks and beverages, gluten-free items, and more. You’ll also notice this section features products made by local artisans from surrounding Midwest communities.

3. They have 24-hour, restaurant-style takeout.

My family has been turning to Hy-Vee for their incredible Chinese food options for decades. (The fried rice and crab rangoon are my personal favorites.) Late-night hours and 24-hour service make a quick sushi run both a breeze and exciting at any time of day.

Credit: Meredith Schneider

4. The spirits selection is extensive.

Over the years, I’ve avoided having to make separate outings to the liquor store, thanks to the convenience — and vast selection — offered at Hy-Vee. Locations built in the last decade have an entire extra wing dedicated to adult beverages organized by type, country, and flavor profile. Plus, there is a side entrance, so you don’t have to wind your way through the store if you’re not planning on grocery shopping.

Credit: Meredith Schneider

5. The beauty section rivals the ones in department stores.

Looking for a new bath soak, mascara, or lotion? The beauty department, which is a recent addition to stores, is sectioned off much like in a department store, with bright lighting and mirrors, and representatives to help you find the items you need, including skincare, haircare, and more.

6. You can refuel or recharge your car before you go.

The majority of Hy-Vee locations have added a considerable selection of hybrid and Tesla-specific vehicle chargers. And for those of us with gas-powered cars and trucks? Many locations have gas stations attached to them, where you can earn discounts on gas through your grocery purchases.

7. Some people go out of their way to have their tires checked there.

One of the best Hy-Vee perks exists exclusively at the locations with gas stations. Many people will go out of their way to get their tire pressure checked at Hy-Vee gas because the machines conveniently auto-measure the air as you fill your tires and beep at you once the they are full. 

8. They have their own disaster relief fleet.

In general, Hy-Vee franchisees usually work closely within their communities. When tornadoes devastated Joplin and southern Missouri years ago, they sent items to help with first aid and cleanup efforts. And in 2021, the grocer created a disaster relief fleet, which includes 10 vehicles, to respond to areas impacted by devastating events.

9. The store releases weekly sales on Mondays, and targeted promos on Tuesdays.

Hy-Vee offers weekly sales that switch up on Mondays. More targeted sales and promotions, like seafood and pet sales, tend to go up on the store’s website on Tuesdays. And, seasonally, the store will offer weekend promotional events for holidays like Thanksgiving. Recently, I’ve noticed the addition of more pop-up ads on the site, which makes it challenging to view weekly promotions and coupons on a tablet or smartphone. I recommend viewing them on a desktop, when possible.

Do you shop at Hy-Vee? What else do people need to know? Share your tips in the comments below.