Hy-Vee to add Starbucks, pharmacy

Miranda Malo

Miranda Malo

Hy-Vee in Brookings is expanding to make room for a host of new offerings, like Starbucks coffee, Chinese Express restaurant and Thrifty White Drug.

Construction of the 10,000 square-foot addition began Feb. 20 and is expected to take only 6 or 7 months to complete.

“We’re trying to have this project done by the time the college kids are back in town. We’re going full steam ahead,” said Doug Dell, store director.

The first step in the multistage project is to move the north wall out, increasing the size of the dairy and frozen foods sections. It will allow for the addition of a health mart, Thrifty White Drug, which will contain natural and organic products. Hy-Vee purchased the business in January and it will be located in the northeast corner of the store with a drive-up window feature.

Dell cites “lifestyle changes” as the driving force behind much of the planned remodeling.

“We’re making [grocery shopping] more of an event for our customers,” he said, noting that the project has been in the works for two years.

Only a handful of Hy-Vee stores across the nation have an in-house Starbucks. The kiosk, which will likely have hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., will greet shoppers as they enter the store.

“Coffee seems to be a big category and continues to grow,” said Dell.

The size of the current salad bar and sit-down eating facility will double, and a Chinese Express restaurant will be added.

Although other departments, such as the bakery and the floral shop, are slated for remodels, Dell said he doesn’t expect many interruptions in customer service.

“We’re going to make it very convenient for our customers,” he said.

Kevin Rehder, a junior general agriculture major, said he is glad to see the changes. As last semester’s food manager for FarmHouse fraternity, Rehder visited the location weekly to buy large quantities of groceries.

“They do need more room because the aisles are kind of crowded,” he said

Brendon McQuown, who has worked at Hy-Vee for seven months, said he too is excited about the change, especially the addition of Starbucks and Chinese Express.

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s good if you like those kinds of things,” he said.

Dell expects to increase sales as well as increase his 380-member staff to around 400.

“It’s good. I think they’re going to need [more employees] to man everything they’ve got coming in,” McQuown said.

Dell said that the entire project “will help customer service.”

#1.885278:4241644697.jpg:hyveestore.jpg:Construction began Feb. 20 in the Brookings Hy-Vee.: