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Construction in motion for Hy-Vee this spring

Construction on the Hy-Vee grocery store in Bloomington will begin this spring.

The city of Bloomington has officially approved the construction permits necessary in order to start building on 1407 N. Veterans Parkway, where the previous K’s Merchandise had been located.

Demolition will only involve a part of the building — since the remaining three walls of the building will still remain intact, it may take less time to complete the project, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Chris Friesleben said.

Talk of the development of the popular grocery chain surfaced last fall. The Bloomington Hy-Vee is estimated to be ready for opening in about a year.

Once Hy-Vee opens its doors, the grocery chain could offer “upwards of 600 jobs, along with the restaurant,” Justine Robinson, Bloomington economic development director, said.

The hiring process will begin in a few months’ time after development of the building has been underway.

Hy-Vee features a variety of departments: a full-service restaurant, bakery, pharmacy, wine and spirit, floral and seafood/meat departments, all of which would offer part and full-time jobs.

Also included in the grocery store’s specialties are cakes and desserts, natural and organic products and a specialty cheese shop.

Other positions for hiring include cashiers, stockers, department managers and courtesy clerks, whose job it is to answer any questions customers may have. All of these positions are open for part and full-time employees.

“I think [Hy-Vee] will offer Bloomington-Normal a unique grocery experience,” Robinson said, also mentioning the cultural specialty the store has within it, from sushi to Chinese food on the go.

The Bloomington Hy-Vee opening “brings the platform of excellent customer service that sets us apart from others,” Friesleben said.

“We offer more than being able to just tell a customer where the mac and cheese is located. We have dieticians that can help customers with a diet plan and chefs who can help teach healthy cooking … [Hy-Vee employees] focus totally on the customer.”

“We’ve always done well in university towns and we expect to do well there too,” Friesleben said.

“When we’re in university towns, a lot of college students work for us,” she said. “We are flexible with their hours because school obviously is their number one priority and we respect that. We are looking for good workers to work with us so it’s good for the both of us,” she added.

The Iowa-based grocery chain has risen to the top as a store that provides customers with exceptional customer services and low prices. Hy-Vee also remains one of the ultimate locations shoppers can learn more about health and nutrition, and will have the opportunity to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle.

Since 1930, Hy-Vee has continued to reach success across the Midwest with more than 230 supermarkets in eight different states. “Hy-Vee will offer an experience and variety that we don’t already have,” Robinson said.

“We’ve had positive reactions about it and the community is excited,” she added. “We look forward to working with Hy-Vee.”

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