On the chain’s website, a link to its homegrown program features a map with the locations of the farms in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota where Hy-Vee sources its locally grown produce.
Cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, squash, pumpkins, peppers and cabbage are among the commodities Hy-Vee buys in season from local growers.
Another bandwagon that Hy-Vee has chosen not to get on with the same zeal is store-branding.
The chain’s leading store-brand items include potatoes and bagged salads, but the category is not a priority, Coles said.
“We tend to push the major labels,” he said.
“It’s not a huge focus in our stores.”