The Hy-Vee grocery store in St. Peter has set an opening date, about a year after it first announced its presence in town.
After several months of construction, the new Hy-Vee in St. Peter, located at 1002 Old Minnesota Ave., will open its doors to the public at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, for its official grand opening, a spokesperson told the St. Peter Herald.
The over 35,000-square-foot store will offer a full selection of grocery items; a bakery section; a Wall of Values; a floral section; and a selection of charcuterie and specialty cheese. Additional amenities include a Hy-Vee Market Grille, offering fresh, made-to-order meals; Hickory House Comfort Foods; a pharmacy with a drive-up window; Hy-Vee Aisles Online grocery services; and self-checkout lanes.
The company announced in June that the store would also feature a Starbucks inside. The pharmacy has been in operation since early 2019, shortly after ShopKo, which previously occupied the space, announced it would close.
The building off Hwy. 169 in northern St. Peter was renovated to accommodate a pharmacy and grocery store. Construction started this spring/summer, wrapping up in the days to come. Hy-Vee is also currently working on employee training.
The company had no trouble moving ahead with construction during the COVID-19 pandemic, as construction was always listed as an essential service in Minnesota. Like all public indoor venues, Hy-Vee stores must require customers to wear face masks while that mandate is still in place.
Other than the coffee shop addition, the plans were unchanged from when the store was originally announced in June 2019. At that time, there was hope that construction could begin in 2019 with an early 2020 opening, but the timeline was pushed back, and construction began in spring 2020.
The grocery store comes with food service, offering lunch and grab-and-go items, like pizza and Chinese food. It will also have a flower shop area, deli and bakery. The footprint is smaller than the two stores in Mankato, and Hy-Vee Senior Vice President of Communications Tina Potthoff said the company has no immediate plans for expanding the building. The St. Peter building is about 36,000 square feet; the uptown Mankato store, first opened in 1997, is about 68,500 square feet.
“The footprint will be smaller than what you might see in Mankato or the Twin Cities,” Potthoff said. “A lot of the recent stores have been 6,000 to 30,000 or 40,000 square feet. Our stores are no longer 100 percent large format stores, so we’re looking at making this building our own. Our stores are a mixtures of sizes these days. Our new stores are no longer all 90,000 square feet. We’re exploring different sizes, as we continue to grow.”
Hy-Vee will be leasing, rather than owning the building, a common move for the company.
The opening of the new St. Peter Hy-Vee will create 142 local jobs, including 32 full-time positions. Hy-Vee is currently looking to fill positions at this location. Interested applicants can search positions and apply at hy-vee.com/careers. The store will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.