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Hy-Vee buys Valley Pharmacy

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cherokee Hy-Vee Store Director Tim Haupert, left, congratulates Dale Bartel on his many successful years as owner of Valley Pharmacy and Valley Gifts & More in Cherokee. Hy-Vee has purchased the business from Bartel. Photo by Paul Struck.
No changes anticipated for longtime Cherokee business

DES MOINES - Officials with Hy-Vee Inc. have announced the purchase of Valley Pharmacy and Valley Gifts & More at 800 N. Second St. in Cherokee.

According to Hy-Vee, the businesses will remain at their current location and Valley Pharmacy will operate as a satellite pharmacy of the Cherokee Hy-Vee Food Store. The change is effective Monday, April 2.

Valley Pharmacy and Valley Gifts & More owner Dale Bartel said he has been in the profession for 29 years - 26 of those in Cherokee - and the time was right to step away.

"With our expansions and extended services, sales have increased each year, making our business an attractive addition for Hy-Vee," said Bartel. "I have witnessed a number of changes in the profession over the years, many of them very positive. Linda (wife) and I considered a number of factors before deciding the time was right to sell the business."

Hy-Vee believes strongly in ensuring the continuity of pharmaceutical health care in smaller markets, said Tim Haupert, Cherokee Hy-Vee Store Director, who also will manage the new acquisition. Haupert emphasized that customers will notice little change when the switch takes place. All Valley employees have been invited to join the Hy-Vee family.

"We intend to carry on the same tradition of superior service that Dale provided his loyal customers all those years," said Haupert. "Customers will see familiar faces throughout the store, giving them the personal care and friendly service that they can expect."

Bartel said he and his wife, Linda, were extremely grateful for the support that those in the Cherokee area gave them.

"Certainly, our growth has been due to our loyal customers, and also to the great staff that we have been privileged to work with. Cherokee is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family."

Haupert said the purchase of Valley Pharmacy and Valley Gifts & More will have no bearing on the existing Hy-Vee Drugstore at 218 E. Main St. in Cherokee, as that business will continue to operate autonomously, as in the past.

The name Valley Pharmacy will be changed to Hy-Vee Pharmacy in the future.

Hy-Vee Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 223 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For year 2006, the company recorded total sales of $5.3 billion, ranking it among the top 20 supermarket chains and the top 40 private companies in the United States.

The Hy-Vee company was named 2006 Retailer Of The Year by "Supermarket News," the authoritative voice of the food industry.

Hy-Vee also operates the Hy-Vee Distribution Center, one of the major employers in Cherokee.

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