Hy-Vee rebrands comfort foods as part of food-court concept

By Jodi Schwan

There’s a subtle switch in a well-known part of Hy-Vee that could be a sign of more changes to come.

The station serving to-go “comfort foods” like chicken strips and meatloaf has been renamed Hickory House Comfort Foods.

“A lot of our favorites are in there,” said Wes Snook, who oversees the district that includes Sioux Falls. “Some traditional things that are good to eat but healthy foods.”

It’s more than a name change, though, Snook said. Hickory House has added more Southern-inspired items such as baby back ribs and brisket and also serves smoked turkey breast, pork tenderloin, and traditional and spicy fried chicken.

“And we can still cater anything, from prime rib to fried chicken,” he added. “That’s a separate department that can cater Hickory House but also can cater anything we’ve been known for.”

In newer Hy-Vee stores in other markets, Hickory House Comfort Foods sits alongside other food offerings. In the Sioux Falls stores, those include carry-out Asian options and a salad bar.

In newer stores, in addition to Market Grille sit-down restaurants, there is “more of a food court feel the rest of the way through,” Snook said.

Those options include a customized hibachi grill station, an Italian street-food concept with flatbreads and pita sandwiches, Cocina Mexicana, which serves Mexican street food, and a Long Island deli where pastrami and corned beef are cut in front of customers.

“It’s fantastic, and it’s gone over really well,” Snook said. “We’re always looking at how do we focus in on what customers want.”

As Hy-Vee evaluates the new concepts, it’s possible they will be integrated into the Sioux Falls stores, he said.

“Sioux Falls is a very important market for us and has done really well for us over the years, and we like to keep it fresh and up to date there.”

Hy-Vee rebrands comfort foods as part of food-court concept

There’s a subtle switch in a well-known part of Hy-Vee that could be a sign of more changes to come.

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