Opening day approaches for Fareway
WORTHINGTON -- This community's brand new supermarket is bringing more than an additional shopping option to town.
It's bringing in new residents, too.
Fareway Food Stores will open at its Worthington location near the corner of Ryan's Road and McMillan Street at 10 a.m. Wednesday. For four managers at the new supermarket, it marks the latest stage in their Fareway career -- and the beginning of a new life in a new community.
For Meat Manager Wade Schueler, Worthington will be the seventh Fareway store at which he's worked. He has come to southwest Minnesota from Waterloo, Iowa, where he was an assistant meat manager.
Schueler, unsurprisingly, is enthusiastic about his career and what he and fellow Fareway employees will offer Worthington shoppers.
"We always sell USDA choice beef, and we sell chairman's reserve pork and all-natural chicken," Schueler said. "We cut our meat fresh every day, we wrap it to specific needs and we cut it any way customers like. Our biggest thing is we are a full-service meat counter, and people come to expect great service."
Schueler is joined in the meat department by his assistant manager, Matt Stotts, who has enjoyed a 10-year career with Fareway thus far. He previously was assistant meat manager in Carroll, Iowa.
"I'm just looking forward to bringing my family to the community," said Stotts, who along with other managers has been staying in Worthington motels while preparing for Wednesday's grand opening.
"One thing that's really appealing to Fareway employees is that we're always closed on Sunday," Stotts added. "We're not a 24-hour business. ... It gives employees a chance to spend a day with their families."
The importance of family -- and putting the customer first -- are both ultra-important at Fareway, Assistant Grocery Manager Justin Laursen said. Laursen has been with Fareway for 15 years, and has relocated to Worthington from Vinton, Iowa.
"We're all about providing great customer service," Laursen stated. "Every order gets carried out to the car and sacked -- you don't have to sack your own groceries, we sack them. We carry a wide selection of all brands, and we also have our fresh produce and a fresh bakery."
Laursen is grateful to Fareway for offering him his new professional opportunity in Worthington.
"They'll transfer people around in the management program to just get different ideas on things like displaying merchandising, differing styles of management. ... You get to learn all that when you go through the ranks of how to deal with people and customers."
Schueler noted that Worthington is the site of Fareway's 96th store. Though the store hasn't opened to the public yet, there has been plenty going on inside.
"We've been bringing products in, doing pricing and training new employees," Grocery Manager Marie Stricker said.
"Everyone has been really friendly and really excited about us coming to town," continued Stricker, who has been with Fareway for 18 years and is starting her first grocery manager stint. "Employees are really positive and excited about getting involved. ... These guys (fellow managers) all have families, so they're going to be involved in a lot of school activities and will be getting to know a lot of people."
Fareway will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The store will employ approximately 80 people between the grocery and meat departments.