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Kruse is man to 'meat' at Worthington's Fareway Foods

New Fareway Food Store Meat Manager Neil Kruse (right) poses Wednesday with Steve Steinfeldt, an assistant meat manager at Fareway, at the Worthington store.

WORTHINGTON -- It didn't take very long for Neil Kruse's life to change.

As of last Tuesday, Kruse was working as an assistant meat manager for Fareway Food Stores in Shenandoah, Iowa, where he had been employed for five years. It was that day he was told of his promotion to meat manager at Fareway's Worthington location, effective immediately.

After telling his wife and three children the news, Kruse was bound for Worthington to begin his new duties the very next day.

"I'd rather do it this way than sit at home and worry about it for a few days," Kruse said Wednesday morning. "I was excited to get here. I pulled into town around 8 o'clock and talked to Wade (outgoing meat manager Schueler) for about two hours, and then went and got a hotel room."

Kruse is no stranger to the region, having grown up in the northwest Iowa community of Ringsted.

"I don't know Worthington in-depth, but I've been through it a few times and know the area somewhat," he said.

Kruse knows the state of Iowa fairly well thanks to his work with Fareway. He joined the grocery store chain when he began working part-time in the meat department in its Estherville store after graduating from high school. That led to a full-time job there, and Kruse later moved on to a post as a full-time meat cutter at Fareway's location in Grimes.

Kruse was promoted to assistant meat manager at Fareway's Le Mars store, and was eventually transferred to another assistant meat manager position in Iowa Falls. Kruse was relocated to Shenandoah after that, setting the stage for his advancement to his Worthington slot.

"I have an assistant manager, another full-timer and six part-time guys," Kruse said of his new meat department. "I'm looking forward to getting started here."

Kruse is married to wife Nicole and the couple has three children: Carter, 5, Allie, 4, and Keagan, 10 months. The family hopes to find a place to rent in Worthington in the not-too-distant future.

In his spare time, Kruse enjoys watching sports -- he's a Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings fan -- as well as playing golf and spending time with his wife and kids.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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