Hy-Vee to enter restaurant business with Wahlburgers partnership

One potential Wahlburgers could be built in Eastern Iowa

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Grocery chain Hy-Vee will break into the restaurant business next year.

Hy-Vee announced late Wednesday that it has partnered with Wahlburgers, a restaurant chain founded by Paul Wahlberg and his brothers, actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg.

Under the agreement, Hy-Vee said it will build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers in seven Midwestern states. The first restaurant will be built in West Des Moines, where Hy-Vee is based, and open mid-next year, according to a news release. No other restaurant locations were announced Wednesday, but a map provided by Hy-Vee shows one potential future location in Eastern Iowa.

“There is a changing landscape in the retail industry,” Hy-Vee Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company. With this type of progressive action, Hy-Vee is well positioned for future growth.”

Hy-Vee also will begin selling Wahlburgers food at its Market Grilles, the eateries located in many Hy-Vee stores.

Wahlburgers started in Massachusetts in 2011 and has 17 restaurants in nine states.

This is not the first time Hy-Vee has partnered with Mark Wahlberg. The actor made an appearance when Hy-Vee opened its downtown Des Moines store last year, and chain sells his brand of fitness supplements.

In addition to the Wahlburgers agreement, Hy-Vee also announced an agreement with Orangetheory Fitness to give customers “a fitness experience” in or next to Hy-Vee stores. The first Hy-Vee Orangetheory Fitness location will open this year in Minnesota.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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