New store director at the helm

Kevin Barry joins Webster City Hy-Vee team

-Daily Freeman Journal photo by Joe Sutter
Store Director Kevin Barry talks with Floral manager Tina Groninga at the Webster City store recently. Barry has been working with Hy-Vee since he was 14, and became manager of this store on April 29.

Hy-Vee’s newest store manager has been working with the grocery chain since he was 14.

Kevin Barry took the position at Webster City Hy-Vee on April 29.

“I was one of the young guys who got in. My dad is very traditional; he said if I was going to get a car, I needed to get a job,” Barry said. ” I’ve just been on the Hy-Vee path ever since.”

Barry grew up in Marion, outside Cedar Rapids, and graduated from Linn-Mar High School in 2008. He started out at his hometown Hy-Vee as a bagger.

“I just came up through the ranks,” Barry said. “I’ve worked in meat. I’ve worked in produce. I’ve done just about it all.”

He worked in Madison, Wisconsin for a while, before spending the last 3 ½ years in Cedar Falls as assistant store director.

His higher education also came through Hy-Vee’s university program.

“I’ve been through them all. So I’ve been through a retail services program, a business leadership undergraduate program, and the last one was a masters program called MRO. That’s the next level, before you become a director,” Barry said. “I started in college, and it just wasn’t for me. I’ve had some good mentors along the way, who guided me through this direction to train for what I needed to do here.”

Being in Webster City has been great so far, Barry said, and he’s been taking the chance to get out in the community and get to know people.

“Everybody has been very receptive so far. We just purchased a house this week, and we’re excited to get moved here so we can do more stuff downtown and get to know everybody else, and get out to the events that happen in this community,” he said.

Barry is engaged to Abbye Van Cleave. His family also includes a Maltipoo dog named Milo.

Several events are on his radar.

“At Junquefest, we’re going to do some volunteering. We’re grilling out at that, actually,” Barry said. “And the Hamilton County Fair is coming up, so we’re getting our plans together for that.”

Barry is looking forward to the store sponsoring Hy-Vee Kids Night at the Hamilton County Speedway again this year.

“This year we also put back up the garden center. With Kmart and, unfortunately, Shopko closing down, we wanted to give good variety to our customers so they had somewhere to come get their items,” he said. “For a couple years they stopped. I know had done something smaller format out front, but we thought this year it would be great to give better variety to our customers.”

Barry is also happy about the new Fast and Fresh gas station that went up earlier this year, as well as the burger nights and Thursday “comfort food” promotions.