Partners Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg — the “Hy” and the “Vee” in Hy-Vee — opened their first store together in 1930 in Beaconsville, Iowa, and from very early on established the principle of store-level autonomy that still guides the chain today. As the chain began to expand, it began paying store managers on a profit-sharing basis in 1933, according to a history on the company’s website. Store managers met at one of the stores to discuss ...

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