The new Urbandale Hy-Vee may just be the coolest grocery store ever.
And I'm not the only one who thinks so. More than a hundred people turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning at 87th Street and Douglas Avenue, even Gov. Terry Branstad.
Store director Josh Asche said the event for him was "Overjoyous."
"This is a dream come true," Asche said. "Hy-Vee is all I've ever known."
Asche's been around Hy-Vees his entire life — his father was a store director as well, who opened a Hy-Vee in 1995. He said the store employees were "pumped up" for the grand opening. The store -- billed as the biggest in the chain -- increased the number of Hy-Vee jobs in Urbandale from 300 to 600, according to Asche.
"We're ready to rock," Asche said.
My first impression inside the new Hy-Vee is awe. The store is large, spacious, clean and filled with delicious-looking produce. Energetic music plays in the background that I can't help but keep time to. There's something about this Hy-Vee that is oddly hip.
I experience several jaw-dropping moments — the appearance of a vast rack of thinly-sliced deli meats, a milk bone bar for dogs, Italian gelato, a full-service restaurant and an olive and hummus bar.
The store is jam-packed with people checking it out, but it doesn't really feel crowded. There are stands with samples set up nearly everywhere around the store.
There's a vast display of cheese wheels and bakery cakes. In one corner, you can grab an order of sushi or pick up a flame-cooked pizza, followed by a smoothie from the Starbucks coffee in the corner.
Josh Asche also told me, "If we don't have it, we probably don't need it."
Looking at this store, I find myself inclined to agree with him.