Hostettler excited about being director
After over 20 years in the field, Michael Hostettler is getting his first chance at the center seat of a grocery store, having taken over as store director of Washington HyVee last week.
Hostettler got his first job with the grocery chain at the age of 14 in 1993. He had been at the HyVee in Shenandoah with his mother, when a worker asked if he wanted a job. His mother said that he could take the job. He started as a bagger. He worked at the store for 12 years before moving to Sioux Falls, S.D. He also worked at stores in Maryville, Mo., and West Des Moines.
He and his wife Abby have two sons, Jamieson, 5, and Harrison, 2.
What brings you to Washington?
As part of the HyVee system, you have the opportunity to put in for stores that become available, and Washington happened to be one of those stores, with Chuck (Underhill’s) new assignment or promotion to Albany. This store opened up. I am very excited to be chosen. This is my first charge and first store.
How did you decide to go into management?
Starting 20 years ago as a part-time sacker, I just looked for ways to move up. I became a checker, customer service and department manager. HyVee hasn’t closed any doors for me at all. I have been able to walk through all the doors I have come across. It’s been new and exciting for me every step of the way. This is the next thing in the line of progression.
What was it about Washington that attracted you?
Washington is similar to other communities I have been involved in in southwest Iowa or northwest Missouri. It is similar in size and feel to what my family is used to. We were excited to be part of the town. We worked in the West Des Moines area. We are very excited to be part of a town this size. It feels like a very strong community.
Since you have been in Washington, what do you think?
So far I love it. I have met a lot of great people who have come in the store to see who I am. I’m pleased with the employees I have met so far at the store. Everybody has reached out to me with open arms, whether it is employees or customers. It has been a good week so far.
What is your favorite thing about Washington?
I’m still getting to know the community. One thing that has stood out to me is I have heard about the 175th anniversary that is coming up. I’m excited to be part of a town that is about to celebrate a 175th anniversary. If you asked my 5-year-old, he would say the nicest thing for him to see is the playground equipment at Sunset Park. We drove by that and he thought it was pretty exciting.
If you could change one thing about Washington, what would it be?
That the snow would go away. I’m anxious to see the town without a blanket of snow.
How did you get started with HyVee?
I was 13 years old at the time and I went to a drive-up lane with my mom, and the gentleman who was loading our groceries asked if I was looking for a job. My mom quickly spoke up and said I was. My birthday was the next month and I turned 14, and they interviewed me, and I have been with them ever since.
Tell me something that someone wouldn’t know about being a store manager.
I think that something that is important is being able to work well with your employees and the community and make that bond. That’s something I am looking forward to is bonding with the employees who are here and with the community. It is a people business and you have to be good with people. I am looking forward to meeting all the people here.
What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy biking, things outdoors, camping and spending time with the family as much as possible.
What does the future look like for you?
Goals for the store are to be able to provide an amazing experience for customers when they come in the store. When they come in they will remember their shopping experience. They will be excited to shop at the store. I want to provide that environment that they will be excited to be here and amazed at what we can provide for them.