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Hy-Vee partners with Wahlberg on string of burger shops
Hy-Vee Inc. is getting into the burger business with its favorite celebrity.
The West Des Moines-based grocery chain will open Wahlburgers restaurants with the first to debut in West Des Moines next year. The Boston-based chain is owned by Mark Wahlberg and his brothers Paul and Donnie. Hy-Vee will be Wahlburgers’ biggest franchisee.
The company also has forged a deal with Orangetheory Fitness to offer group exercise classes in or near its stores.
The company announced the two partnerships to a group of employees Wednesday night. Hy-Vee Chief Executive Randy Edeker said this "bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers’ lifestyles and spending habits" keeps the company current in the grocery industry.
"Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company,” Edeker said in a prepared statement. Partnering with Wahlburgers and Orangetheory Fitness positions Hy-Vee for future growth, he said.
Hy-Vee will build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers restaurants and will add the hamburgers and other Wahlburgers items to the menus at its 84 Market Grille restaurants.
The first of the Hy-Vee Wahlburgers stores is expected to open in mid-2018 at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines next to Bar Louie.
The Boston-based burger company operates 17 restaurants in nine states and Canada. Paul Wahlberg created the company with Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, who are both actors and producers. Family-friendly Wahlburgers debuted in October 2011 in Hingham, Mass. The brothers and their business are the subject of a reality show on A&E called "Wahlburgers."