GRETNA, NE - With hundreds of eager residents waiting in line from the early morning, the long-awaited Hy-Vee store in Gretna opened its doors this morning at 6 a.m., transforming the small town's landscape.

As the first "modern flagship store" Hy-Vee has opened in metro Omaha since 2012, this marks a significant milestone. "The whole concept of this store is grocery reimagined," the company stated.

Adding to the buzz, the first 300 customers that arrived this morning received swag bags, and the residents can now enjoy their favorite Starbucks beverages from a full-sized kiosk, a first in Gretna. The next closest Starbucks is quite a distance away, underscoring the uniqueness of this feature.

Beyond groceries and Starbucks, the store offers a myriad of attractions, including a Wahlburgers restaurant, a food hall, and a large wine and spirits store. It even boasts a candy shop and sports aisle with gear for local teams. The food hall offers a range of dishes from various counters, allowing customers to have a gourmet pizza or an Asian meal prepared to their liking.

This Hy-Vee flagship store goes beyond traditional grocery concepts. It is poised to generate a significant positive impact on the local community and economy, property values, and neighboring businesses.

Brian Radermacher, President of the Coalition for Better Grocery Store Experiences, and a long-time Hy-Vee fan expressed his excitement. "With Hy-Vee, it's not just about groceries," he said. "This store is a community hub, offering an impressive array of services and experiences." You could feel the excitement in the air, he added. "They didn't come to see a star or witness fame. Hundreds lined up in Gretna to experience the grand opening of the newest Hy-Vee on planet Earth."

Nebraska Realty predicts that Hy-Vee's presence will increase the appeal of Gretna to potential homebuyers. The store's broad range of amenities, coupled with a convenient online ordering system built into the store layout, makes it a powerful draw for those looking for a high-quality, convenient lifestyle.

"The arrival of Hy-Vee boosts Gretna's residential appeal and could lead to an increase in property values," said a spokesperson for Nebraska Realty. "Prospective homeowners often consider such amenities when deciding where to live."

Hy-Vee is not just a boon for property values; it is also a major job provider, employing about 600 people, including many high school and college students. "Our high school kids are a large part of our operation," the company stated, emphasizing its commitment to nurturing the younger workforce.

For local businesses, the opening of Hy-Vee creates an opportunity for increased foot traffic. The influx of people from across the metro area can potentially drive customers to other local establishments, boosting the overall local economy.

Radermacher concluded, "The arrival of Hy-Vee is a pivotal piece to the ongoing transformation of the Gretna community. From fostering a thriving commercial ecosystem to shaping the real estate market, the benefits are abundant and far-reaching."

As the first shoppers walked out with their bags filled with groceries and swag, the impact of Hy-Vee's grand opening is already starting to be felt. The future looks promising for Gretna, with this new grocery store setting a high standard for community development and prosperity.