Maid-Rite, Hy-Vee partner for sandwich shops in c-stores

DES MOINES Iowa Maid-Rite Corp. has partnered with Hy-Vee Inc. to open loose-meat sandwich shops in Hy-Vee’s convenience stores. The first Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe Express opened Nov. 26 in Omaha, Neb., and several more are on the drawing boards for Iowa and Missouri, said Bradley Burt, chief executive of Maid-Rite.

The stores will feature Maid-Rite’s signature item, a sandwich similar to what’s known in some regions as a sloppy joe. The full menu -- which also includes fried chicken and pork tenderloin sandwiches, chili, soups and milk shakes -- will typically be served from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with variations allowed to meet market demand, Burt said. Each convenience store unit will have seating for about 25 customers, as well as outdoor seating in season.

Hy-Vee, which operates 96 c-stores around the Midwest, will carry its own fountain drinks and coffee lines in the stores that have Maid-Rite shops, Burt said.

Maid-Rite, based here, operates or franchises 85 restaurants and has some 14 more in various stages of development. The Hy-Vee shops will be operated by existing and new Maid-Rite franchisees.