Checker of the Year
Unpublished Tribune photo from February 21, 1957
BUSINESS NEWS - Mrs. Nadine Gamet, 520 Hayward Ave., has been named "Checker of the Year," winning over all check-out girls in the Hy-Vee Food Store system of 34 company stores. She is now competing in a regional contest, and should she win, would go to Cleveland, Ohio, in April to the national convention of the Super Market Institute which sponsors the contest. Judging of the contest was based on customer balloting and letters written by the contestants. In the picture, Mrs. Gamet is shown receiving her prize, a 17-jewel wrist watch from Roy Frizzell, Ames Hy-Vee Store manager.The Checker of the Year contest was sponsored by the trade association for grocery retailers, called the Super Market Institute (SMI). This organization is now known as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Nadine Gamet won both the Iowa and the Midwest contests in 1957, and placed third in the national SMI competition. In 1963, Barbara Lee Mason, also a cashier at the Ames #1 store, again won the Iowa and Midwest titles. In 1961, Osceola Hy-Vee cashier Donna Mae Welcher captured the state, regional and national/international title, and won a trip to Hawaii, a mink stole and a tiara, amid other gifts. The contest was not continued after 1965.
|AMES HY-VEE CHECKER WINS
THIRD IN NATIONAL JUDGING - At the Super Market Institute meeting in Cleveland,
Mrs. Nadine Gamet, a checker at Ames IA, placed third in the national "Checker
of the Year" contest. She won a two-week vacation for two to Miami
Beach FL. Hy-Vee entered 64 checkers in the contest. 131 firms
participated, totaling 1800 stores and 2500 competing checkers. Gamet
had also won a set of sterling silver, a watch, luggage, clothes and airfare
to Cleveland. Attending the national convention of the SMI were Dwight
Vredenburg, Marion Coons, Harold Trumbull, Paul Cochran, Ray Fisher, John
Neighbour, Bill Clemons and their wives.
Chariton Leader, April 9, 1957, page 1
Hy-Vee's annual Checker of the Year winners.
1957 - Nadine Gamet - Ames #1
1958 - Kay Steinbach - Chariton #1
1959 - Doris Richards - Iowa City #1
1960 - Hy-Vee did not participate in the contest
1961 - Donna Mae Welcher - Osceola
1962 - Marilyn Daniels - Centerville #2
1963 - Barbara Lee Mason - Ames #1
1964 - Marilyn Cason - Ottumwa #2
1965 - Bonnie Patterson - Burlington #1
From 1951 until 1961 the Hy-Vee Food Store located at 112 South Sheldon (across the street from Welch School and one block from West Lincoln Way) was the only Hy-Vee store in Ames. When another Hy-Vee store (Ames #2) was started in 1978 at 207 South Duff (now the home of Salvation Army), the original store on Sheldon was known as Ames # 1. In 1982, the second store moved south on Duff and operated as the Ames Save-U-More (a box-store format). In 1998, when the Save-U-More concept was dropped, it relocated to 640 Lincoln Way and its name returned to Ames #2. Today's Ames #1 store is currently the "West" store at 3800 W. Lincoln Way.
The Tribune photographer took three posed photos showing manager Roy Frizzell handing Nadine Gamet her prize watch. This photo showing more of the interior of the store was not published.
The structure at 112 South Shelden Avenue that housed the Hy-Vee Food Store was originally constructed in 1951 as the Supply Food Store. After Hy-Vee relocated in 1978, Big A Auto Parts and then Jockos Auto Parts operated from that location until 2001.
Tribune photo published October 4, 1951
NEW STORE AND FREE CAR - This is the Studebaker Champion that will be given away free in celebration of the opening of the Supply Food Store, the new supermarket on So. Sheldon in Collegetown. Registration will take place for 30 days at the new store beginning tomorrow. Opening day specials tomorrow and Saturday will include free food baskets, totalling more than $1,000 in value, to be given away at 9 p.m. each of the two nights.
The Hy-Vee stores operated as Supply Stores from their founding in 1930 through 1935. Then some of the stores in Iowa became Service Stores, but stores opened after autumn in 1935 used the Supply Store name. This was because the two cofounders had been associated with the General Supply Company (based in Lamoni, Iowa), which operated from 1922 to 1932. The company name was Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc.
There was an employee contest to rename the stores in 1952. Three employees submitted the name Hy-Vee with the "Hy" part from cofounder Charles Hyde's last name and the "Vee" from cofounder David Vredenburg's last name. Stores began to use the Hy-Vee name in 1952, while the corporation changed its name to Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc. in 1963 and to the current form of Hy-Vee, Inc. in 1995.
The arrow in this aerial photo (circa 1926) shows the site later occupied by the Ames Hy-Vee Food Store at 112 South Sheldon. Note the lack of structures on both sides of the street. Campus Baptist Church would later be located at 130 South Sheldon. Welch School is visible just below the arrow, between Sheldon and Hyland. State Gymnasium, Clyde Williams Field, Lincoln Apartments, and Collegiate Methodist Church are also prominent landmarks in this photo.
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