Fareway Stores makes the green through groceries. The regional grocery chain operates under the Fareway banner, primarily in Iowa but also in Illinois, Nebraska, and now Minnesota. Fareway's 100 locations average about 25,000 sq. ft. Eschewing such amenities as video rentals and dry-cleaning services, Fareway Stores sticks to the basics -- lots of meat (all cut to order) and groceries only -- counts on low prices and customer service to compete with supercenter operators, such as Wal-Mart. Former Safeway workers Paul Beckwith and Fred Vitt founded Fareway in 1938; the Beckwith family controls the company. Because of the founders' biblical beliefs, the stores are closed on Sundays.
Fareway's major market is Iowa where the number of grocery stores dropped from about 1,400 in 1995 to 700 in 2005. The survivors, including Fareway, are facing stiff competition from supercenter operators, including Wal-Mart Stores, the largest seller of groceries in the US.
Fareway takes the slow-and-steady approach to growth, adding just a few stores each year. In fall 2011 the company opened its 100th store, located in Nebraska City. A fourth Nebraska store is slated to open in Omaha in 2012. In 2008 the Iowa grocer entered Minnesota with stores in Fairmont and Worthington.