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Downtown residents should shop locally

Posted October 15, 2014 in Community Featured, Downtown

Downtown residents are currently buzzing about the 2015 plans for a downtown Hy-Vee. But even before this store opens for business, downtown residents have several options for buying some of their necessities locally. I created a list of eight items and shopped for them at four downtown locations to determine availability and pricing before the new Hy-Vee opens.

My list: loaf of bread, 16 ounces of milk, 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi (two of them), box of cereal, two bananas, something frozen for dinner, ketchup or mustard and a roll of toilet paper.

Walgreen’s, at 606 Walnut, has hours of 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Besides having a pharmacy, cosmetics, office supplies, photo development and more, they also had everything on my list. I had to ask about the bananas, but some were brought to the fruit display at the counter. The bill was originally more expensive, but by signing up for the Balance Rewards program and card I saved $2.30 on a box of cereal originally priced at $4.29.

The Downtown Pantry, at 218 Sixth St., has hours of 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. – midnight on Sundays. Similar to the Hawkeye Pantry, this shop has you covered for cigarettes, alcohol and convenience items. I also found everything on my list. For my frozen dinner I picked out some pizza rolls, which were a little on the expensive side at $2.99. No checks are accepted here, and if paying by credit card on a total purchase under $3 there is a 25 cent fee.

The Hawkeye Pantry, at 501 Locust, Suite 202, has hours of 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sundays. This shop was similar to the Downtown Pantry with the person ringing me up saying she guessed prices would be similar on many items. I found every item on my list, although some of the bread on the shelf had a “best by” date of only two days after the day I was shopping.

QuikTrip, at 1421 Ingersoll, is a block north of the sculpture park (not in the downtown core like my other shopping locations) and is open 24 hours. Selection was much more limited here in terms of the grocery type items. I found a little pizza for my frozen dinner although I could have gotten one of their many pre-made sandwiches that were a little pricier. The toilet paper only came in a package of four, instead of the 1 roll I was looking for. The cereal came with eight individually packaged portions, making it more expensive as well.

Information provided by Phil Kreznor for the Downtown Neighborhood Association, or

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