WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Friday was a proud day for some Black-Owned Businesses after seeing their products on the shelves of Hy-Vee for the first time.
Hy-Vee District Manager Vice-President Dale Mitchell, says this is just the beginning.
"We really felt that the Waterloo market is an area where we can really make a difference. The help and support from these four ladies show that we are doing great things and there's more things to come," Mitchell said.
All business owners currently sell their products on their own websites, but Hy-Vee is the only retailer to offer the products in stores.
"Honestly it feels a little bit surreal for me. I wish my grandparents would've been able to see this moment," Black Entrepreneur Nia Wilder said.
Wilder owns the business, ShinDigg and is supplying Hy-Vee stores with Be Light apparel. The apparel focuses on bringing positivity to oneself.
Wilder and the other business owners went through a small-business program with University of Northern Iowa last spring of 2020. The program led them to a seat at the table with Hy-Vee.
"They fell in love with the idea, and our brands. They gave us the opportunity to expand in our community by putting our brand all over the local Hy-Vee stores, it's been awesome," Wilder said.
Wilder says she's been offered to showcase her products and brand in other stores, but says she wasn't ready. Wilder says she made sure she was "ready" when Hy-Vee came knocking.
"I just wasn't ready for that moment, however when Hy-Vee contacted me I made sure that I was ready. Hy-Vee is my grandparents' favorite store and if I had to pick anywhere to go first I definitely have to go with Hy-Vee," Wilder said.
Hy-Vee says they plan to speak with other store locations throughout Iowa to implement more minority owned business products.
Black-Owned Businesses in Hy-Vee:
- LuLit’s Hair Essense – hair products made with 100% natural ingredients
- ShinDigg – inspirational apparel and accessories
- The Shari Kollection – luxury candle company
- AshleyJoy Cosmetics LLC - luxury cosmetics and accessories
The products will be sold permanently in Hy-Vee locations, and on the Hy-Vee Aisles online grocery shopping.