Wearing a hat with the word "ARMY" embroidered on it, Dennis Kuechenmeister will tell you he is no stranger to combat.
"Nine years active (military); little over 11 in the National Guard," Kuechenmeister said.
On Tuesday, Kuechenmeister had a different kind of battle in front of him as he competed with a long line of people all applying for a job at new grocery store, Sioux Falls Fareway.
"(It would) be nice to get on the ground floor of a company just starting up in the area," Kuechenmeister said.
Fareway is not new to the region; in fact, it has 104 stores. There are five in Minnesota, four in Nebraska, two in Illinois and 93 in Iowa, where the company was founded. The 105th store, which opens in Sioux Falls on 41st Street near Hobby Lobby, will be its first location in South Dakota.
An open interview started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, but there was a line to the door at least 20 minutes before. There are only about 100 jobs to fill, so Steve Wallin was happy he planned ahead.
"I got up real early this morning. Actually had a tough time sleeping last night because I was pretty excited about coming to apply. So, here I am," Wallin said.
Though Sioux Falls may seem like a HyVee-run market, Western Region Vice President Jeff Borrill said Fareway's small grocery store atmosphere sets it apart from other stores.
"It's been quite a request from people here in Sioux Falls to our home office wanting us here. I think all the stars lined up and we got a great location and we're going to have a lot of fun," Borrill said.
Kuchenmeister hoped to beat his competitors, but he hopes the addition leads to more competition in Sioux Falls.
"It's about time someone gets in and gets the prices where they should be," Kuechenmeister said.
Learn more about the open interviews for Fareway online.