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Hy-Vee taps Gem Lake for its second small-format store in the Twin Cities

It's got another planned in Lakeville.

Hy-Vee is coming to Gem Lake, at least, that's the hope.

The northeastern Twin Cities suburb has been identified as the planned location for the second of Hy-Vee's smaller-format stores, the "Fast & Fresh" market.

A planning application was received by the city in July for the corner of County Road E and Hwy. 61, which was approved by the city council last month.

The application includes plans for a liquor store, a drive-thru Starbucks and a gas station at the site.

It would be the second Fast & Fresh store planned by Hy-Vee in Minnesota. The other, in Lakeville, was announced in July 2017.

At up to 12,000 square feet, the Fast & Fresh stores are a fraction of the size of a typical Hy-Vee supermarket, which is typically around 90,000 square feet, according to Food Dive.

After already upending the grocery store market in the Twin Cities when it arrived in Minnesota in 2015, the smaller stores seem to instead be competing with gas station convenience stores, a market currently dominated by Super America, Holiday and Kwik Trip.

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Shoppers can expect a pared-down version of Hy-Vee's produce, dairy and meat departments and Market Grill restaurant, with more emphasis placed on prepared meals for shoppers on the move.

Hy-Vee didn't comment on the Gem Lake store when asked by the Pioneer Press because it hasn't yet bought the land.

The Iowa-based chain currently has 9 full-sized grocery stores in the Twin Cities metro, with more planned, as well as more than a dozen across southern Minnesota.

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