Eric Lahart, an Albia native, was named District Store Director over the Albia Hy-Vee, Centerville Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee Dollar Fresh and Fast and Fresh gas station in Centerville. He replaces Brent Yager, who retired in late March.
The 2002 graduate of Albia Community High School has been around the Hy-Vee block since beginning his career with Jim Keller as a high school student in 2000.
Lahart attended the University of Iowa for two years, working part-time in an Iowa City Hy-Vee and graduated with a degree in finance from Buena Vista (Indian Hills campus), also working part-time back in the Albia store and then joining the store full-time as a second assistant manager. He then moved to Chariton as assistant manager and shift manager, made his first stop in the Centerville Hy-Vee as manager of store operations, went to Ottumwa South as manager of perishables and became an assistant store direct at the Windsor Heights store in Des Moines.
He then took on his first store directorship in Tarkio, Mo.
“My mom (Jeannie) cried when we told her we were coming back to Albia and my boys were super excited to be able to fish with Donnie (Eric’s stepdad and grandpa to his four boys) whenever they liked.”
Lahart has deep roots in Albia. His grandparents are Ray and Pat Reed of Albia. His sister, Amy, is in Des Moines and youngest brother, Craig, is in Cheyenne, Wyo. serving in law enforcement. “We’re a lot closer to my wife’s family in Sigourney,” he said. Lahart’s wife is Hettie and their four boys include Brenden, 11, Camden, 9, Rolen, 8 and Treyven, 2.
This hasn’t exactly been the easiest time to make a transition in the grocery business, with the coronavirus creating all sorts of challenges for food stores, from keeping toilet paper in stock, to adjusting hours, to offering on-line purchasing and curbside and home delivery.
The Laharts plan to make Albia their home.