Wells Named Supplier of the Year

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association honored champions of the grocery industry during its 24th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner, Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. The organization awarded independent grocer Brian Burnam, owner of Keith's Foods in Bloomfield, Iowa, with its Retailer of the Year Award. Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling's executive chairman of the board and former CEO James R. Tyler was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells Enterprises, located in Le Mars, Iowa, was named the 2017 Supplier of the Year and Craig Clasen, vice president, industry relations for Hy-Vee Inc. was named the IGIA Volunteer of the Year.

Honorees are nominated by their peers, and a committee of IGIA members reviews the nominations and makes final selections based upon the nominees' characters and qualifications. A candidate's contributions to the grocery industry also factor into the final selection.

Wells Enterprises' CEO Mike Wells accepted the Supplier of the Year award on behalf of the family-owned business. The company's commitment to Iowa and the town of Le Mars, where it originated and still operates today, mirrors its devotion to quality and integrity, according to Wells. This dedication has helped the company forge lasting business relationships that contribute to its success.

What began in 1913 as a small milk company, with the initial investment of $250, has grown to become the second largest producer of ice cream in the nation. Today, Wells is the number one supplier to the number one customer in every industry it serves. Wells supplies Iowa-based companies Hy-Vee, Fareway, Kum & Go, Casey's and a large number of independent grocers, as well as companies based outside the state. As Wells' business has grown so has its support of the Iowa grocery industry. Wells also bears the distinction of being the first company in the history of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association to receive the IGIA Supplier of the Year Award more than once, having previously earned the honor in 1987. Wells was selected for a second time for a wide range of outstanding achievements including its commitment to the industry and the state of Iowa. Furthermore, Wells employees have consistently held leadership roles in the community, on the IGIA board, on volunteer committees and on the Iowa Grocers Education Foundation Board of Trustees.

About the Iowa Grocery Industry Association

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association is a state trade association that represents the food industry, including chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores, mass merchandisers, wholesalers, brokers, manufacturers and distributors. Founded in 1899, the IGIA has long served as a resource to its members, the food industry and the general public through education, legislative, partnership and philanthropic programs. The IGIA has headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa, and can be found online at www.iowagrocers.com.