Madrid Grocer Named Outstanding Retailer for Iowa in 2019

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MADRID, Iowa — The owner of the Market of Madrid has been named the Iowa Retailer of the Year by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association.

Ivan Thede will receive the award at the group’s annual gathering on Nov. 5 in West Des Moines.

The owner of the Market of Madrid has been selected to receive the industry’s top honor for his impact on the community and the grocery industry, according to a news release from the IGIA. The release also added that Thede is well known for his many contributions to the community of Madrid as a member of the Madrid Action Committee.

Thede, a native of Fort Dodge, has worked in stores in Marshalltown and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Denise, owned a grocery store in Des Moines before purchasing the store in Madrid in 1997.

“Honestly was shocked when I got the phone call from a friend of mine who is on the grocery board,” said Thede. “Steve called me and we’re both Cubs fans, so I thought he was calling to talk about the Cubs.”

By purchasing wholesale through a co-op to get a competitive price, the store is able to compete for local business against large supermarkets in Des Moines, Ames and Boone.

We use their buying power, and we’re able to buy from them, and we’re able to pass on savings. We hope it’s just as good of a price as the big stores do,” said Thede. “Our customers can get in out of our store much, much quicker than they could an 80,000 to 100,000 square foot store.”

Thede said community involvement is important for a local business. The IGIA release said he also works with many members of the town’s Labor Day Committee to help plan and fund its annual Labor Day celebration. He and Denise have donated to numerous projects through the years to benefit the senior center, Madrid schools and provide meals for needy families.

Thede said he enjoys working with the high school-aged students he hires to run his operation.

“They keep me young,” said Thede. He also likes to set an example for those young workers.

“I don’t do things or ask other people to do things I have not done myself, whether it's clean out drains, freezers, clean shelves, dust shelves, unload trucks,” said Thede. “My dad used to always say a jack of all trades, master of none, and that’s what we try to do.”

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