The story about the new Casey's store - from our March 16 Progress Edition!

In March of 2014, the City of Sleepy Eye announced they'd sold property in the Snow Farm addition to Casey's General Store for a new larger store. With uncertainty surrounding MnDOT’s plans for the intersection with Highway 14, Casey’s cancelled that plan. But the property was just too attractive to pass up, and MnDOT did not carry through with possible plans for a roundabout, so two years later, in March 2016, City Manager Mark Kober was able to announce that Casey's had decided to go ahead with their plan to build a new store in Sleepy Eye.

Construction of the store started last September and the big new store opened for business on Feb. 23.

Store Manager Deb Windschitl said her whole crew is happy with the new store. “Everybody loves the new location,” she said. “It’s so bright in here and everything is new and shiny. We all were very excited to get over here.”

Business is good at the new store. Windschitl said, “It’s been busy—store traffic is definitely up.”

With a larger store and more food offerings, several new jobs were created at Casey’s. “We have four new people on staff, one full-time and three part-time,” said Windschitl. “And, I will be hiring more people.”

New food and drink items at the bigger store include a sub sandwich line, soft serve ice cream, iced coffee and more coffee options, and the KC Freeze (a slushie drink) in four flavors. Pizzas and salads are still on the menu. Casey’s bakery has two new goodies—homemade muffins and cinnamon rolls. Fountain pop has increased from eight choices to 20.

“With the bigger store, we have more space for quick food items in our reach-in coolers,” said Windschitl. “We’ve added some healthier options, like yogurt, fruit and hard-boiled eggs.”

Of course, Casey’s is a gas station and the new location has space for more pumps, some new choices and diesel fuel. A great new feature is the diesel fuel pumps behind the store. “We are considered ‘truck friendly,’” said Windschitl. “Not a truck stop, but convenient for semi truck-trailers with plenty of space for easy in and out traffic.” The two diesel pumps in the truck area each have two nozzles—a convenience for truckers who can fill both gas tanks at the same time.

There are more gas pumps out front than at the old store and Casey’s now carries more fuel options. “At the old store we had unleaded and unleaded-plus,” explained Windschitl. “Now we carry 87, 89 and 91 octane gasoline, plus 91 octane clear—the non-oxygenated gas used in older vehicles and small motors.” There is also a diesel fuel pump out front for diesel cars and pickup trucks.

Windschitl has been manager of Casey’s in Sleepy Eye for 33 years. That kind of longevity in a career is not as common as it once was. Her smile and enthusiastic attitude while describing the new store revealed the answer as to why she has been there for so long. She likes her job and finds Casey’s a great company to work for.