At Cubby’s Convenience Store in Odebolt, Iowa, the team of friendly staff makes everyone feel like their a neighbor. For this reason, they have been chosen as January’s Store of the Month! Steve Vander Wel, Manger, was elated to learn the news and feels proud to work with a team of professionals who love what they do. “I’m glad we were selected, I have an excellent crew and believe they deserve the recognition,” he said.  

Vander Wel operates with a customer service philosophy of treating customers like family, but also stresses that a smile is tantamount to a positive customer service experience. “Smile, greet them, and treat them as your neighbor. People want to be neighbors,” said Vander Wel, who knows from experience that it is the details that turn one-time customers into lifetime friends.

In the small community of 900 people, Vander Wel has been working for Cubby’s in Odebolt just over eight years. “I enjoy working for Cubby’s, my life here is my job,” he said. “It’s one of the friendliest communities around.”

Before Cubby’s, Vander Wel was into raising hogs and crop farming for over twenty years. After that, he said, “I took a long vacation and somehow ended up with Cubby’s.” Vander Wel had a friend managing a Cubby’s store in Sioux City when the job came open in Odebolt, and he recommended that Vander Wel apply. After a couple of interviews, he had landed the position and has been an instrumental part of the Cubby’s family ever since.

A typical day in Odebolt starts early when the team arrives at 3:30am to prepare to open the doors at 4:00am. Tami Lindner, the Deli Manager with 28 years under her belt at Cubby’s, is always there to greet Vander Wel with a friendly “good morning.” The town of Odebolt is comprised of mainly commuters, so they typically come in early to grab breakfast on their way to work. “About 8:00am we have the coffee guys come in and they sit around and talk a lot,” explained Vander Wel. “They’re a good bunch of guys,” who solve all the problems of the world in their daily coffee talks. On Tuesdays, Cubby’s is flocked by regulars looking for their daily special. “Our hot beef special is famous in this town; we do that every Tuesday at noon. We’ve got folks who mark their calendars to come in,” said Vander Wel.

Because of the commuter dynamic, Cubby’s has adapted to serve the needs of their community. “They start early around here, and they finish early,” said Vander Wel, “so our lunch crowd starts about 10:00,” and ends just after noon. After that, they await the next wave of customers who will come in for their post-work snacks, gas, or even fresh produce for dinner.

Vander Wel described the team as being, “like a family”.

When asked to describe the favorite part of his job, Vander Wel’s answer rings true to his passion for helping others. “My most rewarding part of the job is satisfying a customer,” said Vander Wel. “That’s what I enjoy. If someone asks for something special that’s out of the norm, I enjoy going out of my way to help them.” Cubby’s in Odebolt goes above and beyond every day to show their customers just how much they care. The new Bear Bucks rewards program is sure to help their small community of regulars, as it helps customers save on gas, groceries, and other items.

If you are ever in the Odebolt area, stop in and see the friendly faces on Vander Wel’s team and try their fresh hot pepperoni pizza. “Every large pizza we sell we donate $1 to the school. We do what we can to help the community,” he said. For a one-stop shop with all of your gas and grocery needs, be sure to visit a Cubby’s near you.