Randy Bender and daughter Megan
Bender's Foods has been owned and operated by Randy and Marta Bender since their first store opening in Denver, Iowa in 1986 but their grocery roots date back much further than that. Randy grew up in the business working with his father, Jake, who was a manager with Randall's Foods for over 30 years, starting in South Dakota and retiring after overseeing an expansion into Iowa with several stores in Dubuque. Working his way up from bagging potatoes and sorting bottles, Randy left the Midwest after high school to complete a comprehensive training program with Randall's County Markets in the Lexington, Kentucky area. He worked there for several years across departments in stores of all sizes as everything from night shift doughnut baker to front office manager.
Returning to Iowa, the Denver store opened in 1986 and in 1991 Randy and Marta built a brand new store in Bellevue, Iowa. Located right on the Mississippi river closer to their families and Dubuque hometown, the Benders remained in Bellevue to raise four children (Jacob, Rachel, Megan and Danielle) all of whom have worked or are still working in the stores. Fennimore, WI was added in 2002 and Guttenberg, IA in 2004.
In 2008 the Bellevue store underwent a complete remodel including new office space and all new refrigeration including a walk in beer cooler. Work on a full Guttenberg remodel began in 2015 and the Benders remain firmly committed to updating operations and supporting their communities to serve its towns as well as they possibly can. Each store also runs several promotions to benefit local needs including a cookout stand where each weekend 100% of the profits benefit a different local non-profit or school group totaling over $15,000 annually.
Randy has also given back with his time, serving on numerous boards for the Iowa Grocers' Association, Bellevue Marquette Catholic Schools and the Finley Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. In 2014 he was also appointed to and is currently President of the Jackson County Conservation Board.
"We would like to thank all of our employees and especially our customers for 30 years of their support and we look forward to the next 30!"
-Randy and Marta Bender