On Oct. 31, Fareway welcomed new store manager Lucas Kaltenbach and assistant manager Tyler Strait to the Osceola store.
Kaltenbach comes to Osceola from Burlington, where he had served as the assistant manager.
Raised in Oelwin, Kaltenbach started at the Oelwin Fareway in 1998 as a part-time carryout boy, and worked his way up in the company.
“[Fareway’s] a good company, great place to be, it really is,” said Kaltenbach.
In the 24 years since his start, Kaltenbach has worked at nine stores - Oelwin, Red Oak, Harlan, Council Bluffs, Boone, Centerville, Indianola, Burlington, and now Osceola. He has been an assistant manager at four stores and helped to open the Council Bluffs Fareway. Osceola is his first store manager position.
“[It] takes a lot of dedication to get here, but it’s worth it in the end,” said Kaltenbach.
In his free time, Kaltenbach enjoys hunting, fishing, and cooking and smoking meats. He and wife, Laura, have a 2 -year-old son Fisher, and a 4 month old daughter Gracie.
Kaltenbach said he received two weeks’ notice of the move, which he was grateful for as it allowed him to spend more time with his kids before he had to relocate to Oscceola. He estimates that he is putting in about 60 hours a week at the store, as he works on figuring out how this store operates and learning the ropes.
He said that everyone had been very welcoming and nice. Growing up in a small-town, Kaltenbach appreciates the welcoming atmosphere that he has found here in Osceola, and he plans to be actively involved in community events.
In addition, Kaltenbach hopes to make Osceola his forever home.
“I’m excited to be here, excited to make a new life in Osceola,” said Kaltenbach.
The other three Kaltenbachs are still in Burlington as Laura finishes out her contract with Great Prairie AEA. When that is done in June, she and the kids will move here. In the meantime, they have been taking turns traveling to Osceola and Burlington, and spending lots of time on video calls.
Kaltenbach replaced longtime Fareway manager Jeff DeForest, who retired on Oct. 29 after 46 years with Fareway, the last 28 in Osceola.
“I don’t have the same boisterous laugh of Jeff, but everyone will get the same service,” said Kaltenbach.
The new assistant store manager, Tyler Strait, replaced former assistant store manager Monte Kaster, whose last day was Oct. 29.
Originally from Mason City, Strait started at the Mason City Fareway in 2006 at the age of 14 as a carryout/courtesy worker. He has since worked in Rochester, Minn., Oelwin, and Fort Madison; Osceola is his third assistant manager position.
Strait received a week’s notice of the change in location and moved to Osceola with his family. He and wife Juliana have a nearly 9 month old daughter, Brea, and a dog, Jax. In his free time, Strait enjoys being outdoors, including hunting and fishing.
As for being in Osceola, Strait said that so far, he’s enjoying it.
“Seems like the town is very nice. I like the town...the smaller community,” said Strait.
Kaltenbach and Strait have known each other since Kaltenbach worked in Burlington’s Fareway and Strait worked in Fort Madison’s Fareway.