The small Hometown Foods grocery store chain was established in 1996, when Iowa City resident Lyndon Johnson purchased an independent grocery store in the Grundy County town of Conrad, Iowa. Prior to the new store ownership venture, Johnson had spent his entire career in the grocery business, working in a variety of roles in stores across the state from Muscatine to Dubuque to Ottumwa.
Next, Johnson purchased the grocery store in Gladbrook in adjacent Tama County in 2000. Since opening the Gladborook store, the successful chain has added for more stores and now has a presence in Waterloo, Hubbard, State Center, and Baxter. In 2010, he was recognized by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association as Retailer of the Year. The Gladbrook and other stores are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.