Wegmans, the popular grocery store chain based in upstate New York, is opening its first store in the 5 boroughs
‘Finally!’ is the collective cry of New York City residents excited for an alternative to Whole Foods and corner bodegas.
Finally a reason for Brooklynites to get excited that has nothing to do with the latest rooftop bar opening: Wegmans is coming to Brooklyn Navy Yard. Wegmans is the popular small-ish chain of 85 grocery stores concentrated in upstate New York and the Great Lakes region.
Wegmans is No. 2 on our list of the best supermarkets in America, ahead of Stop & Shop, Trader Joe's, and Costco. And for good reason. Wegmans is certainly a consumer favorite, offering an extensive beer selection (I’ll bet your supermarket doesn’t carry alcohol), prices that are more reasonable than big names like Whole Foods, and happy employees (Forbes ranked it the fifth best company to work for in 2013).
The grocery store will open on the site of Admiral’s Row, a grouping of Civil War-era homes, in early 2017. And it’s going to be huge: 74,000 square feet of space, larger than Brooklyn’s biggest Fairway and Whole Foods. The store promises to create 800 jobs total, and management will focus on hiring locals.
“People need not just good food, but good jobs,” third-generation owner Danny Wegman told The New York Times. “Brooklyn provides an incredible opportunity for both.”
Of course, people are pretty excited about the news across social media:
This is possibly the best news I've ever heard. @Wegmans to Open at #Brooklyn Navy Yard http://t.co/cpb5UflMkg
— Sean Flynn (@BuffaloFlynn) May 13, 2015
A phrase so beautiful it almost pains me to utter it: Wegmans in Brooklyn http://t.co/nTT9g9Z4s3
— Emily (@emilyhughes) May 13, 2015
Brooklyn's getting a Wegmans. This is the happiest day of my life. http://t.co/7btu2infEc
— F'D in Park Slope (@effedparkslope) May 13, 2015
We finally checked out a Wegman's. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice store and if I lived closer, I would probably go there a lot. However, I don't really see much there that is better than my g.
Wegmans is a privately owned company, founded in 1916 by brothers John and Walter Wegman as the Rochester Fruit and Vegetable Company.  Wegmans is headquartered in the Rochester suburb of Gates. Danny Wegman is the chairman. His daughter, Colleen Wegman, is president and CEO his other daughter, Nicole Wegman, is senior vice-president.  Danny's father, Robert Wegman, who died in 2006, was previously chairman. Robert was the son of co-founder Walter Wegman. During his life, Robert Wegman was a pioneer in the retail food business, as well as a generous donor to educational institutions and other charities.  
In 1965, the chain expanded beyond the Rochester area, with a store in Hornell in the Southern Tier of New York State, then 1968 in Syracuse,  and again in 1977 with its first Buffalo store.  The first store outside New York opened in 1993 in Pennsylvania and the expansion continued into New Jersey in 1999,  Virginia in 2004, Maryland in 2005, Massachusetts in 2011,   and North Carolina in 2019.  As a part of the company's continued expansion efforts, Wegmans opened its fifth Maryland location in Columbia on June 17, 2012.  Its sixth Maryland location opened in Crofton on October 28, 2012, followed by a Germantown location on September 15, 2013.  Wegmans opened a store at the Montgomery Mall in North Wales, Pennsylvania, on November 3, 2013, the first store to be part of a shopping mall since the closing of the Midtown Plaza store in Rochester.  
Wegmans, having long planned to expand into New England,   opened their first store in that region in Northborough, Massachusetts, on October 16, 2011.   2014 saw Wegmans opening two more Massachusetts stores, in Newton, Chestnut Hill on April 27,  and in Burlington on October 26.  Its fourth Massachusetts store opened in Westwood on October 11, 2015.  The eighth Maryland store opened in Owings Mills, Maryland in September 2016.  In late 2016, Wegmans opened Virginia stores in Short Pump (August),  Midlothian,  and Charlottesville (November).  The Hanover Township, New Jersey location opened in July 2017. The Montvale, New Jersey location opened in September 2017. The Medford, Massachusetts, location opened on November 5, 2017.  The Natick, Massachusetts, location opened on April 29, 2018. The Chantilly, Virginia, location opened on June 3, 2018. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, location opened on September 23, 2018.  The Virginia Beach, Virginia location opened on April 28, 2019. The chain's first store in North Carolina, located in Raleigh, opened on September 29, 2019. It was also the chain's 100th store.  The chain's first location in New York City, at Admiral's Row in Brooklyn's Navy Yard, opened on October 27, 2019. 
The West Cary, North Carolina location opened on July 29, 2020. The Harrison, New York location, in Westchester County, opened on August 5, 2020. The Tysons Corner, Virginia location opened on November 4, 2020. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina location opened on February 24, 2021. The Wake Forest, North Carolina location opened on May 19, 2021. Six other locations are currently in the works, including Holly Springs, North Carolina a second Alexandria location in Carlyle Washington, DC, in the Fannie Mae section Rockville, Maryland Reston, Virginia and Greenville, Delaware, the chain's first location in that state.        Wegmans originally planned to build new stores in Annapolis, Maryland, Middletown, New Jersey, Arcola, Virginia, and Cary, North Carolina but were scrapped.    
In March 2020, Wegmans announced partnership of its new Brooklyn store with Instacart to extend its reach to include all Manhattan ZIP codes. 
It's Official: Wegmans Is America's Favorite Grocery Store
The regional supermarket chain gets thousands of calls a year from people asking for a store to be built in their neighborhood.
Move aside Trader Joe's: Wegmans is officially America's favorite grocery store.
Back in May, the regional supermarket chain won the title for the second year in a row in Market Force Information's annual consumer study of 12,700 shoppers. Tying for first place with Publix, the Gates, New York-based grocery store once again beat out Trader Joe's, which came in second, H-E-B, which came in third, and Aldi, which came in fourth.
And now, Wegmans has won the inaugural FranklinCovey Excellence in Execution Award for achieving the highest overall performance score out of more than 1,000 of its clients worldwide (FranklinCovey is a company that specializes organizational performance improvement).
So what's all the fuss about? East Coast superfans praise Wegmans, which was founded in 1916, for its amazing variety (the store stocks over 70,000 products), fresh produce, reasonable prices, item availability, and specialty departments.
The only problem? Currently, there are just 92 locations spread across the mid-Atlantic and New England&mdashmeaning the family-owned chain gets thousands of calls every year from people asking them to open a store in their neighborhood.
According to Market Force, the chain is "expanding steadily," but they want to make sure they're training all new employees correctly, to ensure "customers have a great experience." Which means that the company only opens two or three new locations a year, to ensure they can maintain standards. Because quality over quantity is always the best policy, to be sure.
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Wegmaniacs Count the Days to Brooklyn Store Opening
Final touches are being made to the Wegmans food market about to open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
On a warm day last winter, Julie Russell walked the 1.1-mile route from her apartment to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the future home of her favorite grocery store was still under construction.
“I did a full dry run,” said Ms. Russell, 40 years old. “I was peeking through the fence.”
After years of anticipation, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is set to open the doors to its first New York City location Oct. 27. It is a date that has long been marked on the calendars of its loyal customers, known as “Wegmaniacs,” who insist the grocery store is much more than just a place to shop.
“I actually talk about Wegmans as if it’s a friend I miss from college that I no longer see,” said Suhail Prasathong, 24, a software engineer who lives in Manhattan. “I don’t want to sound stupid it’s just a grocery store. But I’m pretty excited.”
Mr. Prasathong is from Thailand and had never gone to an American big-box grocery store before arriving on campus at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His classmates introduced him to Wegmans, and he said he was drawn to its mom-and-pop vibe and warm chocolate-chip cookies.
Megan Clegg has her Wegmans tote bags and a branded toy train.
Mr. Prasathong, who co-chairs RIT’s alumni chapter in New York City, said the group has already made plans to visit Wegmans’ Brooklyn location on opening day.
Wegmans, which has 100 stores from New York to North Carolina, announced in 2015 that it would open a 74,000-square-foot location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in a building redeveloped by Steiner NYC. A Wegmans spokeswoman said they are expecting a crowd for the 7 a.m. opening.
The excitement is particularly acute for customers who grew up in upstate New York, where the family-owned grocery store first opened as the Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company in 1916. Ms. Russell, who is from the Rochester suburb of Pittsford, makes a pilgrimage every time she visits family and said her mother was disappointed to hear the store was opening a Brooklyn location.
“My mom was like, ‘Oh, now we’ll never get you to move back home,’ ” Ms. Russell said.
At a time when retailers are scrambling to remake their bricks-and-mortar stores as destinations to lure customers off the internet and into their aisles, Wegmans fans say the grocery-store chain has had the secret sauce all along. The produce is fresh and the pantry items are affordable. The prepared food is tasty and the convenience of being able to pick up your prescriptions is appreciated.
Wegmaniac Sabrina McMillin in 2016 at Wegmans in Buffalo with the Wegmans Santa and Mrs. Claus.
But more than anything, Wegmaniacs say, the grocery store makes them feel good.
“There’s an association that becomes ingrained in you as a kid that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling,” said Megan Clegg, a product designer who grew up near Syracuse and lives three blocks from the future Brooklyn location.
Ms. Clegg, 31, said she likes how the store forgoes fluorescent bulbs in favor of warmer lighting and uses store signage to celebrate employees’ work anniversaries or college acceptances.
Bryan Gildenberg, analyst at the market-research group Kantar, said Wegmans was one of the first American grocers to popularize in-store restaurants, a concept he believes the Rochester-based company gleaned from Canadian retailers, which in turn drew inspiration from U.K. stores.
Niveen Musallam grew up deal-hopping with her mom at grocery stores in Syracuse and said she tried to get her teachers to call her “Niveen Wegman” in preschool.
“I thought if my last name was Wegman I would get free groceries and chocolate-chip-and-M&M cookies, and I wouldn’t have to spend my whole Saturday going to different grocery stores with my mom,” said Ms. Musallam, 35, who works in finance.
Ms. Musallam now lives in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge section and said she and other upstate transplants “who have to be subjected to these mediocre grocery stores” will post requests on Facebook for Wegmans items when one of them travels home for a visit.
Salt potatoes, State Fair Spiedie Sauce Marinade and the specialty cookies are hot items, Ms. Musallam said, adding that she plans to shop for groceries at the Brooklyn Wegmans when it opens.
Not everyone is a Wegmans devotee. Laura Gallup, 30, said she hasn’t bought the hype despite growing up in Ithaca, preferring instead to shop at the German supermarket grocer Aldi.
“It’s a family run and owned company so there’s good things about Wegmans,” said Ms. Gallup, a marketing and events coordinator. “But it’s not for me.”
Fans often cite the grocery store’s prepared-food section as one of its greatest offerings, and the Brooklyn location will feature a burger bar, a made-to-order pizza shop, sushi counter and full bar.
One controversy surrounding the new Wegmans: There won’t be a sub shop.
“Why would they do that?” said Adam Greene, 36, a real-estate developer who discovered Wegmans while attending Cornell University in the early 2000s. He was disappointed to learn the sandwich staple from his college days wouldn’t be on the Brooklyn menu, even while admitting he “shouldn’t be eating subs the size of my arm anymore.”
A Wegmans spokeswoman said the Brooklyn location will sell packaged subs, and sub trays can be ordered from the store’s catering department.
Sabrina McMillin, 26, who grew up in Rochester and now lives in Brooklyn, said she is looking forward to introducing uninitiated friends to her nostalgic favorites from Wegmans, including their chocolate-chip cookies.
“I’ll probably bring them to parties with me and lead by example,” she said.
Write to Kate King at [email protected]
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Absolute Best Grocery Store On Earth, Wegman's, Is Coming To D. C.!
Several weeks ago one sentence appeared in an article about Loudoun County and future growth, a note that Wegman's of Rochester, New York was going to gut a Wal Mart on Route 28 and build a new, free standing grocery store in its place.
Years ago when I decided to no longer bar hop and settled down I began to visit out of town grocery stores and wine stores rather than clubs. Over twenty years I've probably been in at least one of most every chain in America as well as a number of independents. I've also gone out of my way to find the largest of each. From Minneapolis to the biggest Larry's in Seattle to Super Kroger's to an enormous Schnuck's in St. Louis as well as an enormous Harris Teeter just north of Buckhead I've seen a lot of grocery stores!
I personally believe that the best of all American groceries stores is the Wegman's chain. Their stores are enormous, in some cases over 200,000 square feet and that is ALL GROCERY STORE. Not a hypermarket but a grocery store. They are conceived as super regional grocery/food court/market combinations which incorporate as much as one fourth of the store as a replication of markets such as Baltimore's Lexington Market. This includes an in-house butcher store, large bakery, fishmonger, etc. with elements of Eatzi's, Fresh Fields and Sutton Place Gourtmet thrown in. There are also fast food outlets as well as a restaurant. In the traditional grocery store the selection is enormous, much larger than anything in the D. C. area today. The quality is superb. The ambience is that of an all time market for part of the store with "ethnic" areas themed to the food sold there.
Overall, in the largest Wegman's such as Wilkes-Barre, PA or Corning, NY, we are talking about a physical plant which is TWICE the size of some Costcos. It is probably a quarter of a mile from one end of these stores to the other and they are also deep.
And they are all food.
Simply stated, Wegman's is the category killer to end all category killers.
I do not know how big the Sterling store is going to be. But my guess is that it will be their biggest for their entrance into this market.
They haven't started tearing down the Wal Mart yet but my guess is that a year or so from now when Wegman's opens out there you are going to be hearing a LOT about it on this board.
Wegmans Brooklyn: Tales From People Who Waited In Line On Opening Day
It’s 6:54 a.m. on a dark and humid Sunday morning in Brooklyn. In just minutes, Wegmans will open the doors of its 101st store.
The moment is a long time coming for megafans of the store, “Wegmaniacs” as they’re called (editor’s note: myself included). Nothing, not an ungodly hour or rainy forecast, can deter them from rejoicing over the fact that this elevated shopping experience — a mainstay on best grocery store lists as well as best companies to work for lists — now exists in their very own backyards.
Hundreds of people huddled under umbrellas in a long but manageable line, buzzing, waiting, planning their first purchases. For cardiology fellow Krishna Upadhaya and medical student Madonna DiBella, it was a loaf of jalapeño cheesy bread. Krishna traveled from his home in New Haven, Connecticut, for the big event.
“Well, I really came to see her,” Upadhaya said, laughing, referring to DiBella.
“It’s really the Wegmans,” DiBella quipped back. What about the Wegmans exactly? “We just love it. We grew up on it. It’s nostalgic,” Upadhaya said. “It’s the quality of the food. It’s so cheap, it’s amazing.”
“It’s a lifestyle,” DiBella added.
Their affection for the store is deep-rooted ― they’re both originally from Buffalo, New York, one of the capitals of Wegmans fandom. But the couple only just met each other a few weeks ago. This early morning pilgrimage was part of a budding love story.
“Nothing more romantic than a Wegmans date,” Upadhaya said, laughing.
For Marie Palmer and Kathryn Cortez, who wore matching “Wegmaniacs” shirts to the event, it was more of a family affair.
When Palmer, an employee at Wegmans herself, heard about the opening in Brooklyn, she and her sister, who lives in Wisconsin, started planning. Cortez flew to Rochester, and the two drove down Saturday night. After getting a bit lost on their first-ever subway ride, they arrived at the Brooklyn Navy Yard just as the store’s front doors were opening.
“I’ve really wanted to come to a store opening so bad,” Palmer told HuffPost. “When I became an employee, I thought I would think less of the company because you see things behind the scenes, but it’s not. It’s quality through and through. They care about their employees, so their employees can care about their customers.”
“It’s home,” Cortez added. “There’s no other grocery store that’s like it. It just feels like family when you walk in.”
Family that will, say, lend you an umbrella when you’ve been standing outside in the rain tailgating since 6:30 a.m., like Brad Orego and Jeff Pollock. The two friends, who went to University of Rochester and the University at Buffalo, respectively, first bonded over their mutual love of the grocery chain when they met while playing ultimate frisbee in Madison, Wisconsin.
Today, they both live in Brooklyn and would have arrived even earlier to the opening if not for tailgate prep.
“I started at about 4 a.m. and was still baking casserole and making pancakes at 6,” Orego said, laughing. They graciously offered provisions to people in line, explaining that their group was supposed to be bigger.
“I have some co-workers who also went to school in Rochester,” Orego said. “They were like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do this!’ They all got really hyped. But they’re, like, 23 years old, so when I was like, ‘We’re doing this. We’re getting here at 6,’ they were like, ‘Whoa, that’s a bit much.’ I was like, ‘What’s wrong with you kids?’”
Pollock was the only one who “really got hyped” about it, Orego added. Why?
“True answer is: Why the fuck not?” Pollock said, laughing. “Wegmans is awesome. I grew up with it. It’s a wonderful experience, far different from any other grocery store I’ve ever entered.”
Orego and Pollock had planned to head inside to watch the Buffalo Bills/Philadelphia Eagles game at the bar (yes, there’s a bar) inside Wegmans, but they still hadn’t seen the store by 8 a.m., likening the event itself to a football game.
“We’re tailgating!” Orego said. “You can’t enter during the first quarter. You’ve gotta wait until at least halfway through the second.”
It was a big day not only for fans, but for the store as well. Valerie Fox, a publicist for the chain, told HuffPost in an email about the “incredibly exciting day for our family company.”
“Despite heavy rainfall, hundreds of people lined up around the block before dawn yesterday,” Fox wrote. “Throughout the day, a consistent flow of over 25,000 customers visited, and the Brooklyn store broke our opening-day sales record.”
As one of those 25,000, rain-soaked customers, I can attest to the overall sense of joy, excitement and satisfaction with the Brooklyn branch, even after I ran into Upadhaya in the store and he informed me there was no jalapeño cheesy bread (yet).
Wegmans Comes to Brooklyn: 3 Things to Love about NYC's Newest Grocery Megastore
Believe it or not, I had never heard of Wegmans before it opened here in NYC last week. (As a native New Yorker growing up in the city in the 70s, I was raised thinking that the only chains you saw in NYC were gold and should be tucked under your coat on the subway.) So while I was excited to hear about Wegmans coming to the Vinegar Hll neighborhood of Brooklyn, I admit I had no idea why the Rochester-based chain was all that. Did Wegmans acquire its legion of fans by its unique products, the way Trader Joes does? Was it just the suburban size value, like Costco? Did it offer better-sourced produce and meats like Whole Foods?
What I discovered is that the secret of Wegmans is that they are going for all of the above. Wegmans is the store that wants to be everything to all people. And, they seem to be pulling it off. I recently went to find out what makes NYC’s newest grocery store and food hall different from other stores. Here are the top things that make Wegmans a win for New York City families.
The produce section alone at Wegmans is bigger than most NYC grocery stores.
1. Specialty Products and Big Box Convenience in One
The hardest part of being a foodie in the city is trekking across NYC like Calvin Trillin to pick up all the specialty foods you need cheeses from Murray’s, smoked fish from Russ and Daughters, heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market. Wegmans offers an under-one-roof solution for finding specialty items. I thought Wegmans was going to just be a giant suburban-style grocery store, but in fact it’s more like a collection of specialty food stores attached to a big box store.
You didn't realize your life was incomplete without French butter until today.
Whereas most grocery stores seem to be limiting the number of products they sell and focusing more on prepared foods and popular items, Wegmans has a dizzying number of specialty food items. Every department is deep with specialty items, from the cheese aisle to the butcher counter to the produce section. I found everything from exotic mushrooms to dragon fruit to kobe beef. The coffees and teas fill an entire aisle.
Family size General Tso's Chicken is just one of dozens of heat-and-eat options.
2. Family-Size Prepared and Ready-to-Cook Meals
Most stores now offer plenty of unique prepared foods. The only problem is that most of them are single-serving sizes. Wegmans offers a wide selection of family-sized meals, whether you want heat-and-eat, frozen meals, or prepped dishes to simply cook at home. With marinated meats, whole pizzas, family-sized entrees ready to heat and eat, full-size meatloafs ready to pop in the oven, and tons of varieties of specialty burgers, Wegmans is a dream for fast family meals.
Free samples of seared scallops while you shop? Yes, please!
3. Vegetarian, Kosher, and Gluten Free Options Galore
If you have special dietary needs, Wegmans has you covered. I was interested to see Impossible and Beyond brands of vegetarian ground beef, a large section of gluten-free baked goods from the bakery, and a refrigerated section full of Kosher foods.
I fueled up with a mushroom and truffle pizza slize plus some chicken curry from the Asian food bar.
I’m sure Wegmaniacs are going to be freaking out about the orange cranberry bread and the bacon-and-cheese-stuffed burgers. I’m certainly interested in returning to Wegmans and trying more of their unique products too. But for families, the convenience of a grocery store with parking, tons of family-sized prepared meals, and huge variety of products in one place are what makes Wegmans a winner in my book.
Want to see my first Wegmans haul? Check out the Mommy Poppins Instagram story.
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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:
“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”
If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.
But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.
The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.
We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”