Markets & Stores 21

Wegmans Report!

James G | Feb 29, 2004 08:26 AM

Some people wait in line to get concert tickets; other people wait in line to see museum exhibits. I wait in line to get into a new grocery store... At 6:40am I arrived at the parking lot and was surprised to see how many cars were already there (and here I was upset that my NY Times had not arrived by the time I had left home, leaving me with nothing to read while waiting for the 7am opening!). A queue had already formed, with about 150 people (rough estimate) waiting in the 25 degree weather to get inside. Wegmans employees were passing out forms to those shoppers who did not already have their shopper discount cards (I received mine in the mail some time ago), when what they really should have been passing out was cups of coffee!

At 7am the doors were open and the crowd (which had grown exponentially since my arrival) started to inch inside, where we were greeted by smiling staff members handing out flyers of different types and management shaking our hands (at least that helped to warm them up a bit!).

Though the store is enormous it is not really laid out in a way that is conducive to torrents of people all arriving at the same time, so it was slow going, particularly through the produce section (straight ahead as you enter) and the coffee shop/pizza shop/specialty area (to the right). The selection is tremendous, and the prices are great! They have an olive bar that has a very nice (and wide) selection of olives, as well as hummus, baba ghanouj, bocconcini, artichoke hearts, and other marinated things ($5.99/lb). The wine section is very large and puts all other local shops to shame (and the prices here are also very good). There is a large cheese selection (not quite Dean & Deluca or even Whole Foods, but far better than anything else I can recall seeing around DC), a nice bread selection, and a good assortment of appliances, plates, glasses, etc.

All in all it was an incredible experience! I don't know if I would drive 19 minutes each way (I clocked it) to get there for regular shopping, but certainly when the Fairfax location opens (a mere 6 minutes away) I will be there regularly! Giant & Safeway BEWARE!!

(Oh, by the way, since many of you know I am a big Super H fan, let me make it clear that Wegmans is not a substitute for Super H; while the produce selection at Wegmans is quite good, the prices are a bit higher than Super H and they don't have the same variety of Asian stuff, though there is an interesting ethnic section, which includes Asian, European and Latin American items.)

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