Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Just Sayin'

At least one Gentle Reader was perplexed at my Wegman's comment on last night's post and one other Gentle Reader from Rochester got it.  For the record: buying groceries at Wegman's is an experience unto itself... a GREAT experience.  I've been around the block a few times and have lived and shopped ALL over this great country, from border to border and sea to shining sea.  There are no better food markets than Wegman's anywhere... and few equals... period, full-stop.  I'm not alone in making this statement; herewith some evidence.  First, from GMA:
Shopping for groceries can be an exercise in frustration, fraught with experiences you'd rather avoid.

The ideal? Lots of checkout lanes, wide aisles, and consistently fresh meat and produce -- like at Wegmans, one of several stores which got top ratings in the October issue of Consumer Reports.

The Rankings

The top ranked stores were Wegmans and Trader Joe's. Top regional chains were Wegmans in the Northeast; Publix and Harris Teeter in the South; Raley's in California; and Hy-Vee in the Midwest.

"All of these stores, especially the regional ones, did well because of their selection and their produce and their convenience," Kleman said.

No. 1: Wegmans

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Wegmans was founded in 1916 by the Wegman family. Wegmans operates 75 stores: 48 in New York State, 13 in Pennsylvania, 7 in New Jersey, 6 in Virginia and 1 in Maryland.

Sample Reader Comments:

sweet sue 14218
"Wegmans is absolutely the best food store I have ever shopped in. [It has] lowest prices, friendly and helpful staff and the store is always spotless. Another good thing is they have plenty of cart corrals to put your empty cart in to keep them from hitting anyone [else's] car."

"One of the highlights of visiting my son and family in Rochester, N.Y. is going to Wegmans. [On my] last visit, I [took] the tour of the [flagship] store. Wegmans, please come to Virginia -- especially Virginia Beach!" 
Another thumbnail sketch (there's a slideshow of great markets at this link):
Wegmans, which originated in Rochester, NY, is a gastronome's Mecca. This supermarket of all supermarkets offers more than 70,000 products from the every corner of the world. From basics to the authentic sweets developed by one of France's top pastry chefs, Pierre Hermé. The fresh fruits and vegetables max out at over 700 varieties and are picked daily (sometimes twice) and delivered directly to the store.

Not to be missed: The bulk food section. Barrels of everything from candy to nuts to baking flour and can be purchased in various quantities.
More here, and at The Wiki.  Weggies really IS all that and a bag o' chips; my local Wegman's even had a sushi bar and the fish was EXCELLENT.  As Small-Tee said in comments below: "If you never been to one, you'll never understand."


  1. I, for one, don't think I wanna move to the Northeast for a better shopping experience... even if there are only two grocery stores here.
    I suppose I could drive the 12 miles to shop at Raley's, but then there's no guarantee I'm going to find what I want.
    I guess one of those things I really miss about my home town is Draeger's Market.

  2. I take exception with the classification of Wegmans as a "northeast regional" store. If you look at the list of states they occupy in the "northeast" - it's not really northeast. It's more mid-Atlantic.

    Dreadful pedant that I am.

  3. Coming from the Rochester NY area, I know and love Wegman's stores. They are absolutely the best. They are also a good employer - many of my cousins, neices and nephews have gotten their employment career started at Wegman's and it was always a positive experience.

  4. Oh ... P.S. We have Trader Joe's here in Santa Fe, NM, and they are also a great store. Low prices, unusual inventory of interesting foods. But as a shopping experience, I would rate them pretty LOW. The store here in Santa Fe is small, which results in crowds of people pushing and shoving to get to the foods they want. I have never been in that store when the crowd wasn't too large for the size of the store, making the shopping experience not all that pleasant.

    Now -- HyVee stores in the MidWest - another great grocery store chain!

  5. Skip: I'm not ready to move back to Western New Yawk, either. But I DO miss Wegman's. BTW: your link doesn't work.

    Kris: You and TSMP. We had semi-dreadful arguments about where Ra-cha-cha fell in the geographical pantheon... she swore it was Mid-West. Same with Dee-troit, too. EVERYTHANG was "Mid-West" to her.

    Sharon: Wegman's had offices in the building I worked at in Ra-cha-cha and I got to know some of the people in the front office; I can attest to what you say about the work environment. The folks I knew were seriously concerned about the employees. About Trader Joe's... I've always heard nothing but good thangs about them. But if a store is too small, well then... that would diminish the experience.

    HEB markets in Texas are good, too!

  6. Now I want a Weggie too.

    Our main stores are Food Lion and Lowes foods after reading this neither one of those compare to your Weggie's

  7. It was supposed to show the location of Draeger's Menlo Park store.

  8. I am glad that we have a Wal-Mart and a Homeland plus a few other small grocery stores. It could be worse. But I love going to DFW to the HEB store, Central Market. OKC does not have such great stores, dang it.

  9. When I get to Ra-cha-cha, I always head to Wegman's to get a supply of cannolis - they are better than the best bakeries in town.

    And here's another YES vote for HEB - the Central Market near my daughter's house in Dallas is fantastic. And when I lived in San Antonio, the HEB stores were the best in the area.

  10. Buck - I'm sorry that I share an opinion with TSMP. :-) I wouldn't say Rochester is mid-west; but Wegman's is definitely not located in the northeast.

    Our primary store chain here is Stop & Shop. They are the usual big-box grocery store however they do have nice produce. That said, my latest addiction is Whole Foods (or whole paycheck as my friends call it). I wouldn't want to do my regular shopping there however - for specialty items and truly organic foods, I like it alot. Their service beyond compare.

  11. ss: I can't say enough about Weggies.

    Skip: I figgered that out...

    Lou: I patronized the HEB stores during the time I was in Texas; they're almost as good as Wegman's.

    Sharon: I'll third the HEB thang.

    Kris: I think you're a closet hippie. ;-)

  12. What the hell…?!?! Mid Atlantic?!?! On what map?

    This is NOT complicated folks, ya’ done got me going!

    “Wegmans operates 75 stores: 48 in New York State, 13 in Pennsylvania, 7 in New Jersey, 6 in Virginia and 1 in Maryland.”

    The majority of store is in NY, which by any way you look at it IS the NORTHEAST!

    “Headquartered in Rochester, New York”

    While not directly on the Eastern seaboard, any way you look at that Rochester, NY is NORTH FREAKIN” EAST!

    Wegman’s has closed more stores in Rochester than are currently open in VA or MD.

    Case closed.

    (Deep breaths…)

  13. Heh. That's a pretty good impression of the diatribe I went off on when TSMP and I had our geographical "discussion," Small-Tee. VERY accurate. All you'd need to flesh out the illustration would be a large US map, which I deployed to illuminate the geographically-impaired Mrs. Pennington.

  14. Kris: I think you're a closet hippie. ;-)

    You know what - in some ways I actually am a tree-hugger.

    tim: they say headquartered in NY which, yes, is in the northeast. Yet none of the other states could truly be considered in the northeast - PA, VA, MD??? Headquarters may be northeast but many of the the stores themselves - are not. Which to me means that the chain of Wegman's isn't a northeast chain.

  15. I give half a nod to TSMP in that RaChaCha FEELS more like the midwest than the east coast. But lookin at a map.... east coast for sure.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.