February 9, 2006
I Heart Wegmans
In an entry last week I mentioned something about checking the frozen foods section of my favorite grocery store. I wanted to write simply, "Every time I go to Wegmans I check to see if Ben and Jerry's has brought back my favorite flavors," but I couldn't, because not everyone knows what Wegmans is.
And I have decided to do something about that.
As I hope I've made abundantly clear, I prefer the southwest part of the US to the northeast part. But one thing that makes the northeast superior to the rest of the country is the presence of Wegmans, the best grocery store I've ever shopped at. It's even better than the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City, and that was a pretty damn good grocery store. (Though New Pi had better bread--they had this chocolate cherry bread that was AMAZING.)
I'd be proud to appear in a Wegmans ad, pushing my cart through the spacious aisles and merrily singing some jingle as I pull high-quality food items from the well-stocked shelves. But I'm not the only one willing to sing the company's praises: last year Wegmans ranked first in FORTUNE Magazine's list of the top 100 companies to work for; this year it ranks second. According to a company press release, "this marks the ninth consecutive year Wegmans has appeared on the annual list and its fourth year ranked among the top 10."
I realize I sound as enthusiastic as a paid spokesperson, but part of what I like best about shopping at Wegmans is the fact that the employees don't seem to resent doing the jobs they're paid to do. They're not surly--in fact, they're usually pretty cheery. They know where stuff is. When you ask them for help, they try to provide it.
My particular Wegmans, it should be noted, is not as vast and grand as some. A couple of my friends live in Ithaca, NY, and their Wegmans is truly impressive, boasting a better deli and restaurant section and a much better liquor selection than the branch I shop at. (That last bit isn't hard, since I live in Pennsylvania, and PA's laws governing the sale of alcohol are even stupider and more complicated than Utah's, with the upshot being that you can't buy booze at grocery stores in PA.)
But I still love my smaller Wegmans, even after being introduced to a truly magnificent version. Believe it or not, Wegmans is the only place in town to get decent sushi. The olive bar is nice too, and I'm fairly happy with the cheese selection. (It is the US, of course, so ain't no cheese section going to be as good as you'd find in, say, France.) They stock a lot of local produce; it's very fresh and reasonably priced, and the organic stuff is reasonable too. They have a really nice tableware and kitchenware section, with merchandise that changes frequently--cool seasonal place settings and ideas for entertaining. I admit I wish they had a better selection of Mexican food products, but no place is perfect.
Anyway, in the future, instead of writing "I went to the grocery store," I'll just write, "I went to Wegmans," and you'll all know what I mean.
Posted by holly at February 9, 2006 9:10 AM