Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Wegmans - Welcome to the Food Museum
Wegmans - 3195 Monroe Avenue, Rochester NY 14618
Oh Wegmans...how I love that word. The word, which is so fondly associated with one of the best food shopping experiences in the U.S. has finally been made real to me. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard friends boast about Wegmans, which they came to know in upstate NY usually during their college years. One of our friends, Moses is probably the most effusive in his descriptions as he calls it "the most awesomest store ever."
So...how did I get to try it, you might wonder? Well we took an impromptu road trip to Rochester last weekend due to an unfortunate family circumstance. Although the reason for our trip was sad, we discovered some fun things along the way, such as this amazing store!
A Bit of Background:
Like most great businesses in this country, Wegman's started as a mom & pop shop. A duo of brothers, Walter and John Wegman began running it in 1915. Since that time, the business has grown beyond their wildest dreams, I'm sure, to a multi-billion dollar establishment, now operating 75 stores mostly in Western NY and some locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. I love their core belief: "good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do." Words to live by and words that can be applied to any circumstance, I think.
A Bit About Our Experience:
Before we walked into Wegman's I didn't know what to expect. Quite frankly, it looked like any other large super-store such as Walmart, Target or COSTCO. However, what lay beneath its plain exterior was anything but.
First of all, I was immediately entranced by the variety and the many specialty stations that Wegmans offered. The bakery was the best part, as there were countless renditions of artisan breads and delicious looking--and tasting--rolls. We indulged in quite a bit, as we bought a couple of pretzel rolls, rosemary and olive rolls and bread such as a rustic wheat loaf. Although the bread selection is impressive, it's a bit pricey, but the costs are justified by the amazing quality. To give you an example, a smallish roll was $.55 and any loaf of bread was in the neighborhood of $3.75 - $5.00.
Then came the cheeses - oh my! From interesting domestic varieties such as cheddar and mozzarella, to exotic imported products such as the creamiest French brie I've ever tasted and an authentic Grana Padano Parmesan with a sharp bite, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted first.
Oh and there was much more - from an extensive organic section to the countless market cafes, serving fresh sushi, sandwiches, Mexican food, pasta, pizza and more, the world is truly yours when you come here. I especially loved the old fashioned sub shop, serving delicious, fresh sandwiches on Wegmans quality fluffy bread. Dan and I got one for the road, at only $5.50 for a hefty 7 incher. It was GOOD and even during a very long car ride home, the bread stayed fresh and didn't get soggy.
I was so excited by my exprience at Wegmans that I decided to make the above picture my Facebook profile shot. The comments were so positive that I had to share some with you.
"When I was at Cornell, I shopped at Wegmans all the time. It was the nicest store in Ithaca. I miss it."
"I was at Wegman's on Saturday! Oh how I love Wegman's :)"
"I call Wegman's a Food Museum! Please tell me there's one near NYC."
I think these paint a pretty accurate picture - Wegmans ABSOLUTELY ROCKS! Now we just need one in our area. Come on Wegmans, make it happen!