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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New England Market Watch: Waiting for the Arrival of Wegmans in Westwood, Mass.


Article by Eric H. at VisitingNewEngland.com

Photo from Wegmans Online Media Photo Gallery

As a child growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the most memorable times was making our yearly trip in April to see our salt-of-the-earth, fun-loving relatives in Rochester, N.Y. The second most memorable aspect of the trip was going to Rochester-based Wegmans supermarket chain in Penfield, N.Y., a beautiful suburb of Rochester.

Wegmans always seemed to be superior to our markets back home, offering a visionary open-market look that looked like a futuristic, over sized restaurant; delicious jelly donuts, better than our donut shops and bakeries could ever make; a cheese shop that was a wonderland to us cheese fans; the Rochester-born white hot dogs (combination of uncured and unsmoked pork, beef, and veal and containing mustard and unspecified other spices), a novelty that also tasted great; and laser scanning which was another novelty that would later show up at other supermarkets. Service was tremendous and made you feel good, especially in those down-to-earth Rochester accents that left in the "R" when speaking.

Wegmans has always been a family-owned venture, which can still be seen today -- look at all the Wegman names on its Web Site photo gallery that operate the supermarket chain. Fortune Magazine ranked Wegmans #3 on on the magazine's 2008 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work Forr. The Food Network named Wegmans as a "SUPER Market – presented to the grocery chain who changed the way we shop’" at the 2007 Food Network Awards.

Wegmans has grown nicely into the 21st century, offering more food selection than most other markets (70,000 items compared to the average market selection of 40,000, according to the Wegmans Web Site), online shopping list capabilities, a magazine called Menu, market cafes, and an incentive to stop selling all tobacco products out of a concern for health.

We hope that Wegmans comes to Westwood at its proposed Westwood Station location, as there is currently a stagnation in regards to being permitted a liquor license. Hopefully, that issue will be resolved so that people in the Boston area can soon enjoy this amazing market.

While our economic market is sliding, it's quite the opposite for the "Supermarkets" in suburban Boston: Wegman's, along with the equally impressive Roche Brothers (Westwood, Millis, Easton and many other locations) and Big Y (in Walpole), brings supermarket shopping to the next level in their atmosphere and decor, fine customer service and large and often unique food selections. Add the biggest Whole Foods Market at 60,000-plus sq. ft. -- expected to open in Dedham, Mass., at the Legacy Place shopping center-- and the south of Boston area will be finding itself not exactly bereft of great supermarket choices.

Read here for more info on Wegmans
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