By Miranda Willson
Posted Nov 4, 2017 at 9:27 AM
All of the 95 Wegmans Food Markets locations nationwide have at least one thing in common: the store’s main entrance always leads to the produce section.
“That’s because we got our start as a produce push cart back in 1916 in Rochester, N.Y.,” explained Valerie Fox, Wegmans media relations coordinator.
The store, which will open on Nov. 5 at 7 a.m. in its new Medford location, boasts more items than most grocery stores (50,000 to 70,000 items per store), as well as many organic options, family and bulk packaging for many products and “consistent low prices,” Fox said.
At the upcoming Medford location in the Meadow Glen Mall, the store also includes a food court featuring its own Burger Bar and Market Cafe, both of which offer food for take-out and a seating area for dining in. The Market Cafe includes specialty coffee, an old-fashioned sub shop, an organic salad bar and a vegetarian bar, among other products.
There is also a pizza section, equipped with a custom brick oven that cooks pizzas in less than two minutes.
“It’s kind of like Chipotle meets pizza. We’re doing the fast-casual, made-to-order concept as it applies to pizza, with handmade dough,” said Mike Debole, a Wegmans category merchant for pizza. “It’s all the fun and flash: you see it made right in front of you, and it’s very quick, artisan pizza. It’s something different.”
Additionally, the store includes a bakery, which features a large area specifically devoted to wide variety of fresh cookies, as well as a cheese shop, a Mediterranean food bar, extensive meat and fish departments and a candy bar, among other special food sections and catering areas.
The store also sells allergen-friendly products, includes an entire gluten-free section and strives to offer sustainably produced, local options as often as possible, according to Fox.
“Even throughout the grocery aisles, you’ll see a lot of products sourced nearby,” she said.
Unlike many grocery stores in the area, Wegmans also has a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, including 1,000 varieties of domestic, craft and imported beers as well as “craft your own” six packs.
Wine bottles range from $6 per bottle to high-end bottles found in the store’s own humidity and temperature-controlled wine room.
“We want to be that one-stop shop for a customer,” Fox said.
Wegmans prides itself on its customer service and on making shopping easy and enjoyable for customers, Fox said. In addition to having a customer service desk in the store, Wegmans has its own mobile app that customers can download to make shopping more efficient.
Starting Nov. 8, Wegmans will be partnering with the grocery delivery service Instacart so that customers can have their groceries delivered to their homes.
Though the store has already hired about 400 new employees from Medford and neighboring communities, there are still some open positions. The company is also hiring extensively for its upcoming location at the Natick Mall, scheduled to open in spring 2018.
Store manager Kevin Russell noted that the company has already developed a positive relationship with entities in the city, including the Mayor’s Office, the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, having donated to various local and regional causes and attended charitable and community events.
Russell is excited for opening day on Sunday given the buzz he has been hearing across the city.
“We hope that folks will try us out and that we’ll be the store they choose most often,” he said. “We’re not a corner grocery store: we’re a retail destination.”
Click here to read article