04/04/13 11:59 PM

Ever since we started looking into the area around Belle Grove for shopping options,

one word seems to be coming up time and time again…


So after my last appointment on Tuesday, I headed over to Fredericksburg to check out this Wegman’s store.

Boy was I in for a surprise!


When I pulled in, my first thought was that it looked like a dressed up Sam’s Club. But when I walked it, I was really surprised! The first thing I did was find an employee to see if there was membership requirement. Nope… just shop and pay. But you can get a “Shopping Card” for extra savings just like most groceries carry. So off I went.


A little history of Wegman’s from their website:

“Brothers Walter and John Wegman (Robert Wegman’s father and uncle) learned the food business by working in their mom and dad’s grocery store in Rochester, NY. Walter worked in the store while John peddled fresh produce from a pushcart.  In 1916, John opened the Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company, which marks the beginning of Wegmans Food Markets.  Walter joined him a year later.  By 1921, the two brothers bought the Seel Grocery Co., and expanded their operations to include general groceries and bakery operations.

In the 1930s, the stores become incorporated, and expand their product line to include meats, produce, groceries, dairy products, and baked goods.

In the 1940s, Wegmans begins offering frozen foods and adopts a self-service format.

In the 1950s, Wegmans introduces a broad program of employee benefits for full-time employees. Wegmans also begins handling its own real-estate development, leasing, and property management.

In the 1960s, Wegmans begins expanding beyond Rochester with a store in Syracuse, NY.

In the 1970s, the chain begins putting pharmacies in their stores. Laser scanning is introduced to read UPC symbols on products, and Wegmans private-label products are launched throughout the chain. The company creates a Consumer Affairs department to act as the voice of the consumer inside the company and to educate shoppers about nutrition, food safety, and other food issues. Wegmans opens its first store in Buffalo, NY.

In the 1980s, Chain-wide scholarship employee program begins, as well as an award-winning mentoring program to help at-risk urban youth complete high school and gain work skills. First “Wokery” opens. Stores begin to offer Club Pack products.

In the 1990s, Wegmans introduces “Shoppers Club” electronic discount program, an alternative to coupon-clipping. Chain also hires a registered dietitian and launches the “Strive for 5” program offering recipes with nutritional analyses to promote eating fresh vegetables and fruits daily for better health. Opens first “Market Café,” an in-store restaurant, and their web site is launched. Wegmans enters the Pennsylvania market with a store in Erie, and New Jersey in the Princeton area.

In the 2000s, Wegmans’ weekly specials go online, with a feature that allows customers to build a shopping list sorted by store layout. The company launches Menu magazine in 2001. They are the first chain in the country to introduce fresh irradiated ground beef under their own label in 2002. That same year, Wegmans opens its first full-service restaurant, Tastings, at the Pittsford, NY store. The company’s first stores in Virginia and Maryland open in 2004 and 2005, respectively.  FORTUNE magazine ranks Wegmans #1 in its 2005 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Wegmans’ Organic Research Farm is established in 2007 on the shores of Canandaigua Lake. In 2008, Wegmans stops selling all tobacco products out of concern for the role that smoking plays in people’s health. The Pub marked Wegmans first full-service restaurant inside the store when the Collegeville, PA store opened in 2009. At the end of ’09, Wegmans closed Tastings restaurant and opened Next Door Bar & Grill across the street. The new restaurant is described as “a fun place with great food.”

In 2010, the Wegmans iPhone app is launched in April 2010 and a blog, Fresh Stories, begins in July. The Food Bar opens in the space once occupied by Tastings restaurant, adjacent to the Pittsford store. Wegmans opens its first Massachusetts store in Northborough in October 2011.”

Produce Section

Produce Section

The first thing I saw was the produce section. It has to be three times larger than most groceries I have been in. To the right, my nose started leading me to the small cafes that offered ready-made meals and snacks. Pizza, sushi and even a hot/cold bar!

Cafe Section

Cafe Section

Meat and Seafood Section

Meat and Seafood Section

I walked around this area and found myself in the meat section. It was huge!! And had to have almost every meat you could think of or need. They even had a deli and seafood bar in case you got hungry while you shopped!

Meat and Seafood Section

Meat and Seafood Section

Then I wondered into the grocery section. To my surprise they had an entire aisle dedicated to Gluten Free! I know this is going to come in handy for all our Gluten Free guests! But the aisle and options were endless!

Bakery Section

Bakery Section

Bakery Section

Bakery Section

Challah Bread!I know I will be making some great breakfast bread puddings soon!

Challah Bread!
I know I will be making some great breakfast bread puddings soon!

Sushi SectionDumplings!

Sushi Section

They even had a section for items for catering and parties. Plastic glasses, trays and flatware you have to pick up to see that they aren’t real. They also carried kitchen needs like pots, pans, cookie sheets, dishes, placemats, table clothes and so much more!

But I did well; I only made one purchase of a mix someone was telling us about. I am going to give it a try on Friday when I get home for Brett. But I can tell you this; you could spend a day in there and still not see everything! And you better take a list or a really big check book because you can easily spend more than you expected.

But here is what the best part was!

The prices weren’t bad at all! In fact they were what I would have spent at our local grocery!

Was there anything bad about it?

Cheese Section

Cheese Section

Only one thing I didn’t find was Virginia made cheeses. I want to serve as much Virginia made produces that I can. So I may have to go to a local farm for that. But for most of our grocery needs, I will be coming here!

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 42 Comments »

42 Comments on “Wegman’s”

  1. vanbraman Says:

    The choice of a grocery store is a very important decision. Whether it is for business or just for yourself. There are many options to weigh. Do you want to base your decision on price alone, or do you want to take into consideration the service you receive. Also important is to determine if you need to make stops at multiple stores, or can you get everything in one place. The multiple stops can really drive up the overall cost. I have a list of items that I will only buy at a premium grocery store that I trust and then another group that I will buy at a cheaper price at Target.

  2. Thank you! All of that is so true!

  3. Aww, this post made me a little homesick for Fredericksburg. I loved that Wegman’s. I can’t believe they didn’t have Virginia cheeses. There is a place out on Rt. 20 towards Charlottesville that makes cheese. Marshall Farms and I think they will ship cheese to you. For produce, we loved Westmoreland Berry Farm and Snead’s Farm (which isn’t too far from you on Rt. 17). The Sneads are a wonderful family. Mr. Snead is the guy that organized the farmers’ markets in Spotsylvania Co. Hartwood Winery (off of Rt. 17 in Stafford Co.) is another local place you may want to check out.

  4. Sorry… I am looking into Marshall Farms. I have had their cheeses at the Wine Show at Stratford Hall last year and they are on my list to see. And they aren’t really far from us either! I have also been to Westmoreland Berry Farm. We will be doing our account soon with them! I haven’t been to Snead’s Farm yet. But I did see they have fresh asparagus which is one of my favorites! Thank you for your suggestions!

  5. Send ’em Down Under. I like the look of that place. The temptation to spend must be incredible, Michelle. And are you sure you’re anticipating cooking all that food for guests – or just the immediate family?!!!!

  6. Oh David, you so are funny! We will be cooking for both! Yes, I have to use a list in there or I would buy the store!

  7. From one foodie to another: YUM!

  8. Yes!

  9. John Says:

    Looks like a fantastic store indeed! And what a fine history the store has too, the family/ownership must be very proud. A great mom-and-pop success story. I noticed the China you were looking at the other day for the mansion, great choice. Saw it on Instagram I think…

  10. Thank you! Yes, I am looking at that china pattern, but I want to check one more place before I commit! Watch Instagram and Twitter this Saturday for the finally out come!

  11. John Says:

    I’m on Instagram once or twice a day. 🙂

  12. 🙂

  13. I hope you receive a sizable discount for your advertising.

  14. Oh no I don’t think they even know. But who knows… I might have to tell them 😉

  15. lcmitsu Says:

    I love wegmans.

  16. I do too now!

  17. Watch your costs and expenses! Wegman’s will invite you to overspend because everything looks WONDERFUL.

  18. I know!! I must go in with a list and stick to it!

  19. A shopping list is mandatory. “Stick to it” will be difficult at best. If we had a Wegman’s in Oklahoma, I would be buying a lot more than what I needed.

  20. 🙂

  21. dogear6 Says:

    When I lived in Rochester, NY, I lived around the corner from one and I LOVED it. No one else comes even close. I really miss not having one, but Richmond is not quite close enough to just run up to Fredricksburg for groceries.


  22. Well Nancy, you will just have to make a trip up to go shopping for fun one day. I know of a great “soon to open” B&B you could stay at! 😉

  23. nancyc Says:

    I wish there were a Wegmen’s near me-this is the first I’ve heard of them! It looks like a great place!

  24. It is really a great place! Who knows, it could be moving that way one day!

  25. colmel Says:

    Oh, my GOODNESS! That looks like Harry’s in the Atlanta area. That’s one of the things I miss most about our move north. I understand that there’s a ginormous farmers’ market in downtown Detroit that I MUST go to, but as far as large enclosed store like this. Sigh. I miss Harry’s!! You’re going to become a great customer of Wegmen’s!

  26. I can’t wait to explorer more soon!

  27. terry1954 Says:

    wow! anything you could possibly desire!

  28. You got it!

  29. Amy Says:

    What an amazing successful family business story! I’d love to shop there… 🙂

  30. If you visit some day, you could 😉

  31. David Says:

    Next time, if you could pick up a couple fish and half ham for me. 🙂

  32. Sure thing!

  33. KerriAK Says:

    I really miss Wegman’s! I used to shop there all the time when I lived in the Finger Lakes region of NY. Enjoy the shopping (and the great staff, and the community involvement, etc.)!

  34. It is just a great store!

  35. TinLizzie72 Says:

    It took months of hearing “Wegmans!” After I moved here to finally get to one. My goodness! Too much to look at! And boy did we spend too much money… Thank goodness there isn’t one nearby. I’d be broke and fat!

  36. I completely understand!

  37. I’ve been spoiled because I live in the area where Wegmans originated. There is no better grocery store in my opinion. So glad you can enjoy them now too!

  38. Wow, I think I would have been spoiled too!

  39. Totally love Weggie’s! Prices and produce are so much better than Giant. There are several here in NoVa, so I’m quite happy!

  40. Wow, I am just excited I can live near one now!

  41. twisterfish Says:

    We have Wegmans near us and it’s the only store I’ll shop at. Great prices, wide assortment of products, and their store-brand items are usually very, very good quality. I save money from the other grocery chains when I shop at Wegmans. And it’s great to browse the gluten-free area when my mom visits me — we always find everything we need there.

  42. I know where I will be going! It is wonderful!