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Waiting for Wegmans? Here's What You Can Expect

The new Wegmans will open on Oct. 28. Patch got some details on the new food store and its selection of 70,000 items.

It is hard to write about Wegmans without coming off as at least a bit effusive. 

I can easily tell myself "it's just a grocery store," but everyone knows that's not true. If it were just a grocery store, my inbox would not have scores of messages from local residents asking me when the Crofton location will open. 

If you didn't know by now, the store will open on Oct. 28 at 7 a.m. in the Waugh Chapel Towne Centre. 

"We always open on a Sunday and make a big deal of it," store manager Gerry Troisi told me in an interview. "We're expecting a huge crowd."

I sat down with Troisi and some other Wegmans officials to get some details on the new store, which will be the 6th in Maryland and the 81st overall from the Rochester, NY-based chain. 

There are many unique things about Wegmans, but the most striking is probably the sheer size of this operation. Take in the following numbers: 

  • 120,000 - The total square footage of the store. That's on par with some of the largest big box retailers in the area, including Target and Walmart.
  • 70,000 - The total number of products available at the store. 
  • 700 - The number of varieties of fruits and vegetables.
  • 350 - The number of types of cheese available. 
  • 300 - the number of seats at the "Market Cafe," which includes a coffee shop, pizza bar, wok and sushi bars. 
  • 500 - The total number of full and part-time jobs filled at the new Wegmans.
  • 5,000 - The number of applications for those positions. 
  • 6 - The number of months they've been training the new employees. 

It would be impossible to outline every detail of every store aisle, but Troisi conveyed that customers will enter to find large stations featuring fresh fruit and vegetables. There, customers can have a store employee cut up fruits and veggies any way they like, or even show them how to cook it. Customers can also buy fresh produce already sliced and packaged. 

To the right of the produce stations will be a pharmacy, aisle of beauty products and then a "Nature's Marketplace" store, featuring organic and gluten-free items. (Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale said that's the fastest-growing segment of products.) 

If you need products in bulk, there's an entire section for that. Frozen foods? There are two aisles that go from the front of the store to the back. The dairy section, meanwhile, is as half as wide as the store. 

Troisi said he was particularly proud of the store's Day Boat Station, which will feature fresh seafood. It's the largest of its kind in the entire chain. The station will display the type of fish on sale, plus the name of the boat and captain who caught it. Customers can have a chef steam their lobster, crab or fish while they wait. 

What else? Let's see ... a full-service deli and bakery. A flower shop. A section of small appliances. A tea shop with a selection of about 500 teas. A Mediterranean bar with imported and domestic olives. 

Wegmans does whatever it can to draw from vendors located in Maryland and Virginia. Troisi said this store will benefit from the vendor connections established by the other five stores in the state. 

I asked Wegmans officials about the issue of pricing. All of this stuff is nice, but what if I just want to come in for a can of peas?

Troisi said the company works hard to ensure that most basic items are priced at or even lower than competitors' items. While they don't offer "sales" in the traditional sense, they operate with an "everyday low price" policy. Moreover, Wegmans installs seasonal price freezes on hundreds of popular products.

"We will be very competitive in the market," Troisi said. "We always have been."

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Wegmans does not offer a club card. In fact, the store offers a Wegmans Shoppers Club card to customers. 

Keep checking with Patch as the opening of Wegmans gets closer. Are you looking forward to the store opening?

Patch reader September 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM
I am looking forward to it opening. Especially if they are going to be reasonably priced! I thought they were one of those high priced 'natural food' places. I can't wait to see how reasonable they will be.
Eric Smith September 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM
The article says Wegmans doesn't have a club card. They have a card, it is called "Shoppers Club"
A. S. D. September 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Are you sure they don't have a club card? I have a "Wegmans Shoppers Club" card that I picked up at the Columbia location a couple months ago.
A. S. D. September 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Dustin beat me to it!
Cary September 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I cannot wait for Wegmans! Their prices are great and the selection is unbelievable. If you sign up for their club card you basically get 2 free items per week with a $10 purchase. I work in Columbia and hit Wegmans regularly on my lunch break.
Eric Smith September 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Based on current traffic, I'm not sure anyone is even going to be able to get to the Crofton Wegmans.
Tim Lemke (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
You are correct on the club card. That's been corrected. Here's the info on the Wegmans Shopers Club. http://tinyurl.com/7oacjt5
Jamie Huntley September 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I can't wait granted the Columbia traffic should be dying down so maybe an extra little drive is worth it.
John September 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
As we can't wait for Wegmans, it's really not going to replace our local shopping. We're in P.O. and when we need to pick up things, it'll still be Food Lion or Safeway. Can't see messing with the parking at Wegmans to pick up a few items. That said, Wegmans is indeed fantastic and we should be there once a month.
Rob September 26, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Dustin - AGREED! It's mayhem
Debbi Webber September 26, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I know when the columbia store opened there was a story( before it opened) that there are 5 ladies that travel the states and are always at the new store when it opens and also the people that work at the Wegmans, do a cheer when the store 1st opens..Tim, can you check and see if it will be the same at the new Crofton store as I would like to be there early if so...thanks, Debbi Webber
Meryl Tseng September 26, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I head to Columbia every week to do my shopping at the Wegman's there. I'm kind of with Jamie and hoping that the Crofton opening will ease up some of the chaos in Columbia. I got there at 9:45 this past sunday and was there for almost 2 hours, mainly because of long deli lines, and people being oblivious and stopping their carts in the middle of an aisle.
Jamie Huntley September 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I'm a weekly shopper there also.
John September 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It appears as if they're building a parking garage beside Wegmans?
Catherine Raymond September 27, 2012 at 09:22 AM
I'm from Syracuse, NY, and grew up with Wegmans. I can't tell you how excited I am that I will once again have a Wegmans so close to me! It's the best grocery store in the world!!! Danny Wegman--you rock!
Catherine Raymond September 27, 2012 at 09:23 AM
You can enter from the Waugh Chapel shopping area.
Catherine Raymond September 27, 2012 at 09:24 AM
The traffic will never die down. Once a Wegmans opens, the customers keep on coming!
Eric Smith September 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Not in Crofton
Eric Smith September 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM
I don't think entering from the Waugh Chapel shopping area is going to help you, since you will still have to navigate across the incoming route 3 traffic. No way you could b-line straight to Wegmans. You would have to loop by the movie theatre...with all the others trying to do that. Gridlock.
Susan Kim September 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Very excited about the grand opening! Does anyone know if wine will be sold from this location? I know this is not the norm but I have seen wine sold in a few grocery stores in MD.
Catherine Raymond September 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I live on the Wegmans' side of Rt. 3, so I won't have to cross it to go to Wegmans.
Calique September 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
That depends on county laws. As far as I know, AA Co does not permit such a thing. There are counties on the Eastern Shore where beer and wine are sold at gas stations and drug stores.
Eric Smith September 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Catherine, if you come in from Waugh Chapel North, you still have to cross all of the traffic coming in from the sole light of the new shopping center on your way across to Wegmans. That intersection inside of the shopping center right at Panera is a complete disaster now and will get 10 times worse when Wegmans opens. I would argue it will be IMPOSSIBLE to go through there from Waugh Chapel North. You will have to snake around in front of Target and by the movie theater like everyone else will be trying to do. Plus, you won't be the only one trying to cut through Waugh Chapel North. Way better than driving to Columbia, but I think you'll still see me at Giant if I need to shop at peak times for the next 3-6 months.
Susan Kim September 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Thanks, Calique. Wishful thinking I suppose =)
bowenn October 05, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Looks like a parking garage at the Crofton location in the back (south side) to me. You just can't see it well from Rt 3 and can't see it at all from the front.
Steve October 24, 2012 at 03:30 PM
With the electronic billboard on the southbound side of 3 that states "expect heavy delays", I guess you can't say you weren't warned :-). At least they know how to do a grand opening. Now bring on the pastries :-P

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