Is Wegmans the world’s greatest grocery store? According to Rachel Sanders of Buzzfeed, it is. Citing reasons like “Shopping at Wegmans is essentially a journey through a small, beautifully maintained, self-sustaining city,” and “The olive bar is a vast land of mysterious allure.” She makes some pretty convincing arguments why this Upstate, New York store is among the best in the nation. And, if the Zombie Apocalypse ever happens, this is the first place I am going (where I am sure I will run into almost everyone I know). Inspired by Rachel’s list, and setting aside some of the more obvious points (amazing selection, location, cleanliness, etc.), I submit my own Top Ten Reasons to Shop at Wegmans:
10. It’s more of an amusement park for food than it is a store for food, and who doesn’t love an amusement park?
9. Wings of Life Salad bar. Unique to Ithaca, this is the most incredible vegetarian (easily vegan) order-what-you want salad anywhere. Started by Julie Jordan, author of “A Taste of Julie Jordan: 100 Top Vegetarian Classics,” this is not only the healthiest and most satisfying lunch, it makes serving large salads at dinner parties a breeze. Now, if I can just get Julie to add a couple more GF/V dressings and use wheat-free tamari on the tofu … hint, hint.
8. People with Children parking. No longer do you have to envy those with a handicap sticker, now all you have to do is have a kid to enjoy some of the best parking spots. Get breeding!
7. Mini-carts. These two-tiered babies have tight steering and a cup holder. More than I can say about my last car.
6. Eat-in cafe. From sushi to vegetarian to subs to an Asian bar, and a salad bar that goes on for miles, this is the place to eat-in. I love sitting on the second level and watching the buzz of activity below. Before dining, why not drop off your dry cleaning and put the kids in daycare (no kidding).
5. Organic baby kale in big tubs. This is somewhat new and there isn’t a better way to buy kale ($4.99 with tax). Unless you want to hit the Farmers’ Market, this pre-packaged baby kale is perfect for nearly every recipe.
4. The olive bar. Have to agree with Rachel on this one. You can buy olives (pitted) in bulk, alongside onions and stick it all into your Vitamix to make a simple and delicious tapenade.
3. Everyone is so nice. For years, Wegmans makes the Top 1 or 2 of Forbes’ list of best employers and I think this really helps with the (usually) wonderful and always helpful attitude of their employees (take note of this, Walmart).
2. The Wegmans GF/V chicken wing sauce. Straight from the bottle, this tastes the way wing sauce is meant to taste with no required added ingredients. I drizzle this on my GF/V pizzas, it’s that good.
And, the #1 reason? The most compelling reason to shop at Wegmans for me (and I’m not sure how many other privately-owned grocery stores do this) is their labeling. All Wegmans brand items on the shelves are clearly labeled, color-coded in fact, with symbols for vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, fat-free … etc. This makes shopping at Wegmans better than shopping anywhere else. Now, if they only carried gluten-free, soy chorizo and Beyond Meat, I would never leave.
Who am I kidding? I’m there every day, anyway.
Go vegan. Go Wegmans.
POST BLOG POST NOTE: Within three minutes of me posting this blog, Wegmans Corporate thanked me. On a Sunday morning. That’s. Just. Incredible.