by Uncle Dale
This is an article I never thought I would write but face it; backyard farmers go to grocery stores even though they hate it. I am embarrassed when friends catch me or my family at these stores but we are there out of necessity - they have low prices and our budget it limited. However, in the northeast, we have a big box even I love – Wegmans. As one newspaper headlined, “Wegmans is not just a store, it’s an experience.” Google “best grocery stores” and Wegmans is at the top of most lists.
I first experienced Wegmans when I had lunch with a coworker. Dale - “Where should we go?” Dave - “How about Wegmans?” Dale - “Isn’t that a grocery store?” Dave - “Dale, you have to see Wegmans.” When I entered Wegmans, I thought to myself “goodbye Walmart, your days are numbered.” Wegmans caters to every economic class from those on the most limited budgets to those who are looking for the most exotic food produced locally and around the world, for example 400 different types of cheese.
As a backyard farmer, what I really like is that Wegmans features not only local produce, but also local farms. Displays of fruits, vegetables, and meats are set up for specific farms. Wegmans brings local farmers and consumers together. I visited with one of the farms that sells at Wegmans. It was a small farm – only 20 acres. They were happy with their relationship with Wegmans. Wegmans sends out a field representative regularly to check the farm for quality. A computer system is then set up where Wegmans solicits produce they are looking for and the farmer indicates what they currently have to offer. It works smoothly. Wegmans is trying to raise the awareness of consumers towards local food.
In addition to groceries, Wegmans is a restaurant with seating for up to 300 in various types of settings from board room to outdoor seating. Dozens of cuisines are offered, (no McDonalds) and you can watch chefs prepare some of the items. The recipes are available on how to make it yourself. I hate grocery stores but I love Wegmans.