To begin to imagine the pull that Wegmans has on us, you have to understand the role it played in our lives at college. More than a decade ago, it was without a doubt the largest grocery store I'd ever seen, with novelties such as a huge cheese section (with samples!), aisles of bulk food, a Chinese restaurant in the store — it combined the best of any store any of us had ever been in. Shopping there was a wonderful adventure, and there was a small, but committed, group that believed that if we led good lives, when we died, we would go to Wegmans.

It took years for Wegmans to work its way out of the upper New York state area. The Bankos first had the Wegmans experience a few years ago when the chain moved into Pennsylvania. With one visit, they understood why it still loomed so large in our imagination. Wegmans opened a store in Northern Virginia soon before we moved; we never made it there — the crowds never died down, plus it seemed just kind of cruel to get a taste, just to leave it behind.

But a store has opened in this area — their largest yet. And we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see if it still had that magic. It was undeniably a pretty spectacular store; in the intervening years, other chains seem have caught up with what Wegmans has to offer, though not on this scale. The bulk food aisle is disappointing, but the prepared and fresh food area is extensive, and surprises such as their international section are a treat. It's just all too large to take in, but we got some fun photos, stocked up on some Fluff and Grandma Utz's, and headed out with most of our fond memories still intact.


Sherry said...

Wegmans rocks!! Their blueberry muffins are to die for. And their pasta salads... don't get me started. And the desserts in the pastry section...one word "Dome"
Guess I'll have to make a run out to the newest one, located in Fairfax, as opposed to the one in Sterling. How far do you guys have to drive?

Bram said...

Probably about 2500 miles — that Wegmans visit happened while we were at the Bankos', north of Towson.

We're still muddling by, Wegmans-less, back here in Santa Fe.

Marsha 'Mars' said...

Stew Leonard's is moving to Newington later this year, Trader Joe's is now in West Hartford. Central Connecticut is finally upgrading from Stop & Shop

jraphael said...

But, I say you can stop shopping at Albertson's. I sold my stock in them a couple of months ago.