Wegmans Is the Cream of the Crop
I have a favorite friend that recently moved from Buffalo to California. Amy is originally from the Ventura area, but moved out here to be with the man she loved. Last spring they decided to move back.
I talk to her often, though sometimes schedules are tight and itâ€™s hard to make the connection via telephone, so email is often our only option.
Every time I do get to talk to her she always tells me how much she misses Buffalo. Sure all of her family is in CA, but she really misses our neck of the woods, and theyâ€™re making plans to move back.
In the interim, I attempt to soothe her â€śhomesicknessâ€ť. But I can only do so much. See, the trouble is, she really misses Wegmans. Thatâ€™s right- it isnâ€™t the chicken wings, the summer festivals, architecture or lack of traffic. Itâ€™s Wegmans. Specifically the organic produce department. And in her sunny California town, she can drive down the street to Trader Joeâ€™s, but sheâ€™d much rather be at Wegmans. And â€śherâ€ť store, as she calls it, wasnâ€™t the mega-store near Niagara Falls Blvd., but rather the little one on Amherst St. near Buff State.
I really didnâ€™t understand this, I mean, I love Wegmans too. But it isnâ€™t Whole Foods, right? I mean weâ€™ve been hearing Buffalonians clamor for a Whole Foods for a number of years now.
I guess I sort of knew that Wegmans is above average even in some larger metropolitan areas; take for example my sister and brother-in-law. Heâ€™s a pastry chef and sheâ€™s an avid foodie. They live in metro Seattle and have access to markets that feature fantastic, fresh, off-the-boat fish, premium wine and beer selections, and aisles and aisles of ethnic ingredients. But every time they visit Buffalo, they want to go to Wegmans.
But now, the deal is sealed. Not only is Wegmans one of the top 5 companies in the U.S. to work for (10 years running), but theyâ€™ve also just won the 2007 Food Network Award for â€śSUPER Marketâ€ť, beating out fellow nominees Trader Joeâ€™s and Whole Foods.
Yep, folks- youâ€™ve got it. We can all set aside our grocery store inferiority complexes, because weâ€™re doing just fine. Apparently, ĂĽber-chic grocery stores donâ€™t have anything on us. And that's okay with me. Having more things to be proud of never hurt anyone.