May 1, 2018

Grocery Store Wars: Wegmans

     Time to start a new post series on the blog that is totally different from anything that I've ever tried before. Presenting: Southern Belle in Training's Grocery Store Wars! Here's how the inspiration for this whole thing started. Ever since I first moved away to college, I've become obsessed with grocery shopping. I guess I never disliked going with my mom or dad while growing up, but it definitely becomes a lot more fun when you're shopping for yourself and your eating habits only! I love checking out regional grocery store chains when I travel, and one thing that I've enjoyed about moving around the East Coast over the past few years has been discovering different grocery stores in the states I've lived in.


     About a month ago, I posted something on Instagram Stories about all of the different grocery stores that the Charlottesville area has, and my DMs blew up! I seriously couldn't believe it. A lot of you get just as excited to talk about grocery shopping and grocery stores as I do. (Yay for not being alone in that!) Anyways, this inspired me to try a totally different type of blog post series on the blog- this isn't fashion, beauty, or faith related (my usual post topics). Instead- we'll be talking about all things GROCERY STORES!


     I was originally going to call this series "Grocery Month," but I started to realize this might be more of an all-summer thing on the blog, so I'm calling it Grocery Store Wars instead. In each post, I'll visit a grocery chain (or maybe a local grocery store later on in the series!) that's located in Charlottesville, do my groceries as normal, and review the experience! I'll share general thoughts about the store, their prices, the atmosphere, and how I feel the store fits my needs as a single woman who lives alone/shops for food for one. I'm not going to be sharing recipes or too detailed grocery lists in these posts, but if this series is a hit than maybe I can branch off into posts on those topics later in the summer!


      Alright- let's get started on our first store: Wegmans!


Grocery Store Wars: Wegmans



     Wegmans - Fast Facts



     *History and Locations: Founded in 1915 in Rochester, New York. Currently operating 96 stores in six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia). Not affiliated with other supermarket chains.


     *Known for: Being larger and carrying more inventory than most other supermarket chains (really- the company acknowledges this on their website as well!), having market cafes or restaurants located in the store, having a design that feels like a European open-air market


     *Rewards program: Shoppers Club Card program. Signing up includes a free copy of the Wegmans Menu recipe magazine.


      *My prior knowledge: I had heard of Wegmans before moving to Virginia, but I'd thought it was just something in the Pennsylvania area. I think the Charlottesville store is still just a year or two old!


     *Word on the street: I heard only the most POSITIVE things about Wegmans in Charlottesville before shopping there for myself. This store is regarded very highly, and some people that I've met here shop exclusively at Wegmans (good sign- I had high expectations!).



     Wegmans - My Shopping Experience



    I did groceries at Wegmans twice before writing this blog post. During my first trip, many things about the store impressed me! I took my mom with me on the second trip during her visit to Virginia, and she was able to point out some things to me about grocery shopping there that I hadn't picked up on during my first trip. So I think Wegmans has some pros and cons!


      First impressions- the Wegmans website is definitely right for one of their facts. This store is HUGE! There wasn't a Super Walmart near where I used to live in Vermont (just a regular Walmart, and it was kind small), and I'm pretty sure this Wegmans was bigger than the Williston, Vermont Walmart- ha! Let me just say that nothing gets me excited about grocery shopping more than setting food into a big, beautiful new grocery store. *chills*


   



     Wegmans has a fantastic produce department. Vegetables and fruits are still something that I'm making an effort to cook in more of my meals and eat more of (#DietOfAToddler), but shopping in this store made me feel more inspired to do that already! One thing that I took note of was the fact that there was a section of Asian produce and vegetables. I love to cook Thai and Indian dishes, so this was really cool to see!


      When my mom visited, she found Wegmans produce to be a bit expensive. My mom has a healthier diet and buys many more fruit and vegetables than I do, so I trusted her perspective on that. Final thoughts on Wegmans produce: I think it'd be a great store to find a specific fruit or veggie in (such as something from the Asian produce section), but for your general produce shopping, another grocery store in the area might be cheaper.





     One way you should judge a grocery store? By its CHEESE department. Wegmans scored a 12/10 in this. This picture only shows like half of the cheese department. This grocery store knows their cheeses and knows how to stock 'em! I found a wide array of all types of cheese, and a balance of local cheeses and some international favorites as well. Even a few from Vermont were in the mix! I will say that most of the cheeses that Wegmans carries in their department are on the expensive side- I am definitely one who doesn't mind splurging on cheese, however I saw a lot of price points that even seemed high for what I'll pay. But the selection is incredible. This would be a great grocery store to hit up for planning a cheese board for a party, or just treating yourself!





     Not sure if this picture of one of the frozen foods aisles truly does it justice, but Wegmans stores really are BIG! The aisles are so spacious, and they carry some really unique food items in every aisle that I don't find at most grocery stores. It truly is a SUPERmarket.






     This is just a sampling of the Asian foods aisle at Wegmans! Their selection of international foods is unbelievable! Not just Asian foods either... lots of Latin American foods and European items as well. I mentioned above that I love Asian cuisine and cooking it at home, so this selection made me really happy. I do know that Charlottesville has a few international grocery stores (which can sometimes be cheaper for buying these items), but Wegmans would be a great place to go if you're trying some international cuisine at home and need certain ingredients.






     Part of the reasons Wegmans stores are so big is the impressive wine department! Seriously... this picture shows just a fraction of it. I felt like I'd walked out of the main grocery store and into a Total Wine store! I wasn't previously a big wine drinker before moving to Virginia wine country, but I know that if I ever need to pick up a nice bottle or want to try something new, this is the store! They have every wine imaginable in a variety of price points, and the aisles are divided up by regions of the US and world. I loved the fact they sold so many regional Virginia wines!




     And one thing that I found very cool... in the checkout areas Wegmans has cookbooks and cooking magazines on display, instead of tabloids and the normal grocery store magazine layout!



     Wegmans - Final Thoughts



     There are many things that I REALLY loved about Wegmans: the sheer size of the store, the cheese and wine departments, the international food selection, and they also had a great bakery and assortment of prepared meal-ready items from different departments (as compared to other grocery stores). But at the same time, during the trip that I made with my mom, she pointed out to me that their prices on produce and many different pantry items (both name brand and store brand) were much higher than other grocery stores.


     My final thoughts on Wegmans: I will absolutely be continuing to shop here, although  not on a weekly basis (probably more like monthly). This will be my one of my first destinations for specialty grocery items, premade meal-ready items, really good cheese, and a few other things, but for larger grocery trips when I need to seriously stock my pantry, I probably won't come here.



     Hope that y'all enjoyed my very first Grocery Store Wars post!! Any feedback would be so appreciated as this series continues. I hope that even if you don't live near all of the stores that I'll be writing about, these posts might still inspire you to check out more grocery stores in your area and enjoy food shopping as much as possible!



     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese
















12 comments:

  1. I've been so excited for this series! We have very limited choices in Florida but I love learning about other chains (although I do think our Publix is the best ;) ) Such a fun idea for a series!

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  2. What a fun blog series! My family in Virginia LOVES Wegman's haha! It's so funny how regional grocery stores are as we have Publix in Charlotte but it tends to be pricier than Harris Teeter while in Clemson, it's all Publix!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com 

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  3. Wegman's is amazing!!!! I just LOVE this series and cannot wait to see what comes next. I also love grocery stores. My grandparent's owned one and raised me in it...so many good memories! You can totally tell a store by its cheese department!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I have heard MANY great things about Wegman's!!!! Loved reading this.

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  5. Right after you moved they opened the new price chopper which has a Starbucks in it!! I swear all these good things came right when you left!!
    -Nicholle
    www.nichollesophia.com

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  6. I'm obsessed with Wegmans! However, moving to NC I can't find any!! I miss it!


    Carly | www.thecarlycollective.com

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  7. I've heard so many great things about Wegmans! I am desperate to find out. I heard they may build one in Raleigh.

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  8. Wegman's is one of my favorite grocery stores! While the prices of produces may be a bit more expensive, it's all natural and organic. Plus, they pay their workers above minimum wage which I appreciate - I love when a company puts their employees first.

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  9. Your title for this post is making me LOL! I've never heard of Wegman's but it sounds awesome! xo Rach | http://www.rkcsouthern.com

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  10. We don't have a Wegman's but I've been to one a few times and it always amazes me! Such a great store!

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  11. First of all, I'm super stoked for this series because I love going grocery shopping! While we don't have this store in Alabama, it really reminds me a lot of Publix (which we just got a few years ago). While both Publix and Wegman's prices are higher, I find I typically have a better shopping experience at my Publix versus our local Wal-Mart!

    xoxo, SS


    Southern and Style

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  12. We have Wegmans near me and my mom does the same thing you are planning to! I'd say she goes there once a month. It's definitely more expensive and it's also a bit of a drive for her to get there. It's definitely a fun grocery store to get to because they have such fun, interesting items! Looking forward to seeing what other stores you try!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

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