The second Massachusetts location of the popular, family-owned, grocery store chain Wegmans is opening in Chestnut Hill Square. The new, multileveled market will host a grand opening on Sunday, April 27 beginning at 7 a.m.
“The Greater Boston community has already welcomed us with open arms,” said Rich Boscia, store manager of the Chestnut Hill location, in a press release from Wegmans Food Markets. “We can’t wait to provide our Chestnut Hill customers with the incredible customer service and the unique shopping experience that people have come to expect from Wegmans.”
The grand opening will begin on Sunday morning and will include samples of Wegmans’ 70,000 products throughout the day, including their new organic line, as well as features from their prepared food section, seasonal menu, and their sub and sushi shops.
Director of Media Relations Jo Natale commented on the expectations of the store opening. “Our Northborough location has exceeded our very assertive projections leading us to expect a very big crowd,” she said. Because of the huge numbers that Wegmans expects to draw on Sunday morning, the grand opening will be limited to food sampling and recipe demos, as opposed to other planned activities. “All of the excitement that our employees and customers feel will already overwhelm the day,” she said.
The new Chestnut Hill grocery store is located off of Route 9 and is approximately 80,000 square feet complete with a 10,500 square foot liquor, beer, and wine store on the second level that has been open since late March. The new location will house, along with an extensive array of grocery items, a pharmacy, bakery, expansive prepared food options, a floral department, and a catering center. In addition to market items, Wegmans locations offer frequent in-store cooking classes and events including sessions focused on cooking with and for kids as well as using organic food.
In 2011, the first Massachusetts store was opened in Northborough and, with a 140,000 square foot store space, it is the largest grocery market in New England, according to a Wegmans press release. The success of this first store, which broke opening day records with 25,000 shoppers, led to the decision to expand Wegmans throughout the Boston area including the Chestnut Hill location as well as the opening of a Burlington location in the fall, and plans for stores in Westwood and Fenway in the near future.
The Rochester-based supermarket chain was founded in 1916 and first began its expansion that would lead to its current 83 stores in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts in 1968. All of the chain’s major operations are still led by the Wegman family, including CEO Danny Wegman, the great-grandson of the chain’s original founders.
Although it only operates along the east coast, Wegmans has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top supermarkets as well as one of the best places to work. Fortune Magazinehas named the chain as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 17 consecutive years, and it held the 12th spot in 2014. Wegmans also beat out Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to receive the first annual “SUPER Market” award presented by Food Network in 2007 for “the grocery chain that has most changed the way we shop.”
“At Wegmans, we pride ourselves on our reputation for offering an excellent working environment for our employees,” said Marybeth Stewart, the chain’s human resources manager for New England in the company’s press release.
The chain has also been heavily praised for its focus on a commitment to the community. Each store has a set budget specifically focused on community support which includes giving through various areas including donation of food, healthy eating education, and strengthening surrounding neighborhoods. Wegmans has also awarded over $90 million in scholarship funds to about 30,000 of its employees since 1984.
The chain hopes to be a beneficial addition to the Chestnut Hill community as well as a high quality food retailer, and expects a positive response from the area. “We are so pleased for the warm welcome we have received from the community of Chestnut Hill,” Natale said. “We cannot wait to open our doors on Sunday and welcome our newest customers.”