It's no secret that Wegmans, which is renowned for wooing shoppers to its cathedrals of consumption with market-leading innovations and superior service, has garnered a cult following. In fact, WGB Senior Editor Natalie Taylor wrote about her first visit to a New York Wegmans with her family and described the experience as feeling like "children in Disneyland."
Indeed, while Wegmans never fails to cause a sensation when it comes to town, it appears the beloved grocer has attracted a special type of following in Maryland.
Back in 2010, at the grand opening of Wegmans' Lanham, Md. store, three Wegmans-loving women camped out hours before the doors were set to open and cheered on staff as they prepared for the onslaught of customers, according to the Washingtonian. The enthusiasm of the women, who were identified as Nadine Bailey-Joyner, Paula Hopson-Stanley and Susan Myers, attracted the attention of three new friends who shared their love of the retailer, along with Wegmans officials.
With new members Jill Greene, Kim Harris and Patricia Harrison now on board, an official from the Rochester, N.Y.-based retailer in attendance at the grand opening suggested the women attend more openings, and here was born the Maryland Women of Wegmans.
Since its formation, the Women of Wegmans have attended every store opening in Maryland in the past eight years, and have also made the trek to Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, now with a total of nine stores under their belts, per the Washingtonian. Sporting fan club "uniforms" at each opening which consists of pearls paired with pink polo shirts or purple vests, the Women of Wegmans are reportedly not paid for their hype, and simply do it "all for the love of Wegmans."
The retailer has even inspired Greene to come out of retirement to join Wegmans as a catering team lead.
So what is it about Wegmans that causes shoppers to turn into hardcore fans? Each Women of Wegmans member has their own special draw, per The Washingtonian report. Harrison says the store reminds her of her hometown of Rochester, N.Y., where the retailer is based, while Harris is drawn to the prepared foods and the prices and Hopson-Stanley enjoys the food variety, especially the truffles. For our own Natalie Taylor, it was the vast produce section, especially the prepped offerings such as zucchini noodles, that won her over.
In addition to shoppers' favorite offerings in the store, I think it's safe to say that it's the one-stop shop format that really puts the icing on the cake, with Bailey-Joyner telling the Washingtonian that “they have everything."
"You can decorate from Wegmans," she says. "You can find prepared food items. If you want to sit and have a meeting or play chess or backgammon, you can. My husband and I use Woodmore for date night on Saturday because they have jazz. And they have some of the best ice cream custard I’ve ever had.”