Hundreds of people lined up early, in the rain on Sunday morning as Wegmans opened its first store in New York City.
Wegmans managers helped lead a cheer among employees at the store in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, getting them psyched up for the opening of the 101st store of the Rochester-based chain.
Among those waiting in the rain was Audrey Latman Gruber, who lives in Brooklyn, but is originally from Dallas. Her husband is from San Francisco, and she says they got line at the new store at 6:30 Sunday morning, about half an hour before the store opened.
“I made fun of my husband for the thought of going his early, but apparently he wasn’t alone, and there were people in the front of the line who were Wegmans aficionados who had been to multiple openings, were wearing shirts, and had been there much earlier to be the first in line.
Although Wegmans was a new experience for Gruber and her husband, she says there were plenty of aficionados of the store who were there, people who had been customers of Wegmans in other cities.
Some of the staff at the new Wegmans have ties to Rochester, including service area manager Shawanda Green, who has worked for the company for years in different locations and is thrilled to be working at the new Brooklyn store.
“So for me, I never thought a company, a small , hometown , family owned grocery store company would ever find their way to new York city, but here we are," said Green.
The new store has a lot of the amenities familiar to Wegmans shoppers, but because it’s in an urban location, it’s not as large as of the company’s supermarkets…it’s closer to the size of the Wegmans East Avenue store in Rochester.
Besides its stores in New York state, Wegmans also has supermarkets in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
Wegmans managers help get the staff revved up for the opening of the Brooklyn store: (posted by Wegmans on Facebook)