All photos courtesy Angel Madison and Dina El Nabli
We got an early look at New Jersey’s newest Wegmans on Friday and we’re betting it will quickly become a Bergen County hot spot. Here's what you need to know about this new store, and Wegmans in general, if you’re a newbie:
This new location is the ninth NJ store and its 94th overall.
The 100-year-old chain is only in six states (NY, PA, MA, VA, NJ and MD). If you live in Central Jersey, you've been lucky enough to have a bunch of locations available to you, but this new opening marks the first in Bergen County, and it joins the ranks of Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Hanover, Manalapan, Mt. Laurel, Ocean, Princeton and Woodbridge.
The Market Cafe makes it fun to go out to dinner and grocery shop at the same time.
Hands down our favorite feature of any Wegmans is the Market Cafe, which features a host of freshly-prepared foods like sandwiches (did we mention those include Shrimp Po’ Boys and Lobster Salad Rolls?), salads and sushi. This location features 250-seats (both indoors and outdoors) and has a super cute dining area just for the kiddos (complete with cartoons). Have your dinner (mom always said not to shop hungry) before heading down the aisles. You'll need your energy since the store is more than 100,000 square feet of grocery shopping heaven.
A trifecta of pizza, coffee and burgers.
Besides the cold and hot already-prepped fresh food, the new Wegmans also boasts three mini-restaurants inside the cafe. The Burger Bar has offerings like a Maple Onion Bacon Burger and a South of the Border Veggie Burger. Even better? Kids meals come with a free ice cream cone. The Pizza Shop boasts a custom brick oven for super crispy pies made-to-order on the spot. And every well-caffeinated parent will love The Buzz, a coffee shop that has your typical lattes, but also has cold brew and nitro cold brew on tap, with delicious organic, sugar-free syrups. Take that, Starbucks.
Prepare yourself for the prepared foods.
Wegmans’ ready-to-go area means that you can run in after a late soccer practice and fill up your cart with meals that are healthy and ready to eat. The ready-to-heat section is perfect for those busy weeknights. All you have to do is put these dinners in the oven or crock-pot. Did we mention the host of great options like sushi, Chinese and Indian food?
They will cut your fruits and veggies for you.
Yes, you read that right. Wegmans has a giant section of pre-cut veggies, but you can also take any of the items from the produce department and bring it to their cutting counter where they will slice and dice it for you. So you might actually eat that impossible to cut pomegranate or giant butternut squash. Even easier: Veggie Purees, which are pre-done and make a great dip or healthy side dish.
Wegmans-branded foods are targeting healthy eaters with easy-to-pronounce all natural ingredients.
From labels that have clearly-marked allergens and added sugars on Wegmans-branded products to laundry detergent that is made so kids could accidentally ingest it and still not get sick, Wegmans is focused on transparency and clean ingredients.
They have wine (and beer and liquor)… sorta.
Because of NJ law, only two stores of a food chain can have a liquor license. But the new Wegmans has rented a massive 14,000-square-foot section of the store to a third-party, which means you don't even have to go outside to grab a local bottle of wine for your next girl's night. And the store plans on doing weekly tastings, with food samples, so you can up your wine pairing game.
Did we mention the cheese?
The store’s cheese section is something to behold. It has fromage from around the world (and a staff that is knowledgeable about what you might like, and, most importantly, what to do with it). A special selection of Wegmans cheese is available, too, in a gently-misted display case of cave-ripened offerings from their own cheese caves.
There are plenty of extras.
A florist (who has orchids that are grown locally), will help you custom arrange the perfect flowers. You’ll also find home decor items for yourself or last-minute gifts. There's a full pharmacy that even has pet meds available (got the whole family covered, even the furry ones). The bakery makes it easy to order their next birthday cake online. And there’s a smoothie bar, where you can snag protein powders and flavors, to make your morning shakes even better.
There's an app for that.
Not only does the app house all your store coupons and shopper card (in one scannable barcode), it also has recipes on demand. And the coolest part? Pick a recipe and easily add all the ingredients to your shopping list. The list even tells you where each item is in your own particular Wegmans location, with an aisle-by-aisle breakdown.