Wegmans on opening day, photo credit: Steiner NYC
Fans of the Rochester-based Wegmans grocery chain were waiting in the rain before sunrise on Sunday for the new Brooklyn Navy Yard store to open, the New York Times reports. According to a store spokeswoman, more than 25,000 shoppers arrived for the grand opening, breaking the store chain’s record for opening day sales.
The store brand has something of a cult following, with fans calling themselves “Wegmaniacs.” Employees applauded as doors opened Sunday, and, as USA Today reports, zealous shoppers enthused about the store’s immaculate bathrooms, friendly staff, and perpetually fresh produce.
The 74,000-square-foot store is a welcome addition to the rapidly growing Navy Yard neighborhood on Brooklyn’s waterfront, which has been without an affordable, non-specialty, quality supermarket despite promises of one for nearly a decade. The new store, developed by Steiner NYC, occupies the ground floor of a multi-floor office and light industrial space. Within are 2,000 organic products and 300 varieties of cheese, an in-house bakery and a wide selection of fresh fish; the store also carries craft beer. The prepared foods sections offer sushi, Asian cuisine, burgers and pizza with a mezzanine dining space serving wine, beer and liquor.
Wegmans famous produce. Image courtesy of Wegmans.
Public officials praised Wegmans for their commitment to hiring staff from the surrounding neighborhood, including three NYCHA complexes just next door. Wegmans says 500 new Brooklyn jobs were created, with 214 positions filled via the company’s community outreach program.
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Neighborhoods : navy yard