1. Shopping at Wegmans is essentially a journey through a small, beautifully maintained, self-sustaining city.
Especially if you visit the flagship Pittsford store, the Rochester-based chain’s most glorious outpost and my personal hometown supermarket.
You’ll find a bakery, deli, pizzeria, French patisserie, cheese shop, caterer, butcher, sushi counter, coffee shop, florist, pharmacy, take-out food, sit-down restaurant, home goods store, oh, and some groceries, I guess.
2. The bakery turns out untold different kinds of bread, and they’re all good.
Plus detailed info on their flour suppliers, if that’s what you’re into.
3. The cheese selection is one of inestimable depth and breadth.
According to their website, each store “usually has 300 specialty cheeses on hand.” And yes, they’ll absolutely let you taste a large number of them.
5. The bulk candy section will restore your faith in everything.
6. The fresh subs are NOT messing around.
You know nothing, Publix.
8. Desperately searching for some funky snack from a foreign country? Yeah, they’ll have it.
All the Jaffa cakes you could ever eat.
9. They don’t just have flowers; they have florists on hand to make any arrangement you need.
10. Nothing will ever be more delightful than using the DIY nut butter machines.
11. The generic store brand is usually cheaper AND better than the other options (of which there are many).
12. The bakers there can fulfill your wildest cake dreams.
And make Instagram videos while they do it.
13. Also available: culturally relevant cupcakes.
14. They get lots of their produce from local farmers.
And we all know that eating local produce is the path to godliness and magical powers.
15. And even run their own organic farm in upstate New York.
Which is pretty unusual for a company of its size, with 81 stores in six states.
16. The people who work there legitimately love working there.
For good reason; the (family-owned) company’s benefits and work culture have put it on Fortune’s list of best companies to work for every year since the list started in 1998, reliably in the top five.
17. They’re all up on the technologies.
Releasing a store-specific shopping app is in line with a historical tendency to be ahead of the curve: Wegmans was one of the first companies to adopt bar-code scanning in 1974.
19. It’s a great place to spot cool #teens.
Who needs an ID when you can have an extensive selection of prepared foods? No, actually, though, a high percentage of nights out on the town in my youth involved dinner from the “Asian Wokery.”
20. The elegant restrooms are an IDEAL location for taking selfies.
21. You never have to explain how perfect it is to people who’ve been there, because they already understand.
22. Case in point: Cher raved on stage about her visit to the Wegmans in Pittsford, New York.
23. And this is what Alec Baldwin’s mom said when he suggested she should move to California:
24. So then they both appeared in a bunch of Wegmans commercials.
Which are embarrassingly terrible, but also adorable.
25. For true believers, Wegmans is basically the equivalent of church.
Right down to the spire.