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Wegman's in Collegeville

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OK, don't tell anyone I said this, particularly my mother, but I was terribly disappointed when I visited the new Wegman's in Collegeville.

Now I grew up with Wegman's and have been moaning about the quality of the local groceries for oh about twenty years,,, so now I finally have a Wegman's that is a little closer than Warrington.

I visited for the first time last Friday and was horribly disappointed. It was large but I thought the variety was really unimpressive. The parking lot made me mental... could they make those spots any narrower? and the store was packed body to body with people who seemed to be wandering aimlessly around with carts full of juice boxes and cans of gravy!

The produce section was particularly disappointing - larger displays of the same crummy produce in every other supermarket is just not going to impress anyone! You have bigger piles of lousy apples? Um... so?

I did visit the cheese section which was certainly better than a lot of the Pennsylvania grocery stores but not better than Whole Foods and certainly not better than the shop in Chestnut Hill. The aisles were really narrow and while the store was big it was full of giant displays of Hunt's tomatoes and Special K. I could get that at a Giant!

I browsed the prepared food section and wouldn't touch any of it with a ten food pole and the seafood section was particularly disappointing. Even without a good seafood shop nearby, Assi and Whole Foods blow their seafood section out of the water.

Now, to be fair I am easily annoyed by large slow moving crowds AND I did not have the patience to visit the beer section which will likely be the store's redeeming feature. I will certainly return, though never on a Friday.

So if I am missing something good, please let me know. But I am just not seeing it and I was pretty excited about the store opening!

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Chestnut Hill Cafe
532 W Chestnut St, Lancaster, PA 17603

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  1. I gotta say for the area it's a real step up. They have a pretty good cheese section. So I was happy. I think they have a nice vegetarian and vegan section. I do think that whole foods is much better. I really can't wait for the one in plymouth meeting to open!

    1 Reply
    1. re: neener41

      Hey Neener, where/when/what???? I know we're getting a whole foods in PM, but a Wegmans???

    2. I went when it was ultra crowded too Kater, but I was determined to try the prepared foods. I really liked the butter chicken, but I much prefer the upstairs seating at Warrington. Even though Collegeville is closer to me I'm going to continue to trek to Warrington when I want to get my Wegmans on! I am curious about dining in the pub though. Anyone partake of the Pub's offerings yet?

      1 Reply
      1. re: givemecarbs

        I took my elderly mom and family to the pub on Sunday (mostly to get my mom out of her house.) There was a 15 minute wait at dead noon (to be expected) but they give you a beeper, and you can wait in a comfortable room.

        Son and I had burgers (irradiated beef so they can server them rare.) They were not bad. Mom had tiger shrimp , wife had a lunch-size (6 oz.) strip steak (had to ask the waitress for the blue cheese that came with it.) Was not thrilled, but then I grill good steaks at home over wood regularly, and they are easy to get used to.

        Daughter had a BBQ chix sandwich which was also OK. Everything is available with "finishing sauces" like demi-glace or chimicurri.

        All meals came with an enormous mound of fresh string beans (on sale in the store) which were blanched and quite crispy. Mom is used to old-school cook them to death, so took hers home for additional cooking-to-death.

        Service was actually pretty good, and pleasant especially considering the no-tipping policy.
        We all had soft drinks ( a little early for beer) and shared some Tuscan Fries and fried Mortadella as apps. Those seemed like the quickest. The whole tab came to $60 for five people, so not bad prices.

        As far as supermarket pubs go (there are none to compare) I would eat there if I were shopping. I don't think it would be a destination, though.

      2. Geez, it sounds like you must work for Genuardi's! I've never met anyone who didn't think Wegman's is a very nice store, with very nice people working there. And that goes back about 15+ years to the first time I stepped into a Wegman's in Rochester, NY.

        I'll agree that they limit selections, but so does every other store I've ever been in. No store could possibly carry every brand of every item they sell. And, regarding the people walking around aimlessly, that'll stop as they get used to the store. It's kind of like watching people who are walking through Costco for the first time!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bucksguy14

          I assure you that I do not; and I did think that Wegman's was a nice store when I was a child. But piling up larger piles of standard grocery store fare does not make for a better selection. They used to have items you could not find in other stores. That just isn't the case any more. I wonder if we got a dumbed down Wegman's or something???

        2. Wow, you must be seriously jaded. I'm a big foodie, ate my way around Europe, went to the CIA, and when I visited the new Wegman's in Collegeville last week I was quite impressed! Are you sure you don't work for a competitor? ;)

          1. Kater...I'm incredulous! Maybe you grew up in the land of Wegmans flagship store, but out here where the Ac-a-me and Ma 'n' Pa Redners Pickled Eggs-and-Wonderbread Emproium reign supreme, the C'ville Wegmans is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. Yes, the parking lot sux, as it is designed to have you do the grand tour and see everything before it permits you to exit. But the store is a blessing in these parts. Maybe Whole Foods ("Whole Paycheck" to my bro' in NYC) has more seafood selection but at what price? The Wegmans baked goods rock for a large chain and I don't understand your aversion to the prepared foods. And where else can you have a draft at a bar with a plate of fresh oysters?

            Sorry you're having an icky day.

            CP

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chefpaulo

              the Mrs and I went wed. (no crowds)we thought it was very good. Yes, Of Course they have lots of the same stuff all stores have, so?

              ALL of the staff we interacted with were very enthusiastic and I thought the seafood section was very good, and I go to Assi often. (I have also had problems with freshness at Assi 3X). we watched the Mgr fillet a whole 25lb+ haddock.
              We ate at the counter in the pub, service was v good, crab cake in sandwich was very good, bun was way too big. asparagas was cooked perfect and lots of it. Calamari was cooked perfect . A Beer selection in a supermarket? in PA? whoa! I picked up a LB of the scallops they were "natural" not wet packed and they seared up beautifully. A great experience

                1. re: seagulls1

                  You have to be very careful about freshness in the Assi seafood department! While they have some wonderful items and great values they also will not think twice about selling you old fish. Stick with their whole fish or the sashimi cuts - everything else is risky. The shrimp is usually good but you have to check it.

                2. re: Chefpaulo

                  I'm having a great day, and so is my palate! You have got to be kidding about their prepared foods!

                  I don't think that I would order oysters there but I am down with the beer and think it is wonderful to have an outlet for good beer in small quantities. That gross Foodtown store that replaced Vidalia does have beer still but has been slowly changing over to a Coors Light type of selection. Still they have one aisle of good beer and do take requests. They still carry Ommegang.

                3. Wegman's Update.

                  My husband just returned from there and said: I will never EVER set foot in that store again.

                  I am not making this stuff up.

                  I do not have a vendetta against Wegman's.

                  At no time have I worked in the grocery industry.

                  He and I could not be more different but he said that the selection was lousy and that it is completely impossible to navigate the aisles. He went for ingredients for two meals and scrapped one of them entirely because he was so unhappy with the available. meats.

                  You have to understand, I am the particular one. He will shop at Giant!

                  He had me in stitches talking about getting caught in a throng of shoppers amazed to see a man cut a wheel of P. Reggiano. I mean, come ON!

                  Then he did ten minutes about why it is weird and soulless to drink beer in a grocery store - find a bar for pity's sake!

                  But he was distinctly bitter about their beer purchasing procedures - he couldn't even complete the action. I explain that Wegman's is not at fault for making strange beer sale requirements, it is the state of PA.

                  I promised to sally forth one last time on a weekday and assess the situation but I'm pretty reluctant at this point. Still I am hopeful, we'll see if there is anything to recommend the place!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Kater

                    Kater, the aisles were crazy when I went to collegeville too. I love to hit the Warrington Wegmans after a late movie at the regal 22. It's very mellow. In fact it is the ultimate late night munchie spot. But I usually grab some staples and a meal for the following night too. I love that wegmans are open 24 hours. I have the whole place to myself.

                    1. re: Kater

                      Kater, this is the best news you've give us! Now there will be at least 2 less people crowding Wegman's in Collegeville! Enjoy Giant, maybe I'll see you there when we feel the need for some Boar's Head lunch stuff.

                    2. We went to this new Wegmans this afternoon, and were reminded why we hate grocery shopping on weekend afternoons! That aside, I love wegmans, and except for the green beans I was pleased with the quality of the produce. All the staff we encountered was very nice. but the shoppers were OMG so slow moving and did make me a little nuts. It's not really convenient to our house, so we won't go much, but it's nice that it's there.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        juju, the shoppers were OMG so slow moving because the store's so new. I'm thoroughly familiar with the Warrington store, but I'll admit to a little aimless-looking wandering in Collegeville, Once I have the layout memorized, I'll be in-and-out in my usual 20-25 minutes! I really think those of you who are Costco members should compare this to those people who are wandering around the warehouse for the first couple of times with "Costco eyes"!

                        1. re: bucksguy14

                          i think i would have been less irritated with the slow moving shoppers if my oh-so-speedy DH was not fuming next to me! lol. I would have enjoyed more wandering-about time myself. :)

                      2. Sorry to get your hopes up juju but I meant Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting. It's ridiculously expensive but they usually have a better cheese selection. I do like their fish selections as well. There's a couple specialty items that I thought Wegman's would have but they didn't. I also have to agree that the person cutting the Parmesan wheel is a bit much, but I couldn't be more thrilled with the place. The staff was really nice. I think they have a better selection than all the grocery stores combined.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: neener41

                          no worries Neener! I couldn't imagine where in PM they would fit a gigantic Wegmans, lol! I go to WF for just a few items, once in a while. I am frequently tempted by their produce when I'm in there, but it's so expensive.
                          As far as Wegman's selection - I was able to find some things I can't find at our local Giant, however there were other things I didn't find at all. Not that I couldn't find where they might be, just that they didn't carry what I was looking for. We did learn that there are laminated 8x11 directories at the ends of the aisles to help you find stuff! that's cool. :)

                        2. At our first trip we dropped some major cash stocking up for winter on staples, but we dissapointed that our organic chicken thighs were rotten (horrible smell) when I opened before the expiry date..
                          Overall, I love the beer in the store for things I do not want by the case...singles.
                          It might be still worth the time to drive to TJ's for the savings...and smaller atmosphere.
                          I will always have a place in my heart for TJ's as during my first visit to one on CT I was given a bouquet of flowers...big chains will never attain that.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: humaneem

                            Was just at TJs tonite err last nite err sat nite and one of the cashiers was wearing a cooked turkey hat. Dunno if big chains would go for that. I asked him if anyone had tried to carve off a drumstick yet. I'm sure Wegmans would refund the money and apologize if you feel like returning the chicken.

                            1. re: humaneem

                              Just for perspective, I have had to return multiple spoiled items to TJ's (North Wales), and the staff couldn't be more accomodating. No receipt required. In fact, in the case of spoiled cut butternut squash, I didn't even have to save the slimey stuff since I couldn't get into the store until 2 days later. I called and the manager told me just to report that I had spoken to her and they'd refund my money or replace the items. At that point, I had no stomach for a replacement The problems have been largely with packaged fresh vegetables (carrots, squash) and some baked goods (bread, pizza crusts). That said, I still shop at TJ's and love the place. I've never had spoiled items from Wegman's; but I assume it can/will happen, and that Wegman's will be just as accomodating.

                              1. re: Karen K

                                Both places have rocking return policys it looks like. Costco too. Oh yeah when I was at TJs I saw a notice saying they will be opening at eight am instead of nine for all you early birdies.

                              2. re: humaneem

                                I've returned frozen shrimp to Wegman's simply because we didn't like the taste, not that it was spoiled, it just didn't taste like we expect shrimp to taste. There was not one question asked after I said why we were bringing it back (2 packages, 1 open, 1 not open). I had the same experience with a couple of apples that began to turn brown and soften the day after we bought them. I believe Wegman's policy is that they'll refund for any product your not satisfied with for any reason.

                                1. re: bucksguy14

                                  Trader Joe's has this same policy. You can return something just because you don't like it.

                              3. I don't shop at Wegmans... while they have have a dizzying amount of literally everything, that is actually the problem for me. It just is too much! I prefer to patronize some of the smaller stores that carry local produce (for example, Kimberton Whole Foods) - -that actually supports local industry.

                                Nonetheless, my husband and I stopped into the new store in Collegeville, and it was mayhem and madness. And the "pub", which did not have the appearance that either of us envisioned, had a 1.5 hour wait. We decided to go elsewhere - we went to DaVinci's down the street (I had AMAZING tilapia mediterranean, truly delicious and fresh). I did not want to sit in the pub, and watch people shuffle through the check out line with their prepared foods. Different strokes for different folks, but it is not my cup of tea.

                                -----
                                Kimberton Whole Foods
                                2140 Kimberton Rd, Kimberton, PA

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: CucinadiNana

                                  As my dear, departed, father liked to tell us, "That's why Breyer's makes chocolate AND vanilla"! It would really be boring if we all liked the same things - for instance, I really dislike talapia, but I love Wegman's! I might, however, give DaVinci's a try. I'm sure they'll have something on their menu that I'll find enjoyable, so thanks for mentioning that.

                                  1. re: bucksguy14

                                    Definitely give Davinci's a try. The cranberry walnut salad is great, too, as is their tiramisu. We like sitting in the booths by the front windows in the bar area.

                                    1. re: CucinadiNana

                                      Not real familiar with collegeville and I know I could google up Davinci's, but what is it near? I know where Wegman's is and the Domino's pizza across from the Collegeville Inn. Sounds like a good place to try.

                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                        Hey Carbs, if you are headed up Germantown Pike and hit the light at 29 to turn left to go to Wegman's, Davinci's will be on your right just through that intersection.

                                        We went to the new Wegman's yesterday. Other than the addition of the pub, it really is no different than the Warrington location. That said, I'm not one to combine food shopping and having a beer so that feature is lost on me.

                                        1. re: crazyspice

                                          Thanks crazy! I usually need the beer after I see the total. :)

                                2. I went to Wegman's in Downingtown for the first time several weeks ago on a Saturday. I would suppose that most of them are the same...big, big stores and frankly, I went on visual overload. Yes, the cheeses looked good, but I'd rather buy my food from smaller purveyors, like CH Cheese and Kimberton Whole Foods Market. Just feels better and I don't leave the store feeling like I've been hit over the head with a 2x4. That said, I can understand why people in Collegeville are very happy, but I'm sure the crowd there on the weekend is as bad as Downingtown. Guess I'm just not a big store kinda gal. And like CucinadaNana above, I'd rather support local shops. Wish we had a cheese shop in P'ville.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: gardens4me

                                    I love supporting local places in general, but sometimes it doesn't work out. I went to super foodtown in Lansdale early this evening and yet again something on sale didn't come off at the register and I had to go to customer service. The young man was nice and it wasn't his fault that he couldn't find the item in the flyer and had to go to the back of the store and see the sale sign next to the butter before he could refund some of my money. It only took about five minutes total but this seems to happen quite often here, and also when the place was called Vidalia. I don't know who to blame, certainly not the cashier or the young staff. There wasn't a ,manager type in sight. The prices aren't updated or something? Anyway, beer sales or no beer sales, they have lost my business. It just isn't worth the aggravation. They even have a popular gym membership five percent discount that is cumbersome. The person ahead of me used it and signatures and paperwork are involved each time. This location seems to be doomed.

                                    1. re: gardens4me

                                      Ah, but we did at one time have a cheese shop in Pville. Ramondo's. Word on the street is that he's been picking up some shifts cooking at Majolica.

                                    2. Wegman great grocery store. I have good experience every time I there. Seafood section good in my opinion. I go with family every weekend, yes it very busy many times. Selection make it worth the crowd. thank you.

                                      1. Really??? Well Kater sorry for your disappointment but with few exceptions in the Philadelphia SMSA and certainly none in Lancaster this is as good as it gets. Sure Whole Paycheck may be better in some sections but at their prices it should be. As mentioned by other the Philly area has suffered with Acme and the like for decades. The success and rapid expansion of Wegmans clearly indicates a pent-up demand. Good luck in the beer section we will await with bated breath to her your report.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Bacchus101

                                          Another Collegeville Wegman's thread from several years ago!

                                          1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                                            Ugh, did it again. Need to pay more attention to the date! Think I have that down now, thanks.