The Ultimate Recipe for Success


wegman's pastries tarts eclair chocolate mousse

Who wouldn’t love a grocery store that makes desserts like these?

Anyone who knows me AT ALL knows that I love junk food and baked goods.  You can imagine my reaction the first time I ever walked into a Wegmans.  It was glorious.  Chocolate, icing, and sugar galore.   

brownie pic

Until just a few years ago, there was only one Wegman’s in my area, and when I say “in my area”, that meant a solid 30 minute drive away.  So it was a treat to go there.  It blew any other grocery store out of the water; Wegman’s just had it all.

Throughout my college years, I have developed a love for cooking and baking.  I love taking a bunch of ingredients and turning the combination into something magically delicious.  My favorite discovery, on left: “slutty brownies”—taking three good things (chocolate chip cookie, Oreos, and fudge brownies) and making one out-of-this-world dessert.

While I find many of my recipes online, I also like to flip through Wegman’s magazine for new cooking ideas.  Wegman’s not only markets its products well on the shelves of the store, but they also utilize its magazine to demonstrate the possibilities their products offer you.

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At home, I always do my grocery shopping at Wegman’s for two reasons: 1) I know that I am always getting products of great quality  2) I want to support a company that makes ethics and integrity three of its priorities.

For three consecutive years, Wegman’s has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.  The company has also been recognized as one of “The 100 Best Companies to Work For”—quite an impressive feat!  I actually found a short video on Youtube that gives viewers a chance to learn about the company culture at Wegman’s and how much Wegman’s executives care about their employees and customers.

The following quote from store manager Kevin Lang stood out most to me: “If you are very good at taking care of employees and are concerned about their well being not only at work but at home, and you’re concerned about how much they know about what they are doing at work, how much they enjoy coming to work, they’re going to take that and they’re going to turn that around and be concerned about how they serve customers.”  This is brilliant.  Here’s a company that truly understands the importance of employee morale.

Although I found this youtube video interesting and informational, I was determined to find more.  After a little more hunting, I found Wegman’s very own Youtube channel.  From a marketing standpoint, this channel is phenomenal.  The bright green color on the outside is eye-catching, and it also goes along with its “fresh” videos.  As I read in Martin Lindstrom’s book, Brandwashed, certain colors just look more fresh than others.  Well, Wegman’s nailed it on their Youtube page.  Moving beyond the design, Wegman’s offers viewers a plethora of videos to look at ranging from recipes to how-tos, to health tips to information about the company itself.  I decided to click on “About Wegmans” to see if there was anything about the importance of ethics.  I didn’t find a video exactly like that.  But what I did find…was better.

What I love most about their videos is the role employees play in them.  These videos are not just slideshows telling the viewer what the company does right, but instead the viewer sees real people who are truly happy with their careers at Wegmans and explain why.  Each person had different and personal reasons including being offered a flexible schedule around earning a Bachelor’s degree, being able to bring his/her personality to the workplace, and being able to interact with customers.

Now if you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering if I found something wrong with Wegmans.  Well here it is.  They issued a recall on its flour and bread products.  How did they handle it?  Customers could return products to stores for full refunds.  Of all the issues a company COULD face, this is not the biggest deal in the world.  I was pretty happy that this is the only “issue” that I could find.  Clearly, Wegman’s is doing something right.  Scratch that.  Wegman’s is doing many things right.  Keep it up, Wegman’s!

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8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Recipe for Success

  1. I LOVE Wegmans! I’m so happy to hear that it is still an ethical company with the only issue being a recall of flour and bread. I agree that this company is so unique and my family travels 30 minutes to get to the one near us. All of the foods look amazing and it has so many options. I love the free samples throughout the store. It is so good to hear that this company really cares about the employees and customers. When I enter the store I feel welcome, the employees are always happy and helpful and I’m always glad I chose to go to Wegmans. My mother loves the store because she is gluten free and this store has many options for her when it comes to food restrictions. Do you think Wegmans can be so ethical because there are no other stores out there quite like it?

  2. Ever since a Wegmans was built five minutes away from my house, I have loved shopping there. I go to Wegmans very frequently at home for lunch and dinner since I think that the selection of pre-made food is incredible. I am very happy that you chose to write about Wegmans. I think it is a model company and it has raised the bar for grocery stores. The great success of the company has caused many other food chains around my house to close down. While I was shopping in Weis this week, I wanted to grab a quick to go lunch. But I was very disappointed at their selection because it was no were close to the level of Wegmans. I think Wegmans is truly a shopping experience.

    • YAY Wegman’s fans! Wegman’s is such an amazing store, and I feel the positive energy flowing between the team members every time I shop there. I’ve had some great conversations with people at the baked goods, produce, and various meal sections about what products to try. They have always given me great advice too! Wegman’s definitely is not like any other grocery store. After analyzing negative situations in class that various companies have faced, I wanted to take this opportunity to blog about a company that strives to do business the “right” way.

  3. I was waiting for the big “what’s wrong with Wegman’s”; the build of tension and then the humorous release was really fresh. I’ve never heard of or been to a Wegman’s, I’m very envious. Great post!

    • I know! I’ve probably roadtripped there for grocery shopping way more than I should, but I think each trip is worth it.

      And I think that the fact that Wegman’s is family owned might make it easier, but it is the mindset of that family (and the people they work with) that set it apart. I’m sure that not all “family-owned” businesses are regarded as ethical as Wegman’s.

  4. I used to drive to Williamsport when my kids were like 5, 6,7 and leave them in the CHILDCARE so I could shop. As parents we were amazed that a grocery store would do this. And, as an innovation, it is so obviously smart. It SUCKS to shop with a kid. Wegman’s put the coffee bar next tot he childcare…put the coffee in the little carrier on the cart, drop the kiddies (they gave you a buzzer thing to alert you if there was a problem), shop. It was heaven.

    Why don’t other stores copy this? That is the kind of obviously smart store innovation that would be easy to copy.

    The LACK of adoption of best practices is kind of an ongoing interest of mine and the idea also behind Pfeffer’s book, What Were they Thinking from which we read the chapter about CEO compensation.

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