Prince George's shoppers welcome a grocery mecca
New York native Patricia Harrison isn't ashamed to admit it. She's a self-described Wegmans groupie.
As if her T-shirt with its pink letters and sequins didn't give it away.
"Thanks Danny I (Heart) Wegmans Rochester," the shirt read. referring to Danny Wegman, the grocery chain's chief executive.
Harrison was among the throng of customers who lined up outside Prince George's County's new Wegmans early Sunday morning to be one of the first to shop in the county's first high-end grocer and the specialty chain's seventh store in the greater Washington region.
The new store is in the Woodmore Towne Centre at Glenarden, just off the Capital Beltway about a mile from FedEx Field.
"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Harrison, who moved to Silver Spring about five years ago but until now had traveled to Virginia to shop at Wegmans there.
Harrison, who was planning a tailgating party for the store's opening, said she skipped her regular service at First Baptist Church of Glenarden to go to the grocery store.
"All I can say is I'm glad we have four services," said Harrison, who met some women in line who were thinking of organizing a Wegmans women's meet-up.
"What sense does this make? I can get to a grocery store early, but I can't make it to Sunday school on time," said Kim Cartwright of Temple Hills as she waited for one of the sushi chefs to finish her special order of brown rice and spicy tuna.
Embarrassed, Valerie Fields of Mitchellville smiled, put her index finger to her mouth and shushed her fellow shopper.
"Why did you have to say that so loud?" she said.
Customers circled around a cheese display while an employee offered samples of Epoisses, a pungent, buttery French cheese, on chunks of bread. Some snapped pictures of a whole swordfish that sat on ice near fully-cooked lobsters and containers of jumbo lump crabmeat in the seafood department. And others just maneuvered their way through traffic jams in produce, meats and the frozen food sections.