Wegmans opens in Prince George's

A throng of customers lined up outside Wegmans in Prince George's County to be among the first to shop in the county's first high-end grocer and the specialty chain's seventh store in the greater Washington region.
Map of new Wegman's in Prince George's County.
By Ovetta Wiggins
Sunday, October 24, 2010; 1:24 PM

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 in reference to Danny Wegman, the chief executive officer of the company.

Harrison was among the throng of customers who lined up outside Wegmans early Sunday morning in Prince George's County to be one of the first to shop in the county's first high-end grocer and the specialty chains' seventh store in the greater Washington region.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Harrison, who moved to Silver Spring about five years ago but travels to Wegmans stores in Virginia to shop.

Harrison, who was planning a tailgating party for the store's opening, said she skipped her normal church service at First Baptist 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.

Rick Woods, who also grew up in New York but lives in Prince George's County, said customers won't be disappointed by Wegmans. "This is a long time in the making," he said. "It's a new era for groceries in Prince George's County."

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