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I just went to Wegmans for the first time, and now I see why the grocery chain has such a massive cult following

Shoshy Ciment / Business Insider

Wegmans, a family-owned grocery store chain on the East Coast, has one of the most loyal followings in retail. Fans travel from far and wide to attend the grocery chain's store openings, and Wegmans was this year's most beloved brand according to The Harris Poll.



As a native of the Pacific Northwest, I'd never visited a Wegmans store or even heard of the chain.



After the 101st Wegmans store opened in New York, I went with Business Insider's Shoshy Ciment to grab some snacks and see what all the hype was about.



I am now a (non-certified) Wegmaniac. Everything about my visit felt extraordinary, from the quality to the quantity of produce, to the variety and affordability of products, to the kindness of the employees.



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"What's so great about Wegmans?" I once asked a coworker. I was immediately met with shock and even a hint of disgust. Apparently, Wegmans is the kind of grocery store that inspires fans so dedicated they'll fly in from states away just for a store opening. Privately owned by the Wegman family of Rochester, New York, Wegmans has ranked among the most beloved brands in America even though it's a regional chain. But as a native of the Pacific Northwest, I'd never even heard of Wegmans until the store opening in Brooklyn, New York, started a social media frenzy. And even then, I didn't quite understand the buzz. After all, isn't Wegmans just a grocery store? And even though grocery stores are definitely not all equal, I couldn't imagine how a grocery store could inspire the kind of fervor and loyalty I was seeing from Wegmans fans. I tagged along with Business Insider's Shoshy Ciment on a trip to the Brooklyn Wegmans, and boy, was I proven wrong.
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