Wegmans Corporate History

Written by Phin Upham

Wegmans is a super market chain that is headquartered in New York, and operates all throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It was founded in 1916 by the brothers John and Walter Wegman, and began life as the Rochester Fruit and Vegetable Company.

The store’s first expansion was into Syracuse in 1968. It further moved to Buffalo in 1977, and opened a store in Pennsylvania in 1993. Wegmans now operates in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Robert, son of Walter Wegman, was the pioneer of the one-stop shopping concept. Under his leadership, Wegmans went from a small grocery store to one of the most profitable privately held companies in American history. When the company was ranked #1 on Fortune’s list of the Top Companies to Work For, Robert supposedly said “This is the culmination of my life’s work.”

Wegmans now runs “superstore” style markets that tend to cater to individuals with a wider stock. The aim is to supply everything a person needs, so they only make one stop before going home. The store is aimed at an upscale clientele, and includes themed cafes, like the sea-food style “Food Bar,” as well as standalone restaurants like “Next Door Bar.”

Wegmans has a generic brand, which it began selling in 1979. It expanded into its own line of health foods with “Food You Feel Good About,” and then it launched “Italian Classics” that included imported pastas and olive oils.

Wegmans stopped selling tobacco products in 2008, which garnered praise from the American Lung Association of New York.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham

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