Finally, Wegmans Food Markets is open at Owings Mills’ Foundry Row. After some remarks from store manager Matt LaPore, employees did a special cheer, then hundreds of customers began poring through the doors for the long-awaited official opening on Sept. 18 at Foundry Row.
Gertrude Nobles, who is retired from the military and federal government, is one of the 475 employees hired to staff the store. “It’s been a wonderful experience. I am retired from the military and from the federal government. I had no experience in bakery but they hired me anyway,” the Windsor Mill resident said.
Spokesperson Valerie Fox, noted that Nobles reflects the special care the Rochester, New York, based family-owned chain takes to select the right employees. At the Owings Mills store, 150 are full time and 325 are part time, with many of them from the northwest. She said, “When we hire people, the great thing about Wegmans is that we invest so much in training that experience is not necessarily the main priority. It’s really about someone’s attitude, that they’ve got to have the values. We can teach the rest.”
The 109,000 square feet size is a little smaller than other Maryland stores, she said, for better efficiencies to offer same products. The offerings feature national and private brands, 700 varieties of produce, organic and kosher items, and prepared foods.
The Owings Mills store is the eighth in Maryland and second in Baltimore County (Hunt Valley was the first Wegmans in Maryland).
“We are so excited to be here. Community involvement and making a difference is a huge part of what we do. You can expect to see our employees in the community,” said Fox. On Sept. 1, Wegmans did a food pantry rally on the store parking lot last month and donated a tractor trailer load of 18,000 pounds of food in the parking lot last month to donate to six local food pantries. They also did a check presentation for the United Way,.
Months ago, Fox said, Wegmans staff “began having conversations with community leaders to get to know the community and what their needs are and how we can help and to introduce them to us.”
Wegmans is one of the first stores to open at Foundry Row, the $140 million, 50-acre redevelopment of the site of the former Solo Cup Factory on Reisterstown Road.
Brian Gibbons, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Gibbons, said in a statement, “Five years ago, we promised to turn the site of an empty, abandoned manufacturing plant into a community asset and new gateway to Owings Mills.”