On Tuesday, Feb. 19, news broke that Wegmans—the Rochester, New York-based grocery store chain—had signed a lease with Pettinaro Development to build a store at the intersection of Lancaster Pike and Barley Mill Road at a former DuPont complex. The longtime vacant office complex at the site still needs to be cleared, followed by New Castle County Council approval. If everything goes according to plan, Wegmans would open in the spring of 2022.
RELATED: Wegmans to anchor new Barley Mill Plaza development (Delaware Business Times)
With this being the first Wegmans to open in the First State, we were curious how Delawareans—but in particular—people residing not far from the proposed Wilmington site, felt about the massive chain’s potential arrival to their neighborhood. Opinions were mixed, but many seemed excited for its eventual opening.
“I love Wegmans and I hate having to drive into Pennsylvania to go there! Now if they would only put a Whole Foods here.”
—Christina Wright Harnosâ€ª
“Having just lived through the Rt. 141 construction in that area, I am concerned about what this plan is going to do to 141. The Barley Mill Road intersection cannot handle that kind of traffic and the Tyler McConnell Bridge is still one lane each way. The plan is for more than just a Wegmans. There will also be restaurants, shops and townhomes. Are they going to have to widen or create a new intersection in that area of road that they just spent millions on?”
—Laura Ittel Lundren
“I love Wegmans. My husband and I go just about every weekend since it’s a bit of a drive. They have a wide variety of products. They have a great bakery department with a variety of breads—you can get a whole loaf or a half a loaf. They have a wonderful section of premade meals for a busy family. Wegmans prices are great. On the weekends they have lots of samples to try before you buy. 2022 cannot come fast enough for me.”
—Christine Degli Obizzi McGovern
“I am a teacher, mother of two teens with a husband who travels and an amateur chef. The way Wegmans makes shopping easier for those who are not as into food as well as high quality and gourmet foods for foodies like me is something we NEED in this area. Presently, I drive up to the one on Rt. 202 about once a month, or when I have time and stock up with my cooler bags and head home. I think some people have the perception that Wegmans is a pricey grocery store that won’t be within their budget, but I disagree. I think Wegmans has many good deals and some great store brands. The bakery is amazing, the catering department is so reliable and the produce is great. What I think will be the biggest plus for busy families is the “ready to cook” meal options—they make it SO easy for you. I also love to use these to take to families in our community that need meal help (like families with a sick member, or who have suffered a loss).”
“I was first introduced to Wegmans at a food show in Philadelphia many years ago. I frequently would travel to the store in Downingtown, Pennsylvania just for the thrill of shopping there. The store on Rt. 202—though less than convenient—was a blessing. In Delaware we have little choice—there’s Acme, then there’s Acme and then another Acme, plus ShopRite or Giant. These stores are created for convenience. They are not for home chefs. They are for people in a hurry. Wegmans meets that need but so much more. They introduce you to diverse fruit and vegetables. They tell you how to use them. They offer recipes and cooking demonstrations. They were the first to stock spiral cut veggies and riced vegetables and told you how to use them. Their baked artisan breads are healthy and made fresh daily. All of their baked goods are excellent. The international section meets a diversity of tastes and dietary expectations. Wegman’s is an experience, not a chore. It makes meal planning and preparation a celebration. Having a Wegmans in Delaware and in that location will add to the Delaware experience as well as using a space that has been dormant too long. They are also well known as excellent employers and will contribute significantly in that arena.”