Wegmans Food Markets Inc. will open the doors to its Yardley store in Lower Makefield on the morning of March 20, to what officials hope will be throngs of enthusiastic customers.
Wegmans, the regional supermarket chain, will open its second location in Bucks County at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 20 at 925 Vansant Drive in the new Prickett Preserve development.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Store Manager Bill Platt. “When I first started working at Wegmans in Princeton 23 years ago, all the members around me would always talk about a second location opening in this area and moving to this location to work. Now it’s actually happening.”
The 88,000-square-foot store will have its usual departments of produce, bakery, pizza, deli, meat/seafood, sushi and more.
“We’re proud of our selection and being a one-stop shop,” said Dave Hemmer, service area manager.
Store officials said the construction project is 90% done with a layout similar to the Wilmington location that opened last year, but the Yardley store will have a wine and beer selection for consumers to enjoy as well. It will house 1,200 wines, locally and regionally, and 500 different beers and hard ciders.
The wines will range in price from $7 on the floor to $800 in the “Fine Wine Room,” where higher-end bottles will be kept in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.
The store also plans to have samples available for tastings on the weekends.
The new store will offer 15 self-checkouts and 13 full-service checkouts.
“We’re following that trend of finding what customers are looking for,” Hemmer said, referring to the rising popularity of shoppers favoring self-checkout over full service.
The store will have different “pods” with food items that are in high demand, such as Wegmans’ cookies. Its Market Cafe, where customers can hang out to relax or eat will have 156 seats, 30 of them being outside for warmer weather.
Although the opening date is months away, Hemmer said the service team has been getting involved with the surrounding community. The team has talked to Shady Brook Farm about potentially selling some non-perishable food items and meeting with Prickett Preserve property managers to discuss potential future deals for residents.
Wegmans is also continuing its partnership with the Bucks County Opportunity Council, which started at the Warrington store. The partnership involves the store donating food that the Opportunity Council will distribute to local food pantries.
Wegmans also has a yearly event, Check Out Hunger, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year of giving customers the choice to round up their bill at checkout or donate a dollar amount to local food banks.
It will also continue its “road to zero waste” initiative, which started in 2016, at the new location. The supermarket has a composting program where fruit and vegetable scraps can be used as animal feed or fertilizers at local farms.
“We’re committed to becoming a 95 percent recycle rate by 2025,” Platt said, while stressing the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling to the business.
The new location will employ more than 400 people, mainly locally, with part-time and full-time positions. The recruitment process started earlier in the year and 90% of full-time and 43% of part-time positions have been filled.
There are jobs open in the sushi, pizza, prepared foods, deli and charcuterie, cheese, seafood, bakery and cashier departments.
Those interested in a Wegmans position can apply online at jobs.wegmans.com/yardley or call 215-369-6565 for more information.
For its workers, Wegmans offers employee scholarship awards and tuition assistance to employees who meet specific academic, employment and work-performance criteria. Part-time workers can obtain up to $1,500 per year and full-time workers up to $2,200 per year for four years, without restrictions on the course of study or post-college career path.
“Everyone has been really welcoming,” Platt said of the surrounding community. “There’s a lot of passion and excitement, they’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”