The good people of Tucson are up in arms over our grocery stores. Albertson bought Safeway and sold out to Haggen. Haggen took over some beloved Safeway stores – MY Safeway as they were commonly referred – and nothing was the same. Prices went up. My Safeway Select products were gone, and the immaculate produce department was no more. People are writing letters and complaining to neighbors and now Haggen is closing the two stores they ruined for me and Tucson will have yet two more buildings vacant with nothing to show for the effort but some plywood over the windows and colorful gang tagging.
I have one word that can solve this issue and only needs three great locations in our fair city. WEGMANS. That’s it. Not even a long word, really. Easy to pronounce. A Wegmans on the far south side, northwest side, and, of course, my favorite side – East Tucson. Bring on the bulldozers and let’s get that land leveled and build three Wegmans. The other grocers can close up shop. Jobs? There will be plenty, because you never walk into a Wegmans with long lines due to two cashiers manning the sixteen check stands. There is never a rain when a Wegmans employee isn’t present to open an over-sized umbrella and walks you to your vehicle. You do not have to ring a bell at the butcher counter or the bakery – they are always out front and ready to serve. Come with me on a little tour of what your world could be, Tucson.
Pull into the more than ample parking lot with wide spaces to discourage door dings. The front of the store is wide and inviting. No, there are no strip mall storefronts adjoining – it is all Wegmans.
Even the carts are unique. Choose the full-sized cart or the “split level” with a small basket on top and a large on the bottom. Pick an aisle – any aisle. You will find more treats for the eye – and your taste buds – than you can imagine, Strolling through the fresh fish aisle to find something for dinner? Pull up a chair in the bistro and treat yourself to a little sushi and a glass of wine.
Kids having a meltdown and you need to sugar them up? No worries. Wegmans is there for you, like an old family friend. They’ve got your back.
Or, maybe it’s dinner that they need. The teenager wants pizza. You want a healthy salad. The twins want Asian and the hubs wants to dig into a sub. Wegmans to the rescue. Sushi. Burgers. Pizza. Subs. Calzones. Salads. Hot entrees. Asian – Chinese – Thai food bar. Chicken. Braised ribs. Turkey. Pulled pork. Chipotle corn cakes. Giant burritos. Organic and gluten-free choices as well.
Entertainment for the kids? Don’t spend $14 a ticket for the movies. Just grab some dinner and take it upstairs on a Friday night. 25 cent popcorn and movies are free. Take the elevator if you are so inclined. Join a cooking class. Have your kid’s birthday party there, and yes – there are weddings at Wegmans!
Of course, there are the usual meat departments, bakery (gotta get their signature W bread) floral, canned foods, lots of home decor and kitchen and dishware, beautiful produce, pharmacy etc etc. But anyplace can brag about that. THIS is Wegmans.
Oh, how I miss my Wegmans.
Come on Tucson. Who’s with me?