On Tuesday, Patch asked readers what they wanted to know about the , on Wednesday, Wegmans officials took the time to answer the questions.
Is there a general trend at their stores as to what times are the least busy, or does it vary from store to store? – Julia McCready
The stores are very busy on the weekends and on Mondays, said Mike Gorski, Wegman’s Maryland district manager. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the least busy said Gorski. And if you’re worried about the initial rush after opening, it should subside after about four weeks said Wendy Webster, the Columbia store manager.
Will the store carry local products? Is there any unusual prepared foods? How did they specialize the Columbia store for the local market? – HowChow Blog
The Columbia store will carry products from local vendors including Michele’s Granola, Honest Teas, Baltimore Dog Bakery, McCormick and Brad’s Raw Foods, according to Webster. Webster said the store will purchase local produce depending on availability of seasonal crops in the area.
As for prepared foods, the store will have an Indian food bar, Asian food bar and an in-house sushi chef, said Webster, as well as pizza, subs and a hot food line. Customers will be able to enjoy their food at outdoor patios on the first and second floors, in front of a fireplace, or at the indoor food bar and café.
Wegmans’ focus on healthier, better lives will fit right in with the active Howard County community, said Webster, and the employees, who are hired from the community, will give Columbia residents a sense of ownership
Will there be dedicated bicycle parking, such as a bike rack in front of the entrance? – Melissa
Yes, there will be bike parking near the front entrance, although they’re not sure how many spaces will be available yet.
How will the multi-level garage parking work? –Susan Hallman and Mari
There will be over 800 parking spots in the two level parking garage, said Webster. During opening, employees will help guide shoppers to spots in the garage to avoid jams. A “cartveyor” is being installed to transport shopping carts from the first level of the garage up to the second (it works like an escalator for shopping carts). Gorski said the parking garage is a beautiful place, with high ceilings, painted a “comforting” yellow. “It should win an award for something,” said Gorski.
What are you looking for on job applications as you determine whether or not to call applicants for an interview? – Mari
Webster said there are still about 250 positions yet to be filled and the store will have 700 employees. They are currently looking for mostly part-time workers with good work availability, flexibility with hours and individuals with an upbeat personality who are interested in food. Webster said they’ve received over 8,000 applications for the Columbia location and that each candidate will get a response eventually.