Ask Store Manager Gerry Troisi the most important lesson learned getting ready to open the new Wegmans at Waugh Chapel Towne Center and his answer is immediate. “Doing good for others does good for you,” he says. “Making a difference in the community is a core value for Wegmans, but the importance runs even deeper.”
He counts off just a few local activities he and his team have supported – an MS walk in Annapolis, a 5K race for ARC of Chesapeake at Quiet Waters, clean-up day with the Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County for the WWII Memorial and Jonas Park, and a day of pottery making at the Providence Center.
On October 18, Troisi and a team of 30 store employees helped unload a Wegmans tractor trailer packed with 18,000 pounds of pantry staples donated by the company to the Anne Arundel Food Bank. Going forward, the food bank, and other local food pantries, will also receive regular donations of perishable foods, like fresh produce, baked goods and dairy items no longer at peak to be sold, but still wholesome and good to eat.
“A lot of our team members are new to Wegmans,” Troisi says. “Every one of these activities brings us closer together.” More than 450 of the 500+ employees at the Waugh Chapel store are new local hires. “Not only did we get to meet new friends and neighbors in the community, we also got to know each other,” he adds. “That will serve our customers well when we open this beautiful store on October 28th.”
After stints in retail and as owner of a bakery/restaurant, Troisi began his Wegmans career 12 years ago as a coffee shop team leader in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He moved to Annapolis in 2009 to help open stores in Maryland and Virginia. “Wegmans married my two passions,” he says, “people and food. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to help open other stores over the past few years, but it’s a very special privilege to open the Waugh Chapel store in my own community.”
The 125,000 square-foot store, Wegmans’ sixth in Maryland, is located just off Route 3 in Gambrills. It will offer nearly 70,000 products, including 700 fresh produce items, with 100 or so organic varieties, and fresh-cut veggie and fruit stations; 300 imported and domestic cheeses; a Seafood Market with whole fish delivered daily, often from the shores of Maryland and Virginia; an extraordinary array of prepared foods; and a Market Café with combined seating for 300 indoors and outdoors.
“I’m especially excited about two areas of the store,” says Troisi. First is the Seafood Market where fresh, whole fish are cut to order every day. “Seafood is such an important part of life on the Chesapeake Bay,” he says. “We’re going to do a fantastic job with it. We’ll even be steaming fresh shellfish and crabs to order.”
“Second is the outdoor seating area, with an all-weather roof and heating lamps for cooler weather to allow outdoor dining 10 months of the year. Shoppers will be able to pick up whatever they’d like in the café – freshly made sushi, pizza, burritos made to order, or selections from the Asian, Vegetarian or Homestyle bars – and enjoy dining alfresco.”
With construction now complete, all that’s left is to finish stocking the shelves, stack the produce and polish every nook and cranny of the Waugh Chapel store. “Ready, set, go,” says Troisi. “Opening day can’t come soon enough.”