Looks like Americans found a store that we love even more than Trader Joe's — really!
A recent survey of more than 10,000 people named this grocery chain the best of the best, dethroning Trader Joe's for the first time in four years. Can you guess which one it is?
We'll give you a few hints. These are the reasons we fell in love with the winning grocery store.
Forget Peppermint Joe Joe's... this store's house brand is the best. Not only do their store brand products taste great, they're also way cheaper than the name brands, so you always get a tasty bargain.
Sad loaves of grocery store baguette are not the name of the game at this chain. Their in-house bakery is revered for its fresh-baked sub bread, chewy bagels and for involving their customers in the fun, like when they ran a contest to find the ultimate chocolate cake recipe.
Unlike other chains, this store puts local produce front and center. It makes choosing fresh items easier than ever, and they provide blurbs about the different farms they work with, so customers can learn more about the people putting fruit and vegetables on their table.
This chain gives back to their communities in a big way. They support local food banks and initiatives to end food insecurity (they donated 13.5 million pounds of food in 2014), teach healthy cooking classes for local scout troops and host tours for 4th graders that introduce kids to different healthy-eating strategies.
From employee college scholarship opportunities to adoption assistance, this store goes above and beyond when it comes to offering employee benefits. They've got health care, dental care and paid time off covered too — so it's not surprising to hear that they've been on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list since its inception in 1998.
Greenpeace ranks this store as one of the best when it comes to seafood sustainability. And, a recent investigation found that this chain is one of the few major grocery stores that doesn't source shrimp from Thai suppliers that use slaves as workers.
My best friend's mom literally sends her boxes of this store's marinades for her birthday. It's random, sure, but the fact that such a relatively benign grocery item could inspire this type of devout following just goes to show how this store's attention to quality makes a difference in all of their foods.
With an expansive selection of international goods, this store makes it easy to explore new cuisines. Pad thai? Chicken korma? Gefilte fish? This store has you covered.
This store's bulk section makes shopping for basics, from lentils and rice to dried fruit and granola, affordable and fun.
Sullen cashiers and grouchy butchers are nowhere to be found at this chain. When you walk in, it seems like all of the employees are smiling and, before you know it, so are you.
The winning store? You guessed it... Wegmans!
With stores in six Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, this road-trip worthy chain has won our hearts. Now, can we talk about maybe, pretty please, opening up a store or two on the West Coast?
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