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Thousands pack Richmond area’s first Wegmans: ‘This is a big deal’

Posted at 1:54 PM, May 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 18:41:54-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. --Thousands of shoppers packed the Richmond area’s first Wegmans during the grocery store's grand opening Sunday.

Staff at the Midlothian food market were expecting at least 20,000 visitors on the first day.

The scene could be described like “Black Friday” as more than 2,200 people waited in line for doors to open, and the line of people wrapped around the building.

Chesterfield County police officers were on the scene to direct all the traffic.

“This is a big deal in Richmond. It was one of the top five events of the weekend to do in Richmond,” shopper Crystal Flynn said.

Many people traveled to be part of opening day, including Larry Cernak. He drove more than 90 minutes from Cumberland.

“I go to all the Wegmans. I travel all over the place,” he said.

Cernak plans to be there when the new Short Pump location opens later this year.

The Chesterfield County location is a welcome addition for many of the first shoppers to check out the store.

Zuliekia Foster explained, “when I moved to Richmond I was like, ‘Oh, there's no Wegmans here!’”

The family-owned market originally opened in New York. Now 100 years later, it’s operating in the Richmond area.

“I used to drive to Fredericksburg every weekend to do my grocery shopping so instead of an hour and ten minutes I now drive ten so I'm very excited,” Flynn said.