A California company has recalled peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination. While no one as of yet has been reported ill, the company, Wawona, says in a statement that it shut down and sanitized its processing facility when a sample tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause flu-like symptoms; they are using other facilities to maintain normal operations while the problem is being dealt with.
Heads up if you’ve purchased bagged ice from Wegmans recently. The grocer issued a recall for 18-pound and seven-pound bags of ice sold in New Jersey and Pennsylvania locations, as well as in Virginia and Maryland. Up to 6,000 bags of ice could contain bits of metal that have broken off from the ice machine. So far, no injuries have been associated with the ice, and the problem was discovered during a routine maintenance check, according to the FDA.
Police in New Jersey say a thief took women’s wallets from unattended purses at a Mt. Laurel Wegmans. The thief, who I’m going to pretend is wearing a knockoff Che shirt in the surveillance video, grabbed the wallets from purses left in carts when women moved away.
At 3 p.m, on Saturday, the day before Winter Storm Titan was due to bury the entire Delaware Valley in a foot of snow, my friend Mandy did the stupidest thing any human being could ever do, ever.
She went to the Cherry Hill Wegmans.
I have long held the belief that the Cherry Hill Wegmans is the meanest place on earth. It’s not the people who work there. They’re quite lovely. Not only do they give you samples of brie with fig preserves on a freshly toasted baguette; they smile while doing it. No matter how many times management forces them to reorganize the store, they always, always know where to find canned whole clams. And if they make the error of doing their own shopping while still wearing their Wegmans employee golf shirts and you mistakenly ask them for help, they won’t hesitate to abandon their carts to go to the storeroom and find tahini for you. They are saints. And they have to be. Because the people who shop at Wegmans are evil.
Case in point: At 3:22 p.m. on said Saturday afternoon, I received this text from Mandy:
I am in Wegmans and a woman is SCREAMING at a man in the cheese section!
Mandy and I often share stories about the wickedness we witness at Wegmans. It started one Sunday a few years ago when we randomly bumped into each other there, near diapers and wipes, both unshowered and proud of it, moments before my wallet was stolen out of my purse in bulk food. (My own Wegmania may have been partly to blame for that. I’m not exactly myself there. Just a few weeks ago, Mandy happened upon me in the Asian food section, dazed and confused, mumbling to myself about low-sodium soy.)
And then there was that time during a school holiday when our friend Kris had no choice but to bring her four kids to the store. Her middle son accidentally nudged a woman’s cart into the kale, and the lady whipped her head around and shouted, “Those children do not belong here!” (Calmly, Kris replied, “Well, how about this: Next time I need to go food shopping, I’ll just drop them all at your house, ’kay?”)
And then there was that other time when my friend Maya bent down to snag some instant oatmeal off the bottom shelf in the gluten-free wing and was run over by another cart, then left there on the floor, prone and flailing, while the driver sprinted around a corner, executing a textbook Wegmans hit-and-run. And, of course, the time a woman F-bombed a man waiting at the prepared-foods counter because she thought he’d cut her in line and the man’s wife practically had to cover his mouth to prevent him from F-bombing the lady right back, all of this going down on Christmas Eve, the time of year when all our troubles are supposed to be miles away.
Apparently, those troubles reside permanently at the intersection of Route 70 and Haddonfield Road. At first I assumed that people who live in Cherry Hill and its environs were especially vile humans. But I run into the same clientele at other stores in the Wegmans shopping plaza, and I’ve never heard anyone in, say, Home Depot, shout, “Get the fuck out of my way, bitch!”
I’m pretty sure this new villainy comes hand-in-hand with the recent dawning of the Age of the Fancy Market. People who shop at Acme? Civil. People at ShopRite? Giddy. But go to Whole Foods, and someone wearing a NAMASTE t-shirt will smash her cart into your heels until they bleed to beat you to that extra-firm tofu on sale for $16.99 an ounce.
Still, Wegmans is worse. It’s where the twain meet — where you can buy the cheapest milk in town and organic medjool dates. Like the Shore, everyone is here, except they’re hungry. And they use their carts as weapons.
And wait, before you say anything, go check out the legwork just done over on the Property blog. They’re trying to get to the bottom of this story, and while it appears that the whole Wegmans-in-Center-City thing is one of those rumors that just won’t die, there may be some truth to it. Or if not truth, then certainly the possibility of truth. Or, you know, something…
Anyway, go check it out. Because while a Wegmans would be an (arguably) awesome addition to Center City, the one thing we know for sure is that it’s going to take some time.
Let’s just get this out of the way: There is no actual forensic, DNA-firm, hold-up-in-court evidence that Wegmans is coming to downtown Philadelphia. None whatsoever. Reputable, in-the-know sources have scuttled the scuttlebutt, which first popped up last month with the announcement of Bart Blatstein’s proposed development at Broad and Washington (floorplans and more info below, by the way). For instance:
Passyunk Post: “A source who would know, but who required anonymity, told us that in no uncertain terms, Wegmans ‘is definitely NOT coming to Broad and Washington.’
Naked Philly: “So could [Wegmans] really be happening?!?! Unfortunately, our sources tell us that it isn’t. As was the case previously, we’re hearing that the likely tenant will be a Superfresh or a Giant.”
A Wegmans spokesperson — someone called someone! because reporting! — told the Passyunk Post “they have no plans for a location in Philly proper.”
On Philadelphia Speaks, there is rumor and innuendo and plain old fact regarding two new supermarkets and one very popular beer distributor. The first is the rumor of a Wegmans that would live at 1751 Wilmington-West Chester Pike off 200 near Rt 1. The person who posted that information wasn’t thrilled with the added traffic the new store would bring, which prompted a backlash from fellow Speaks-ers, who even linked to the BuzzFeed piece “25 Reasons Wegmans Is The Greatest Supermarket The World Will Ever Know.” We’ll keep you posted on that one.
Next up, a new Sav-A-Lot has opened at Knorr and Frankford, right across from a ShopRite. But it’s clear from PS member remarks that the chain isn’t exactly popular. To wit: “The Save Alot on Washington Ave is the most soul destroying grocery store I’ve ever visited.”
Finally, Springfield Beer Distributor has reversed course on their move out of their current neighborhood. They’ll move to 22nd and Washington, according to a PS member, rather than 24th and Oregon. And the people rejoice!
So what else we got?
On Friday, November 16, The Pub at Wegmans will debut their winter craft beer, Pub Winter Fest, brewed by Sly Fox Brewing Company. The medium bodied lager will be offered in 16-ounce drafts for only $2 and guests also have the chance to win prizes and meet Sly Fox brewers. The Pub at Wegmans in King of Prussia, Malvern, and Collegeville will all be participating in the event.
Pub Winter Fest will be available throughout the winter for $4 and is offered at all three locations of The Pub at Wegmans.
A look at the week ahead:
That great smell coming from the Comcast Center is Percy Street Barbecue’s sandwich shop. It opens today.
Wegmans is opening its Wegmans Wines, Liquor and Beer in Cherry Hill this Friday, 11/11. It’ll be big, really big.
Chip Roman tells us that he and Jason Cichonski will be opening Ela to the public this Friday.