If you’re a regular reader of this Wegmans column, you might be expecting me as the Executive Chef of Wegmans Chestnut Hill. I’m excited to announce that I’ve been promoted and will now oversee the culinary departments for all our Massachusetts locations! That said, I’m still really involved with Chestnut Hill and with only 25 more days until the grand opening, am thrilled to introduce the new Store Chef, Kari Naegler.
Kari, who resides in Dorchester, started her career with Wegmans in 2009 at our Pittsford, New York store as a team leader in Prepared Foods. Since then, she has helped to develop the Hot Veggie Bar and created the company’s first Veggie Market, where vegetables are peeled, sliced, diced and ready to cook. Shortly thereafter she became the Sous Chef for our new Northborough store, and is now the Chestnut Hill Store Chef. She will oversee all of Prepared Foods which includes sushi, food bars, pizza, sandwich shop, coffee and culinary team development.
Recently, I was able to sit down with Kari to discuss the details of the culinary department at Wegmans Chestnut Hill.
Dan: What are you doing to prepare for the opening?
Kari: The culinary staff is very excited for the opening! As you know, there are several areas of Wegmans’ prepared foods department, ranging from pizzas and subs to an Asian-inspired cuisine bar with dishes from Thailand, China and India. We have been hard at work training our staff to prepare a variety of restaurant-quality dishes.
Dan: What are you most excited for?
Kari: I’m really excited for the Market Café, which is inside the 80,000 square foot store. Customers can choose to take out or dine at the store in our 100-person seating area. The Market Café is a great way for busy customers to pick up lunch on the go or dinner after shopping for groceries.
Dan: What does the Market Café include?
Kari: There will be several serving stations. In addition to the Asian bar, there will be a hot soup station, sushi bar, organic salad bar, pizza shop and sandwich shop. I’m a big fan of the Homestyle Bar, which will offer an incredible selection of comfort foods like BBQ ribs and Italian meatballs. There’s also a coffee bar.
Dan: What should customers expect from Wegmans’ prepared foods department?
Kari: A wide variety of high-quality food at their convenience. In addition to the Market Café, Wegmans will offer a bakery with specialty desserts, bagels and decorated cakes for customers to share at office gatherings or family parties. There will also be ready-to-cook entrees and pre-marinated meats to pop in the oven or grill. We also do our best to provide a wide assortment of food at a great price. Many of our meal and entrée selections range from $6-$10.
Dan: If you could sum up the prepared foods department in one word, what would it be?
Kari: Customer service (I guess that’s two words!). What sets us apart is our commitment to providing customers with a great shopping and dining experience and we can’t wait to meet everyone.
I hope Kari and I got you excited for the grand opening on Sunday, April 27th at 7am! For more information about the Chestnut Hill Wegmans, please visit: www.wegmans.com/chestnuthill.