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Snap Poll: Wegmans is most-admired business

Rochester Business Journal
July 25, 2014

Rochester loves Wegmans Food Markets Inc.

More than half of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll chose Wegmans, one of the area’s largest companies, as the most admired business in the Rochester region.

Eighty-two businesses—ranging from sub shops to non-profits to publicly traded companies— received at least one vote from poll participants.

This was the third Snap Poll on this topic. However, in the previous polls—conducted in 2006 and 2007—non-profit employers were not included.

In 2007, Wegmans took the top spot with 40 percent of the tally. Paychex ranked second, named by 23 percent of respondents. Rounding out the top five seven years ago were Paetec Holding Corp., 8 percent; Xerox Corp., 3 percent; and Constellation Brands Inc., 2 percent.

In a poll that asked the same question in 2006, Wegmans received an even larger share of the responses: 53 percent. Paychex was named by 14 percent.

Nearly 350 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted July 21 and 22.

Excluding your own employer, which private-sector business (public, private or non-profit) in the Rochester area do you admire most?

Wegmans Food Markets:  52% 
Dixon Schwabl:  1%
Paychex Inc.:  11%
Klein Steel Service Inc.:   1%
University of Rochester:  4%
ESL Federal Credit Union:  1%
Constellation Brands Inc.:  2%
Other: 28%

Had on a Wegmans shirt shopping at Publix in Florida. Three people stopped me and said, “Now that’s a store!” Mr. Wegman was a leader in customer service. You can buy groceries anywhere; it is how you are treated that matters most.
—Ed Rosen, Fairport

(Monro Muffler Brake has) consistently grown through acquisition and internal operations. Their returns to shareholders have been significant. Their business plan has survived nicely over the last three decades.
—Al Schnucker, Schnucker Packaging Inc.

(Paychex is) definitely doing something the right way! They generate growth year after year, are great to their employees, produce double-digit profits and ever higher share prices most every year. And they keep adding jobs in Rochester. I salute them!
—George Thomas, Ogden

(Hillside Family of Agencies president and CEO) Dennis Richardson is one of the top CEOs in the area. He has presided over extraordinary growth and substantially increased mission effectiveness.
—Rob Brown

Larry Glazer (CEO and managing partner of Rochester-based Buckingham Properties LLC) has the vision to convert existing properties into unique properties that are helping transform the area.
—Craig Densmore, Penn Yan

(TLF Graphics.) No company (local or otherwise) takes better care of their employees. Their commitment to the Rochester area is unmatched.
—Tom McJury

Is there another business in Rochester that holds a candle to Wegmans in what we all admire most in the way in which it does business or in the way that the company handles itself in our community?
—Jay Birnbaum

Abundance (Cooperative Market) arose from the ashes of the old Genesee Coop Foodstore in the old firehouse by Monroe and Oxford. They have a mission statement and abide by seven cooperative principles. They have been through good times and hard times and now with a savvy general manager are doing well again.
—Margie Campaigne, Margie’s Green Home Consulting

(Alternatives for Battered Women.) Vital mission. Extraordinary leadership—CEO, board of directors, leadership team. The perfect combination of taking care of business in the present and visioning for the future.
—Cassandra George Ramos

Partners in Restorative Initiatives, through restorative practices, builds relationships, repairs harm and restores communities. Work in area schools, for example, has helped turn failing school populations into productive student bodies.
—Donna Cullen, retired

(Borg Imaging Group.) These folks are more than top-level professionals. They treat you like family.
—Greg Clyde

Wegmans always listens to the customer, and makes the adjustments (even if at a high cost to them)!
—Barbara Done, president, Micron Management Inc.

Wegmans has an amazing choice of goodies for their customers. Their employees are outstandingly helpful, showing how well Wegmans is treating them. Wegmans also supports the communities where it has businesses.
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting

There couldn’t be a better-run family company (than Wegmans). Maybe H-E-B in Texas comes close. Wegmans seems to be a great place to work, and they value every single employee. Their scholarship program is golden, as well as their benefits. And you don’t see them building egotistical office towers, either.
—Daniel Mossien

Like so many others, I love to shop (at Wegmans) and always take my out-of-town guests there; it is just an amazing place. Wonderful in its food, its customer service and what it does for its employees and for the communities it is a part of.
—Emily Neece

Xerox, Kodak and even Bausch & Lomb are names of Rochester’s past. The name of Rochester’s present and its future is Wegmans. I so identify with the Wegmans closest to where I live that I call it “my Wegmans.” When I’m in New Jersey or the Washington, D.C., area and one of my relatives refers to their Wegmans as “my Wegmans,” I resent it. Wegmans sets such a high level for service that no one can compete, but they should. As a test, go into “your Wegmans” and ask an employee where an item is. They most likely are going to take you to the item. One of Wegmans’ values is that if you treat your employees well, they will treat your customers well. A Wegmans located nearby raises property values, and a common question for a homebuyer locally is “How far away is the Wegmans?” If we keep shopping Wegmans, we might even get the Wegmans LPGA back after this year.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D.

Only the D&C can criticize (Bob) Lonsberry and Kimberly and Beck for their comments, tout the UniteRochester initiative, publish Gantt’s “plantation” comment, and have Jim Lawrence remain silent on that comment. Don’t all of us want to work for two-face employers?
—Jerry McCabe, Irondequoit

Wegmans Food Markets has raised the bar and is the benchmark for grocery stores in the United States. Their growth has been a key for employment opportunities in Monroe County and the quality of life for our residents.
—Gary Rogers, Dock Hardware

(Wegmans is), without a doubt, the greatest Rochester company.
—Patrick Waterman, KCI Engineering

(Buckingham Properties.) Cheers to all of the developers who have a vision for downtown and the larger region. The reuse of the older factories and industrial complexes, coupled with the opening up of older Rochester assets around and under the city, has been exciting to watch. From the Culver Road Armory to Nothnagle headquarters, College Town on Mt. Hope, Button Lofts off Monroe, Edge of the Wedge off S. Clinton, Midtown, and many others. If all these areas can be tied together, the city and surrounding neighborhoods could be a spectacular place to live and visit.
—Keith Newcomer

(Unistel-CDS Monarch.) They certainly pay it forward with what they offer the community as a whole.
—Donalee Farrell

7/25/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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