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Wegmans grows presence in Massachusetts

New mall-based store includes a full-service Mexican restaurant and bar

This weekend, Wegmans Food Markets will be inaugurating its sixth store in Massachusetts.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based supermarket chain said it will open a two-level, 146,500-square-foot store — one of its biggest locations — in Natick Mall on Sun., April 29.

Both levels of the store, which occupies space from a former JCPenney, offer direct access to the mall. The supermarket’s central atrium has a cart conveyer system and an adjacent escalator to make it easier for customers to travel between floors. Wegmans noted that the location’s spacious layout enables it to serve up a large product selection, encompassing almost 70,000 items, including more than 3,000 organic offerings.

“This store is a unique space that looks unlike anything we’ve done before,” Wegmans Natick store manager Rich Boscia said in a statement. “Every decision was made with our customers in mind.”

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Wegmans Natick store manager Rich Boscia

The Natick store’s second floor houses the Buzz Coffee Shop and The Burger Bar, a fast-casual restaurant counter that serves hamburgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, specialty milkshakes, soup and side dishes. Level two also is where customers will find a wide range of restaurant-quality prepared foods — with seating for more than 100 people — as well as fresh produce, bakery, seafood, meat, cheese, deli and charcuterie, catering and a floral shop.

The ground floor offers natural foods, grocery, dairy, frozen and bulk items, along with health and wellness, home and entertaining products and a broad assortment of wine, liquor and beer, Wegmans said.

Parking is available in a parking deck across from the store’s main entrance, and an enclosed walkway leads customers directly into the second level.

Due to open May 4, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, on the second level is the Blue Dalia Restaurant & Tequila Bar, a full-service Mexican restaurant and tequila bar featuring contemporary Mexican food and craft cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients. Roberto Santibañez — the chef and owner of Fonda, a restaurant with three locations in New York City — serves as culinary director of Blue Dalia.

“This is a beautiful place to visit for anything from a cup of coffee and a snack to a full grocery shop or a memorable dinner at Blue Dalia,” Boscia said.

At the Natick store, Wegmans will employ 325 part-time and 225 full-time employees, most of whom were hired locally.

“We’ve brought together a terrific team, and we’re still hiring for available full- and part-time opportunities,” added Boscia. New store employees trained for up to six months at other Wegmans locations in Massachusetts to get ready for the grand opening, the company said.

Instacart deliveries from the Natick store are slated to become available on May 2.

Wegmans’ five other Massachusetts stores are in Burlington, Chestnut Hill, Northborough, Westwood and Medford. The 96-store chain has 46 locations in New York, 17 in Pennsylvania, nine in New Jersey, 10 in Virginia and eight in Maryland.

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