Wendy Webster, the Columbia store manager, said when Wegmans opens on Sunday, "We'll change grocery shopping in Columbia forever."
The new store, at 8855 McGaw Road, is filled with a huge, seemingly overwhelming, selection of grocery store products.
According to a Wegmans official, there will be 700 items of produce, 160 people making fresh food, 300 cheeses on sale from around the world, dry aged beef, a variety of daily-changing seafood and countless other food items.
The store's head chef, Tom Schwarzweller, is in charge of the 160 cooks who will prepare the food. He said six months ago the employees charged with preparing food began learning their specialties. There will be sushi rollers, bread bakers, pastry makers, Indian chefs and seafood steamers.
"We'll also be doing a crab cake," said Schwarzweller. "It's a true Baltimore crab cake."
On opening day, the store will have made-in-Maryland specials on items such as Goetze's candies, fresh Maryland fish and specially made-for-Wegmans bars of soap.
On Wednesday afternoon, three days before Sunday's 7:00 a.m. opening, workers buzzed around the store like it was a beehive.
"We're putting in the last-minute touches," said Webster, who was dancing near the entrance to the store. "And really having some fun."
Webster didn't know exactly how many people would attend the opening, but she said opening-day customers "might have a little wait."
Although the produce, fish and meats weren't out yet, Webster said they'll all be in place after workers come in at midnight before the opening to finish stocking the fresh foods.
The only area of the store that wasn't ready for the opening was on the second floor, where the was to open. That section of the store had its windows blacked out with Wegmans banners. Inside, the walls were painted white and unstocked shelves were bare.
A a second time on Thursday evening after a three hour hearing of the Howard County Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board.
Find more of Patch's Wegmans coverage below:
Editor's Note: The store opens at 7 a.m., an original version of this story said it opened at 7:30 a.m.