The Rochester Business Journal has a story about 168-acre Wegmans Organic Orchard, which overlooks Canandaigua Lake in upstate New York, and that this year “completed its transition from conventional farming to organic practices.”

While “Wegmans has for some time worked with partner farms to develop, grow and supply organic produce to each of its 93 stores,” the story notes that often “ it is produce first planted at Wegmans Organic Orchard that ends up being grown at one or more of the store’s 24 partner farms. Utilizing methods used by farmers hundreds of years ago, Wegmans’ farm staff of nearly three dozen experiments with unique fruit and vegetable varieties in order to offer the most sustainable, healthy and flavorful food possible … Wegmans Organic Orchard is home to dozens of varieties of organic fruits and vegetables including apples, table grapes, peaches, strawberries, leeks and others.”

KC's View: I think this is a perfect example of something we talk about a lot here … that retailers can be most successful, even in the facer of growing and toughening competition, when they offer products that other companies don’t or can’t. Success is found in the differences, and sometimes on the margins, rather than in the commonalities.

It’s just that Wegmans, as it often does, takes the concept to the next level.