Its belief statement says: "Good people working towards a common goal can accomplish anything they set out to do".

With that in mind it regularly send its 35,000 employees abroad to discover how to make the international artisan products it proudly stocks.

So it is no surprise that US food retailer Wegmans Food Markets ranked at number two in Fortune magazine's 100 best companies to work for in 2006 and came top of that league the year before.

It offers a style that is more like a European open-air market with exciting displays of fresh produce, artisan breads and other baked goods hot from the oven several times a day. Wegmans also has displays of fresh-caught seafood, meat, deli products, imported cheeses and international foods plus all the foods and household items usually found in supermarkets.

The stores can match any other supermarkets for choice, with more than 70,000 products lining the shelves compared with an average of 40,000 in most American supermarkets.

The shopping experience is enhanced by its Market Cafés, which offer soups, gourmet sandwiches and sushi to takeaway or eat in.

Location: New York, US

Established: 1915

No. of stores: 71

Fact: Nine consecutive years in Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For