Friday, April 24, 2009


WEST WINDSOR: Trader Joe's to open new NJ store
Thursday, April 23, 2009 5:24 PM EDT
By Kristine Snodgrass, Staff Writer

WEST WINDSOR — The prayers of local Trader Joe’s fanatics have been answered. The specialty grocery chain will be opening a new store this summer in the Square at West Windsor shopping center off Route 1, a company spokesman confirmed.

Renovations are already under way in the former Sleepy’s mattress store that will become the new Trader Joe’s, in the Meadow Road complex that also includes a Lowe’s and a Pier 1. Sleepy’s has moved to another storefront in the center.

Recently listed by Consumer Reports as the second best grocery store in the country —behind Wegmans— Trader Joe’s is a privately owned, California-based company. It has more than 300 stores in 25 states and the District of Columbia, including seven locations in New Jersey. The nearest, in Westfield, is about 37 miles away.

West Windsor Township land use manager Sam Surtees said the company applied for permits for exterior and major interior renovations earlier this year. The new store will occupy about 10,000 square feet, which is within the normal range for a Trader Joe’s, company spokesperson Alison Mochizuki said.

About 80 percent of the items sold in the store will be from the Trader Joe’s private label, which sells a wide range of products, she said.

”We sell everyday items, such as cheese, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit, and we also sell unique one of a kind items that you can only get at Trader Joe’s,” she said.

But that’ doesn’t mean the products will be expensive, she said.

”We consider ourselves a neighborhood grocery store... so we have very high quality food items at a very good value,” she said.

The Princeton-area location was selected because there are “lots of foodies,” she said.

There were at least two campaigns to bring the store to the area. A Facebook group called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Princeton, NJ!!!” has 374 members.

West Windsor resident Ann Summer said she worked with friends to try to encourage the company through its Web site to open a store in the area.

”It’s just a different kind of shopping experience, and I like their whole philosophy,” she said.

She’s shopped at other Trader Joe’s locations for years, even mapping store locations while on vacation to stop by, she said.

”I really like so many of their products, and they’re reasonably priced,” she said.

But customers will have to wait to find out if they’ll be able to get the store’s famous Two Buck Chuck wine at the new location. Ms. Mochizuki said she could not comment on whether the store would apply for a liquor license.

Only one of Trader Joe’s seven locations in the state holds a liquor license, according to the company’s Web site.

News of Trader Joe’s coming to West Windsor comes on the heels of the announcement that another township grocery store, the Princeton Junction Acme Markets, will close next month.

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