CAPITAL DISTRICT Trader Joe's representatives won't say how long the grocery chain with a cult-like following has been eyeing a Capital District location, but now that it's been officially announced that 79 Wolf Road will be the store's local home, it should be a fairly fluid process to open by mid-2012.
“It's a simple process. It won't even be before the Planning Board because it's handled administratively,” said Joe LaCivita, director of economic development and planning for the Town of Colonie. “It's a pretty straightforward application process for them.”
The store will have to apply to the town's building department for a change in tenancy, which LaCivita said the property owners have already done for an interior outfit of the building. From there, it's administrative actions.
Trader Joe's touts itself as a “truly unique grocery store unlike any other” and a “store of stories” because of the more than 2,000 domestic, imported and specialty food items available, many under the Trader Joe's name. Crewmembers wear bright Hawaiian-themed shirts and nearby residents will receive a copy of the “Fearless Flyer” periodically in the mail, which outlines products of interest.
The store will be 13,000 square feet and draw on the community character for a portion of its interior.
“It will have a neighborhood touch. We usually incorporate part of the neighborhood into the artwork inside the store,” said Alison Mochizuki, spokesperson for Trader Joe's.
Mochizuki said was tightlipped on details about the future store, but did say the Colonie location seemed to fit in line with the demographic the grocery store typically caters to.
“There's a lot of foodies. It's a wonderful community and we consider ourselves a neighborhood store so we feel it's a great fit for us,” said Mochizuki.
Trader Joe's opened its first store in the Los Angeles area in 1958 and has expanded to 360 stores in 31 states. It was originally named for its grocery buying process, which was to scour the world for “great values and distinctive products.” The chain boasts of consistently affordable prices, not serial sales or discounts cards, and introduces about 12 new items each week to keep shoppers' interest piqued.
Trader Joe's is expected to open in the second quarter of 2012. For more information, visit www.traderjoes.com.