You would have thought someone was giving away free food! Packed isles, hard to find parking spots and smiles on the faces of people going into and coming out of the new Trader Joe’s store at 4600 Shelbyville Road. It’s rare the opening of a grocery store brings out the hoards of people seen today but that really speaks to the power of a much-celebrated national chain that has a reputation for being a little wacky!
Their arrival in Louisville has been no secret, we wrote about the rumors Trader Joe’s was coming to Louisville back in January. The ground swell of expectations combined with the of the media attention this week lead to today’s amazing success.
Trader Joe’s actually started as a small chain of convenience stores back in 1958. At the time they called themselves Pronto Markets. Then in 1967 the founder, (Yes he called himself Trader Joe), expanded and changed the name of the markets to Trader Joe’s. The wackiness comes from the stores decor. The walls of many stores are lined with cedar planks and employees are dressed in Hawaiian shirts.
The store has a reputation for finding innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods at reduced prices. I heard a manager tell a customer tonight the chain has no middleman. So they save money and pass it on to customers.
The one item I was hoping to find, Ba-Tampte Peppers was a no show. I suspected that would be the case but I had to look for them. It appears just about everything else a Trader Joe’s fan would want was up for sale. From a habanero hot sauce to the Two Buck Chuck wine flying out the door at a tremendous rate.
The only drawback for me were the lines. At times today they stretched the entire length of the store. It was enough to keep me from buying anything. So I did the walk around admiring the different nuts, sauces and even samples. I’ll be back when the lines die down. Maybe I’ll have a chance to convince management to start carrying some of those Ba-Tampte Peppers!
Bob Sokoler is a former Anchor/Reporter turned Louisville Realtor 7 years ago, and co-owner of The Medley Sokoler Team in Louisville Kentucky. You can learn more about Bob, his Team by clicking Louisville Real Estate.