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Trader Joe's to make Salt Lake City debut in mid-November

Published October 5, 2012 11:30 am

Retail • First Utah store in popular chain will open without wine and spirits.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns who for years have been yearning for their own Trader Joe's neighborhood grocery store won't have to wait much longer. The first in-state location of the popular Southern California-based chain will open in Salt Lake City Nov. 16.

That means in just five weeks, cult followers of the store's gourmet products and organic foods will finally will get their hands on Trader Joe's-branded roasted coconut chips or pumpkin soup without having to cross state lines.

There's only one caveat. You will still have to travel far to get one of its most famous products — Two-Buck Chuck, the company's popular bottle of wine. The Utah Trader Joe's will not sell wine and spirits because of restrictions in state liquor laws.

That quibble aside, the 12,700-square-foot store is opening in a former Old Navy location at 634 E. 400 South (inside The Family Center at East Downtown). Store hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

The company will accept applications for store employees, which it calls crew members, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday at the northwest corner of 600 E. 500 South (look for signs). Candidates must apply in person and can obtain an application onsite or online at http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/employment_application.pdf.

A company spokeswoman would not say how many employees will be hired for the Salt Lake City store or what the salary range will be, but a 2010 story in Fortune magazine stated that full-time crew members can start at $40,000 to $60,000 per year. The company also contributes more than 15 percent of the employee's gross income to a tax-deferred retirement account, according to the story. Trader Joe's also provides medical, dental and vision coverage to qualified full-time and part-time employees, according to the company's website.

Trader Joe's, which operates 381 locations in 34 states, got its start in 1958 as a series of convenience stores called Pronto Markets. Founder Joe Coulombe changed the name to Trader Joe's in 1967.

The privately held company is owned by a family trust set up by German businessman Theo Albrecht, who also owns the Aldi Nord discount supermarket chain in Germany. It has since taken on a cult status among some consumers in much the same way that Costco, Cabella's or Apple have built up their retail chains.

Headquartered in the Southern California town of Monrovia, the stores carry domestic and imported foods, but 80 percent of what they sell is under the company's own label, including Trader José's salsas, Trader Ming's fried rice and Trader Joe's Greek Nonfat Pumpkin Yogurt.

vince@sltrib.com

The lowdown on Trader Joe's, Salt Lake City

Opens • Friday, Nov. 16

Address • 634 E. 400 South

Hours • 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily

Employment opportunities • Accepting applications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, at the northwest corner of 600 E. 500 South.. For information go to http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/employment_application.pdf.