Trader Joe's to open new Utah store in Cottonwood Heights

Published March 27, 2014 10:05 am

New grocery store expected to open in 2015 will not sell "Two-Buck-Chuck" bottles of wine.
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Trader Joe's, the neighborhood grocery store that has developed a cult following of crazed fans who like its organic foods and branded goods, is opening a second Utah location in Cottonwood Heights.

The store will begin construction this summer at 6989 S. 1300 E., the site of a former Fresh Market grocery store; it is scheduled to open some time in the first half of 2015, the Monrovia, Calif., company announced Wednesday morning.

The 9,800-square-foot store, which is about the average size of a Trader Joe's, will include the same cedar walls and Hawaiian-style decor as its other stores, but also will include murals of community scenes.

Trader Joe's launched its first Utah store at 634 E. 400 South in Salt Lake City in November 2012.

The unique store sells domestic and imported foods, including artisan breads, coffees, frozen entrées, nuts, deli items, as well as milk and eggs. Most of the products sold in the store are Trader Joe's branded items, including Trader Joe's Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix, Salt & Pepper Pistachios, Sai Tung Green Curry and Red Gaba Rice and Trader Joe's Carrot Cake Cookies. The 56-year-old company has more than 400 locations nationwide.

"There are a lot of unique products," Rory Violette, the manager of the Salt Lake City store, said right before that location opened. "Anything under the Trader Joe's label is free of artificial colors and preservatives. It's kind of like a food scavenger hunt everyday. We have new items every week."

Like the Salt Lake City store, the new Cottonwood Heights Trader Joe's will not sell one of the company's staple products of other national locations, the famous $2.50 "Two-Buck Chuck" bottles of wine (under the Charles Shaw label) or any other wine and liquor. Due to state liquor laws, Utah grocery stores cannot sell spirits and wine. But the Salt Lake Trader Joe's does sell beer from local breweries with 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.

The neighborhood-style grocery chain didn't begin as Trader Joe's. It first launched as Pronto Markets in 1958; founder Joe Coulombe changed the name to Trader Joe's in 1967, which then sold mostly cheeses and wine.

Today, 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.

The former Fresh Market grocery store that will be the new location for Trader Joe's has remained vacant since 2011 when owner Associated Food Stores shut it down due to poor sales and its close proximity to other Associated sister stores.

vince@sltrib.com

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