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Trader Joe’s Coming to Albany

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Trader Joe’s Coming to Albany

Domestic and Imported Foods Galore

The Location of the New Trader Joe's in Albany. Photo by Nicole M. Arciello BerhauptTrader Joe’s announced on January 6th that they will be opening a new store at 79 Wolf Road in Albany. The grocery store chain is scheduled to open their 13,000 square foot location sometime during the second quarter of 2012, although no specific date has been set.

This unique neighborhood-style market has been in the Albany news for well over a year with rumors and conflicting reports about the company setting up shop in this area.  In recent years, a number of grassroots groups have been established to urge the chain to open a store in the area.

The store carries a wide range of domestic and imported foods and beverages. This includes such items as fresh baked breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs – all at honest, low prices, according to the company.

This is just part of the movement of new grocery store chains entering the Capital Region. Fresh Market arrived in Latham in 2010 and most recently, ShopRite grocery stores have reentered the area. This has caused the newest generation of market-wars, complete with competing flyers and coupon deals.

Trader Joe’s prides themselves on keeping their prices low and affordable, citing the main reason for this is the over 2000 items produced under the Trader Joe’s private label. The company states that many area residents can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer” in their mailboxes around the time the new location opens. Each addition will contain highlighted products and new product descriptions.

Many Capital Region residents are happy about the new addition to Wolf Road as the buzz is spreading.  Daniel Nester, of Albany, says that he is ecstatic about Trader Joe’s moving into the area.  He is familiar with the chain from visiting other locations while traveling. “We didn’t take special trips, but stopped at one every single time we went down to NJ to visit my family. It became a Thing. We get carrot apple juice crushers for our kids, cereal, sauces, soups. I’ll still get cheese and other things at Honest Weight.”

Amrit Singh of Colonie has taken at least two planned trips to a Trader Joe’s in Massachusetts. “Whenever we’re in NYC, we always make a pit stop at either the Trader Joe’s near NYU, or in New Jersey.  I’ve been shopping at Trader Joe’s since about 1999 when I lived on Long Island. [There are] tons on Long Island.”

The company boasts that they add about a dozen new items each week.  This is to highlight the store’s “adventurous appeal”, if the bright-colored Hawaiian shirts the crew members wear does not give an indication.  But all in all the real draw and anticipation of the newest grocery chain entering the region are the low prices.  And according to their website “…”Value” is a concept we take very seriously. And by value we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe…”

“It’s all part of a portfolio of good food shopping. The main thing is the natural foods aisle-type stuff you’d find in Hannaford or Price Chopper is much, much cheaper [at Trader Joe’s],” says Nester.  “Even people who won’t or don’t go to Trader Joes’s might see some market-based price reductions on items like Puffins, which are like 5 or 6 bucks at Price Chopper, but is half at Trader Joe’s.”

Nicole M. Arciello Berhaupt is an Assistant Editor for The Free George. Photo by Nicole M. Arciello Berhaupt

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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