Winter Park Trader Joe's to open Friday

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Trader Joe's customers have just three days left until the grocery chain's first Orlando-area store opens to the public.

Those customers have been waiting for crews to finish construction on the store, which sits at the corner of North Orlando Avenue and Morse Boulevard.

As of Tuesday, construction workers were still completing the facades of the stores surrounding Trader Joe's, as well as the parking lot.

"The prices are great, and they have all their own brands," said Cindy McGraw, who shops regularly at the store's new location in Tampa, which opened in March.

That location sports a small floor plan with its cornerstone produce section.

The frozen food section won't offer TV dinner fans much in the way of shopping. Instead, the freezers are stocked with fish, international entrees and vegetarian fare.

Then, there's the wine section. Trader Joe's offers their own wine brand -- Charles Shaw. It costs $2.99 a bottle, earning it the nickname "Two Buck Chuck."

The company started in the 1960s as a neighborhood grocer and grew to more than 200 stores nationwide.

Most recently, shoppers have come to notice a shortage of parking spots.

The line to get into the Tampa location stretched a half block on Tuesday evening.

"It's not as bad as when it first opened," said McGraw.  "I came by here and didn't even try to get in. Now, there doesn't seem to be as big a problem, so I think it was just the hype of the opening."

The Winter Park Trader Joe's opens to the public on Friday morning.

Construction permits have already been issued for a second Orlando-area store that could be built by the end of the year in the Dr. Phillips area.

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