Trading Up
by Jeffrey Harmatz
Oct 03, 2008 | 1904 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shoppers will now have another option to feed their ever-growing demand for natural and organic products with the opening of Brooklyn’s first Trader Joe’s store. The national chain which has only recently come to New York City, has been met with resounding appreciation with long lines winding through the entirety of their stores in Lower Manhattan and Central Queens, and if the excitement surrounding their Downtown Brooklyn location is any indication, the Brooklyn Trader Joe’s will become a community institution in no time at all.

The California-based chain has made a name for themselves by offering low-cost, natural and inexpensive food options to hungry customers. The chain has proved to be incredibly popular at its two other city locations, and the store’s arrival has been greatly anticipated not only by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, but all of Brooklyn.

The store held it’s grand opening last at 9 am on Friday, and even in the pouring rain, dozens of people waited outside the front door to be among the first customers. The Grand Opening was marked music, giveaways, food tastings, and the cutting of a ceremonial Hawaiian lei by Borough President Marty Markowitz.

The new store, which is located at 130 Court St, at the corner of Atlantic Ave, was built in a historically landmarked building. “It’s the building that makes this location unique,” said Store Manager Greg Gleis. “We’re very fortunate to be at this building in this location.”

The building was built in 1922 and was originally a bank, and it’s high ceilings have been decorated with recreated photographs provided by the Brooklyn Historical Society showing key borough locations at various times throughout the last century. Locations like Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and Ebbet’s field remind customers that even though they are shopping at a large national grocery store, they are still in Brooklyn, and the design of the store’s shelf tags chalkboards further maintain an old town market feel.

“All I’d like to ask is why it took so long to get a Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn,” joked Borough President Markowitz to store employees and excited neighbors. He praised the discriminating tastes of borough residents and called the new store a great addition to the “the world class thoroughfare” of Atlantic Ave, before he opened the store with Assemblywoman Joan Millmen.

“We’ve had people walking by the store, telling us how excited they were about us coming into the neighborhood,” said Gleis, who also lives in the area. “Even in the rain, so many people came out for our grand opening.”

“I live one block away, and I’ve been watching and waiting for this store to open for over a year,” said Judy Zuckerman. “I think it’s the best thing to happen to the neighborhood.”

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