Trader Joe’s opens doors


Trader Joe’s sells a number of specialty store-brand items and describes itself as “your neighborhood grocery store." Photo via

The line for the grand opening of Trader Joe’s on Friday started at midnight.

When the doors opened at 8 a.m. in Kentwood, about 300 people were already outside waiting to get in, said Darla Sevok, the store's captain.

The grand opening for the hotly anticipated grocery store featured live music, food demonstrations, a photo booth and face painting for children.

More than 13,000 people are planning to go to the store over this grand opening weekend, according to a Facebook event page.

“We’ve had a great turnout, and they’re still coming,” Sevok said.

“The community here has been asking for a Trader Joe’s for years. We’ve responded to all their requests. This is their Trader Joe’s.”

West Michigan’s long-awaited Trader Joe’s stands at 3684 28th St. SE, just across from Centerpointe Mall.

About 80 percent of the staff at the roughly 12,500-square-foot store was hired from area, Sevok said.

Trader Joe’s Kentwood features a festive décor that mixes local art and Grand Rapids murals with the chain’s traditional cedar-covered walls and Hawaiian-inspired elements.

The grocery store features a wide variety of items: store brand, domestic and imported, frozen food, deli, produce, dried food, nuts, beer, wine and more.

“With our buying philosophy, we buy anything from the exotics to the basics,” Sevok said.

“We do have a few local items that we’re offering, like honey form the Michigan Bee Co. We also have a nice craft beer selection from local breweries.”

The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

The Trader Joe’s chain, founded in 1958, is based in Monrovia, Calif.


The lease for the space, which formerly housed a Ruby Tuesday, was signed between representatives of Trader Joe's East and Grand Rapids-based CWD Real Estate Investment.

Triangle Associates in Grand Rapids built the store.  

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