HOBOKEN — What’s on the shelves at the new Trader Joe’s opening Friday in Hoboken?
Well, there are the Savory Thin Mini Edamame Crackers, at $2.69 for a 6-ounce bag. Or the White Cheddar Corn Puffs, 7 ounces for $1.99. Organic Super Sweet Cut Corn (“Excellent for Mexican cuisine,” we’re told), also $1.99, for a 1-pound bag.
If the “Handsome Cut Potato Fries” don’t look good to you at $1.99 for 24 ounces worth, how’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with a pound of “Country Potatoes with Haricuts Verts & Wild Mushrooms,” priced at $3.29?
In the candy isle, there’s the 2-ounce Birthday Cake Bar for $1.49, a confectionary celebration where white chocolate, sprinkles and cookie crumbs mingle in a pink, blue and yellow wrapper.
And much, much, much more.
Trader Joe’s, the 50-year-old California-based supermarket chain, will open its 12th New Jersey store on Friday at 9 a.m., on Willow Avenue at 14th Street in Hoboken. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The store is at the base of a 140-unit apartment complex known as The Harlow, one of several residential projects that have transformed the Mile-Square City’s traditionally industrial northwest corner.
“We’re super excited to wow our customers here,” said Linda Bilyk, the Hoboken store “captain,” what Trader Joe’s calls the manager.
Bilyk provided a sneak preview two days before the opening, as “crew members,” also known as employees, finished stocking the 11,700-square foot store with 4,000 items.
“Everything is unique and a great seller,” said Bilyk, a 14-year veteran of the Trader Joe’s chain who went to Hoboken from its Paramus store.
Bilyk declined to say how many people work at the new store, though she said 95 percent its employees were from the Jersey City-Hoboken-Union City area.
She and other store employees will hold a “lei-cutting” ceremony customary at Trader Joe’s openings, followed by food demonstrations and giveaways throughout the day.
indeed, there does seem to be something particularly celebratory about the arrival of a new supermarket, exemplified by the March 1 opening of a Whole Foods store in Newark. That included Whole Foods’ own store-opening ritual, a literal breaking of bread, when loaves of fresh challah were pulled apart and devoured by hundreds of store employees, city officials and eager shoppers.
Likewise in Hoboken, neighbors of the new Trader Joe’s welcomed the store with anticipation.
Grace Ryan, a 28-year-old analyst with JP Morgan who lives a few blocks away, was eating a muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts as she and friend walked by the store. The muffin was passable, said Ryan, but she had to agree with Bilyk about the universally appetizing quality of Trader Joe’s entire product line.
Asked to name her favorite food, she said, “Everything.”
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