Trader Joe’s coming to Huntsville; goal by end of 2021

Updated: Oct. 14, 2020 at 11:08 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For at least a decade, people in the Rocket City have been crossing their fingers that a certain grocery store would open up.

But now it’s official. A Trader Joes is coming to Huntsville to the MidCity Development.

They’re shooting for the end of 2021, so we’ve got at least a year to wait according to a Trader Joe’s rep.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says the store coming to town is a big indicator of how much Huntsville has grown.

Every six to eight weeks, that’s how often Michelle Epling would get in a car and drive to Birmingham or Nashville to shop at Trader Joe’s, before the pandemic.

“The first day the doors open I’ll be in line," Epking said.

You could say she’s a fan.

“My phone’s been blowing up all day with friends texting how excited they are. They have so many healthy options for the busy parent to make really easy, quick night meals and it’s just fun. The kids love going in there, they give them the stickers that smell like vegetables," Epling said.

Mayor Tommy Battle says Epling is one of many people who have requested for the chain to open a location in Huntsville.

“If you remember about 8-10 years ago we did a retail survey, what is the number one store you want to have come into the Huntsville area, Trader Joe’s was number one," Battle said.

Battle says even he put in a request to the company’s president 10 years ago.

“He sent back a very nice note- but basically said y’all weren’t ready yet, Huntsville wasn’t ready. But we’ve grown into that now. We have grown into being ready," Battle said.

Speaking of growth, multiple business journals point to that being a key factor for a Trader Joe’s to move in.

Household incomes, the proximity to major universities and an upscale development sitting on a high traffic road all could be considered.

“We might be in a global pandemic but Huntsville is a big city but a small town and when I think of trader joes, that’s what I think of,” Epling said.

An official announcement from Trader Joe’s will tell us when we can expect the store to be open for business.

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