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Trader Joe’s now open in Huntsville

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 12:05 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 9:28 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Trader Joe’s opens for the first time on Thursday morning.

On September 30, Trader Joe’s will begin letting customers shop the almost 10,000 square-foot building that many residents have been waiting for this day since the location was announced in October 2020.

The store will also be decorated will colorful artwork that pays tribute to local area landmarks and local lore, according to the store’s manager. The Huntsville Trader Joe’s will also donate 100% of products that go unsold to a range of non-profit, community-based organizations.

On Wednesday night, future customer Shane Sieweke said he couldn’t wait for one of his favorite stores to open to the public.

SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE STORE

GRAND OPENING

There will be an opening ceremony starting at 8:55 a.m. and the store will officially open five minutes later at 9:00 a.m. at Mid City in Huntsville. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle will be joined by the store manager and the Huntsville High School Marching Band to celebrate this momentous occasion.

WAFF will stream the grand opening event live in this story on Thursday morning.

WHAT DOES TRADER JOE’S MEAN FOR THE SURROUNDING AREA?

For years, Huntsville city leaders did official surveys, asking locals what kind of stores they wanted to see. Trader joe’s was always at the very top of the list.

This is just the latest big name to come to Huntsville. A cheesecake factory is opening in Bridge Street, and MidCity is set to get a new amphitheater in 2022.

For some people, all these new places mean unique foods and more jobs. For others, this raises alarm about possible gentrification. There’s some worry that prices in the neighborhood are bound to go up.

A New York Times study found that neighborhoods that open a Trader joe’s saw rents go up by almost 6%. In Huntsville, rent already rose by 10% on average last year.

Darlene Jolly has lived in Huntsville for more than 60 years. She was excited to check out the new Trader Joes. She got there at about 4:30 a.m., about four and a half hours before opening.

Jolly is in favor of all the growth, saying it will benefit the city. “It’s really an industrial town. It used to be a sleepy little town. We called it a retirement town. Now, we’ve noticed so much influx of young people, engineers, all these businesses. I think it’s going to be great for Huntsville. We’re not just a sleepy little town anymore. We’re starting to wake up again.”

Whether Trader Joe’s changes Huntsville, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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