Pulling Back The Curtain On Trader Joe’s

When Toto pulled back the curtain, the results were disappointing.

But shoppers walking into Trader Joe’s yesterday — in Compo Shopping Center, not Oz — got more than they expected.

The specialty grocery store’s curtain — the one against the back wall — was gone, revealing a new, improved space. With Silver’s relocating a few doors away (to its original location), Westport’s favorite spot for frozen chicken tikka masala and triple ginger snap cookies has now doubled in size.

The expanded Trader Joe's has more produce, more space -- even more artwork on the back walls.

The Westport store, now in its 15th year — I know, I didn’t believe that either — is not adding any new products. But the extra space means more room — 6 shelves of soy milk, say, not 3 — ensuring far fewer shortages.

It will also alleviate the cramped aisles and shopper bottlenecks that caused even the most chill vegan to walk out with both healthy food and high blood pressure.

With Phase I nearly complete, the next step is remodeling the “old” section. That’s trickier than working behind a curtain. The floor will be replaced, new cash registers installed, new artwork hung — all at night.

The target date — knock on the new wood — is sometime in March.

12 responses to “Pulling Back The Curtain On Trader Joe’s

  1. VetDoc @ Compo

    One of my most favorite places to shop.
    Always friendly staff, great prices, great selection to choose from.

    This will only enhance the shopping pleasure at Trader Joes!

  2. Wonderful news…how did we ever live without Trader Joe’s?!

  3. You have to love Trader Joe’s! It is so convenient.

  4. I hate to be “that guy”, but are you celebrating the expansion of a national chain store in Westport?

  5. I hate to be ‘that guy’, but are you celebrating the expansion of a national chain store?

    • I guess I am. I also guess there aren’t any mom-and-pop grocery stores in Westport, are there? And, as others have noted, Trader Joe’s manages to have very friendly employees, and a customer service-oriented philosophy. Plus, they go out of their way to have Westport-centric artwork and photo displays.

  6. It would be great if they’d expand the beer selection. NYC TJs seem to have a lot more variety.

    And, ab – admit it, your don’t hate to be that guy, but I’ll bite; TJ’s serves the Westport community with quality food sold at a reasonable price(!). They’re staff is always pleasant and very focused on the customer. I feel the same way about Westport Pizzeria and Oscars. Not so much about Lucky Jeans and Banana Republic, though. TJs has earned my loyalty.

    • I was just being a devil’s advocate, but it does show that some of these chains are good for Westport. I love trader joe’s with a few negatives.

      1) why is there always so much packaging? If you don’t know what i am talking about, pick up one of their not so awful, but reasonably-priced wraps for lunch and notice how many times you have to roll the plastic just to extract the wrap.

      2) like above…small choice of beer and no wine (i know it’s the law). Trader Joe’s is known for having cheap every day not good, but not bad wine (especially 2 buck chuck).

  7. We first shopped at TJs in 1983, and while they’ve not always been within reach, each felt like a “local” store in every town. I’d wish they’d add one a bit closer to where I live now.

  8. Plus, Trader Joe’s supports Community Plates (http://communityplates.org/). Which makes me more inclined to spend my food dollars there, rather than a rival store.

  9. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Trader Joe’s ” Two Buck Chuck” wine hasn’t been around for a looooong time! It is at least $4 now!