Crowds Camp Overnight For Trader Joe's Opening

Published On: Oct 28 2011 06:19:55 AM PDT   Updated On: Oct 29 2011 12:23:46 AM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

You no longer have to drive 500 miles to buy bottles of Two Buck Chuck and gingersnaps as the nationwide grocery chain Trader Joe's opened it's first store in the Inland Northwest Friday morning on the South Hill.

The lines started forming at 10 p.m. Thursday with shoppers anxious to be among the first inside.

"We saw on Facebook people camping out and someone drove by and said nobody here and I said I'll be the first. I just came out and did it," Bill Sharon said.

Sharon was first in line while Joan Lee and Kelly Dillon were second and third.

"I could hardly wait to get in the door, I told her a couple months ago I'm going to be there at 8 a.m., she said 3:30 so we got up at 3:30," Dillon said.

Dan Stines showed up with his recliner at four.

"They've got food you can't get anywhere else. Trader Joe's, their food is clean and fresh it's amazing absolutely," he said.

Every person that joined the line said the same thing.

"I've been waiting, waiting and waiting for one to show up," Tim Morse said.

"15 years, writing an email every week and then as soon as we got a Facebook page hounding them weekly," Cindy Cinto said.

Minutes before the store opened at 8 a.m. the line stretched nearly 100 yards long.

With Friday's opening, many shoppers said it ends the 500 mile round trip they used to make to the closest Trader Joe's in Issaquah. Customers now have to travel as far as the Lincoln Heights shopping center for the wine, frozen foods and the natural Trader Joe products.

"It's just a happy day. Everyone is so happy and it's neat to have this in Spokane," Sue Luppert said.

"I'm excited and I'm going to the wine next. Everything at TJ's is neat," Kelly Dillon said.

Trader Joe's manager Jason Martin was pleased with the turnout.

"Not surprised at all. Spokane really reached out and told us how much they want for Trader Joe's," Martin said.

As for those who braved the cold overnight to be first inside, there were no regrets.

"I can get food here I can't get anywhere else at a great price," Dan Stines said.

Trader Joe's is now open for business every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.