SPOKANE, Wash. - After years of (impatiently) waiting, Spokane shoppers are able to (finally) shop at the region's first Trader Joe's specialty grocery store.
The store is in the Lincoln Heights shopping center at 29th and Regal.
The set up is almost over, the final touches are being made and come Friday morning Trader Joe's will open for business.
"I have no idea how many people will be coming through the doors, it will fill the store up I am sure," store captain Jason Martin said.
Just a take a peek inside and you can find touches of Spokane in every corner.
"We are a neighborhood grocery store, we hire our crew from the neighborhood," Martin said. In fact they've hired nearly 70-percent of their workers from the community.
Getting ready for the opening workers have stocked their stores shelves full of fresh produce and packaged items.
"We have higher quality ingredients so no preservatives, no artificial ingredients," Martin said.
The store says there have been misconceptions about their prices being high.
"The first thing people should know is we have a lot of great values on our products," Martin said.
Those values and deals have gotten the store a lot of looky-loos stopping by.
"I was peering in the windows, is that stalking? I'm a Trader Joe's stalker," Bethann Long said.
But she's not alone.
"People just stop by and sneak in, it's kinda been fun to watch it come along," Martin said.
"I am so excited about Trader Joe's being on the South Hill, I think it is going to be great for the health of the South Hill," Long said.
While shoppers are excited about Trader Joe's moving in, neighboring businesses are excited as well.
The store is in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center at 29th and Regal and there seems to be a big excitement bubble over the entire area about the newest addition in town. Trader Joe's next door neighbor, Hogans, thinks their grill will be extra fired up with the new company.
"I think it is definitely going to bring a lot of new people in from different areas of town," Katie Doheney at Hogan's said.
In fact, Hogan's is commemorating their neighbor's grand opening by opening up bright and early Friday morning so they can feed all the hungry customers waiting in line.
2nd Look Books is also hoping they see an increase in people browsing their store as a result of Trader Joe's moving in to the shopping center.
"We are having customers come in every moment practically today and saying when is it going to be open, I'm really excited about this, it's big news," Deborah Brooks with 2nd Hand Books said. "We heard about a 20-percent uptick of people coming in with foot traffic to Trader Joe's."
The magic of Trader Joe's, they hope will help their three decade old bookstore.
"We hope they will park in the parking lot and wander around a bit and then do their grocery shopping," Brooks said.
For all of you who have been waiting, Trader Joe's opens up Friday at 8 a.m.
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