West Seattle Trader Joe’s: April 13th reportedly set for opening

February 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle Trader Joe's | 59 Comments

We got a note over the weekend saying that Trader Joe’s has set April 13th – two months from today – as opening date for its long-awaited, long-under-construction West Seattle location (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW). The sender did not want to be identified, but we did some checking and have multiple reasons to believe they’re reliable. Before mentioning this, we wanted to give the company a chance to confirm/deny, but as with other inquiries in recent months, no reply. (They tend to go into quiet mode at this phase of the game, we’ve heard from others covering under-construction stores, as they assemble the staff and go into the final work phase.) We reported back in December that another source gave us a guesstimate of early spring, and this is in line with that. Plus – most other regional openings have been on Fridays – and April 13th is, yes, Friday the 13th – so we’re sharing this info with you with the caveat that, as with many things on projects like this, it may well change. (You’ll recall that when work began at the site last year, the store was expected to open in late 2011; the last time we got a company reply to an inquiry was in September, when they confirmed it would not be open till 2012.) As for when a formal announcement of the opening date might come – hard to say – when TJ’s opened in Ballard, for example, it simply appeared as a sign on the window one day.

59 Comments

  1. Woohooo! Can’t wait! My husband says we don’t have to go to Burien to go grocery shopping any more once TJ’s is in West Seattle. YES!

    Comment by April — 12:11 pm February 13, 2012 #

  2. FINALLY!!!!

    Comment by mrsB — 12:15 pm February 13, 2012 #

  3. So excited!!!

    Comment by interrobang — 12:45 pm February 13, 2012 #

  4. Doin’ my happy dance :)

    Comment by Always confused — 12:49 pm February 13, 2012 #

  5. I was at the Burien store this morning and the staff is also saying April 13th – barring any other surprises – employee transfers and farewells are in the works, so it’s getting close!

    Comment by ls — 12:56 pm February 13, 2012 #

  6. I’ll wait a month after it opens to go in when the onslaught passes.

    Comment by Jiggers — 12:58 pm February 13, 2012 #

  7. I was also at TJ in Burien yesterday and asked one of the employees if she knows anything about TJs selling liquor stores in other states. She said they do so I’m hoping we’ll see a request for a liquor permit soon for the soon-to-open store in West Seattle.

    Comment by memyselfandeye — 1:04 pm February 13, 2012 #

  8. I have been elated for days, since hearing from multiple sources re April 13 opening date, and kept checking wsblog to see when/if the story would pop up (knowing you usually hold off until you get official word)
    ~
    last night I made my pilgrimage to Queen Anne Trader Joe’s, where I first heard 6-12 mos ago who our WS TJ’s manager would be; he’s currently at Roosevelt store (Shawn/Sean; sp?); and it was confirmed last night, still same guy
    ~
    I asked a TJ’s employee who was restocking shelves, who I know to be a West Seattle resident, “what do you know about our WS store opening?”; before he even got a chance to answer, a voice shot out loud from around the corner, for everyone to hear, so clearly not a secret anymore, “April 13” from the woman in sampling booth; and she said one of the QA store managers (Roxanne, “Roxie”) will be transferring here
    ~
    I do most of my TJ’s shopping at Capitol Hill or Queen Anne, because easiest to trip combine with other outings/events, and on most trips, I inquire re our store; this was first time anyone was not only willing to say anything, but out in the open in front of all customers, and with an actual date
    ~
    sooooooooooooo, pretty damn exciting, and I’m counting the days

    Comment by Diane — 1:07 pm February 13, 2012 #

  9. WooooooooHOOOOOOOOO

    Comment by cakeordeath — 1:32 pm February 13, 2012 #

  10. Happy to have a TJ’s in the neighborhood, but c’mon, what’s with the horrible building design, with the tacked-on truss that doesn’t hold anything up? Gag.

    Comment by bada-bing — 1:33 pm February 13, 2012 #

  11. Diane – I wish their PR department was more media-friendly. We work mega-hard to be accurate and ethical. But every corporation gets to decide how they do business … So after doing due diligence leading us to believe this is indeed what the company has circulated internally, all we could do is finally go with it, with a caveat. If it follows the patterns of other Seattle-area stores, a friendly sign announcing the date will pop up sometime in the second half of next month … But everybody keep in mind, the dates on this project have changed over and over again. Even what employees at existing stores were told – if I didn’t have a slew of stories waiting to work on, I could spend the rest of the day digging up old comments about “employees at store X said the store will be open by (name some earlier date).” Will be kinda sad in an odd way when this is finally open and just another business operating in the community … no more rumors, questions, wondering, curiosity, etc. … :) TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:51 pm February 13, 2012 #

  12. @memyselfandeye

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that store isn’t 10,000 sqft. I haven’t seen any of the other Trader Joes apply.

    I could be wrong though. Actually trying to find the square footage of the stores is next to impossible.

    Comment by Andrew Beck — 2:00 pm February 13, 2012 #

  13. Will it be bigger than the burien store, i.e. more stuff? I often feel the b-town store is out of stock on basics like frozen fruit, etc.

    Comment by oscardougal — 2:05 pm February 13, 2012 #

  14. Nothing on the TJ’s website about job openings either, I hope some of people they are transfering live in West Seattle and I hope they hire people who live here. It kills me to go into stores in WS and hear other customers ask the employees where this or that is or how to get somewhere in WS and the employee replys ” I have no idea, I live in ______.”

    Comment by RJB — 2:06 pm February 13, 2012 #

  15. Bada-bing click the “reported back in December” link of this article. It appears that the actual design is matching the architectual concept fairly well. The facade will be much nicer than the grey former auto building it was. Fits our craftsman style West Seattle neighborhood.

    Glad to finally have a Month for a TJ opening here.

    Comment by WS Res — 2:07 pm February 13, 2012 #

  16. I believe 14,000 square feet is what was originally cited.

    Comment by WSB — 2:09 pm February 13, 2012 #

  17. I bet that both floors and maybe a storage basement equal more than 10k sq feet. I am most concerned about the parking situation here. Looks like they have the lower lot and then a small additional parking lot accessible from the back that drives on top of the roof. Not a lot for how busy this store will be. I am guessing the street parking in front of the bowling alley will be blown up by the parking need here.

    Comment by kgdlg — 2:21 pm February 13, 2012 #

  18. I am so HAPPY! Tears of joy! This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life! It’s like a birthday party, the Second Coming, a first kiss, baby’s first steps, winning 10 million dollars in the lottery–all rolled into one. I am leaping around the house in sheer ecstasy.

    Comment by Sonoma — 2:24 pm February 13, 2012 #

  19. I CANNOT WAIT!!! :) With thoughts to the parking… A lot of people will be able to WALK there.. as well.. :) So excited for this.. :)

    Comment by Jtk — 2:34 pm February 13, 2012 #

  20. Or bike! They better have decent and numerous bike racks installed! Looking forward to being able to stop by on my way home from work.

    Comment by Al — 2:50 pm February 13, 2012 #

  21. If you’re really concerned with doing business with locals, shop at the west seattle owned businesses instead of these mega corporation chain marts that pay below living wages.

    Comment by realist — 3:12 pm February 13, 2012 #

  22. yippee!!

    Comment by girlonahandcycle — 3:16 pm February 13, 2012 #

  23. i have friends that work retail at small, west seattle owned businesses… they don’t pay any better realist. it’s retail.

    Comment by April — 3:28 pm February 13, 2012 #

  24. @WSB

    Is that 14k sqft for the whole structure or actual retail floor space? The initiative seemed to imply you needed 10k of retail space. IANAL, but I don’t think they could include any of the storage or other space that might be there.

    Comment by Andrew Beck — 3:34 pm February 13, 2012 #

  25. @Jtk
    We live near Thriftway and often walk or run there for a small bag of groceries. However, my experience with TJs is totally different. We go there to “stock up” on essentials like nuts, frozen fruit and olive oil – not easy things to walk home with especially with a toddler in tow. I also think that this will be a destination store, lots of people coming from all over the south end, including Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill, thus making parking essential.
    @realist
    I have always been under the impression that TJs paid fairly well. They seem to inspire a lot of loyalty in workers, many of whom have been at their Burien and Cap Hill stores since I moved here almost 10 years ago. Anyone know what the situation with their workers is? What union they are a part of?

    Comment by kgdlg — 3:45 pm February 13, 2012 #

  26. Just a feeling, but I sense that traffic on Fauntleroy, between Alaska and 35th is going to be absolutely hellacious that day.

    I’m wondering if there are going to be bus delays, since many WS Metro routes traverse the Alaska/Fauntleroy intersection ?

    Comment by Petert — 3:58 pm February 13, 2012 #

  27. @WS Res: Yes, I am well aware that the building will eventually look like the rendering posted months ago. That’s what I was afraid of. My comment still holds.
    .
    One superfluous truss with 2 “Craftsman”-looking braces does not turn this dog into a Craftsman building.

    Comment by bada-bing — 4:07 pm February 13, 2012 #

  28. Well, everybody carpool. Or camp out early. Like the folks in this pic (it should be labeled “4 out of 5″ in case the direct link doesn’t work) from the Silverdale opening last year (part of what I encountered while researching the likely accuracy of this date):
    http://www.kitsapsun.com/photos/galleries/2011/jun/17/trader-joes-opens-silverdale/18072/

    Comment by WSB — 4:07 pm February 13, 2012 #

  29. @WSB
    April 13th is the correct open date. My friend who will work there got notice the other day.

    Comment by E85 — 4:17 pm February 13, 2012 #

  30. yes, Trader Joe’s pays employees well, and treats employees well; I’ve been shopping TJ’s for 30 yrs, starting in Newport Beach, SoCal, and working my way up the coast; been in Seattle area 14 yrs; shop regular at Queen Anne, Cap Hill, Ballard, and sometimes at Burien, Roosevelt; staff seem very happy at all stores, partly evident by seeing them stay for many years
    ~
    exact opposite at Safeway; many employees are underpaid and hate it there
    ~
    I love Met Market, and often go in just for the experience of excellent customer service; but I can barely afford a carrot on sale there; staff are well paid, and seem very happy
    ~
    I do not enjoy PCC, and the prices are insane; staff are well paid, and seem happy; but just like Met Mkt, most can’t afford to shop at either
    ~
    from the customer/shopper perspective; when I go to TJ’s, I want to buy everything I see; it’s just that awesome, and I load up; there are always helpful staff on the floor to genuinely offer assistance, offer to check back-stock, offer to check order books for when out-of-stock items will be coming in; and I can call any store to ask if the item I want is there, and have them put on hold; there’s always someone in the customer service booth; they always have samples; return policy is better than Nordstrom’s; the prices for quality just can’t be beat; it’s actually fun to shop there
    ~
    complete opposite experience at Safeway; I find myself wandering the massive aisles of the new 40k sq ft store just trying to find something/anything appealing; if I have a question, just try to find an employee to ask; the pricing makes me absolutely crazy, with original price, “everyday” price, “member” price, etc, which you can’t even decipher during checkout; have to take 3 ft receipt to check for mistakes, which occur > 50%, then have to call for customer service to correct; I will probably continue to go to Safeway for 2-3 items that TJ’s doesn’t have, quick in/out, but literally counting the days til my primary food shopping will once again be at Trader Joe’s; oh happy days!!!
    ~
    the other grocer that has fantastic prices, customer service, inventory, but part of HUGE conglomerate, and we don’t have one in West Seattle, is Fred Meyer; I worked at their Ballard store over holidays couple years back; they pay staff very well, living wage, excellent for retail
    ~
    so I get the “shop local”, but if locals can’t afford the prices, at least supporting non-local biz that treat/pay staff well, is a very good thing; and Trader Joe’s does just that

    Comment by Diane — 4:35 pm February 13, 2012 #

  31. Hope they stock up on those tamales because I’ll be buying them out!

    Comment by ikahana — 7:13 pm February 13, 2012 #

  32. I like Trader Joe’s, but the store I used to live near in San Diego was often so packed that there was a queue out the door and an Ikea style scene once you got inside. Judging by the level of pent up demand in WS I think this is a likely scenario here. I can’t deal with Black Friday crowds to save a few dollars on groceries, but for those who can, I highly recommend their eggplant hummus.

    Comment by Ohthehorror — 8:10 pm February 13, 2012 #

  33. @realist, I shop at West Seattle Produce, locally owned. Please tell me where else in West Seattle that I can buy my groceries that is locally owned and operated and I will be there!! Thanks!

    Comment by RJB — 8:12 pm February 13, 2012 #

  34. I missed the earlier part of the discussion but RJB – Metropolitan Market, West Seattle Thriftway, PCC are all Seattle-owned and operated (unlike Safeway/QFC). Met Market’s corporate offices are even in West Seattle (North Delridge). [Traditional disclosure, MM and PCC are WSB sponsors.] – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 8:17 pm February 13, 2012 #

  35. A secret that all of us that work weekends and have two weekdays for our days off know: Shop before 11:30 a.m. on a Monday or Tuesday that is not a three day weekend holiday. For some reason grocery stores have less of a crowd at that time, and on those days. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings are much more packed.

    Comment by Gina — 8:24 pm February 13, 2012 #

  36. They could feasibly sell liquor, yes?

    Comment by hey lady — 9:08 pm February 13, 2012 #

  37. After June 1st, if they get a license, they can sell liquor. The license application list is updated online a few times a week and I watch it fairly closely, so if/when they apply, we’ll make a note of it here – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:12 pm February 13, 2012 #

  38. Folks, support local. We know the buzz of TJ’s is alluring, but really if you price shop, you can find just as good of deals at Thriftsway and Met Market if you stick to the basics. These corporate chains make you believe you are saving money, but in the end they have higher margins and are padding their pockets (hence the reason they can afford to open a gazillion stores across ‘anywhere USA’.) Support local if you love what is West Seattle: that’s thriftway, met market, husky deli, bakery nouveau, local/family owned specially beer and wine shops like Beer Junction and Bin 41, local restaurants like La Rustica, Blackboard Bistro, Mashiko, Easy Street, Jak’s, Elliott Bay, Spring Hill (now Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whiskey), Circa, and more. These are the places that make WS what it is…support local or lose all these cool places and end up with a neighborhood filled with anywhere USA big box…it’s up to you!

    Comment by nam — 9:19 pm February 13, 2012 #

  39. Does anyone else miss the TJ brand little tins with bite-sixed wedges of chocolate (dark, milk with caramel, etc.)? They were *perfect* for giving to teachers, for a quick nibble between classes! Sadly, the Burien TJ folks say that the tins are discontinued. But I need them for teachers!! Seriously– these people take my kids each day and *really* need the chocolate!
    .
    If enough people ask TJ corporate office, perhaps they’ll bring back the perfect teacher pick-me-up: SKU# 72212

    .
    Thanks!

    Comment by happy — 9:42 pm February 13, 2012 #

  40. People will buy locally if they want/ can afford what’s being sold locally. The responsibility for success is on the business not the consumer.

    Comment by Tuesday — 10:34 pm February 13, 2012 #

  41. Tuesday, it’s just as much on the consumer. Most of the local businesses are price competitive with STD, honest mark-ups across the board. They don’t mark down 1-2 key brands to lure you into the store only to unlnowingly price gouge on the majority of the remaining items in your basket. Shop what is meaningful to our WS neighborhood character, not what is anywhere USA. Otherwise, why live in WS vs Renton, vs any other suburbia neighborhood. If you shop mainly corporate (TJ’s, QFC, Safeway, etc) out of convenience, you risk losing the very heart of what we love about our hood to save yourself a little time and pre-cooked, frozen meals.

    Comment by nam — 11:24 pm February 13, 2012 #

  42. it’s clearly not “out of convenience” that West Seattleites have been driving 20 miles rt to Trader Joe’s for many years; even after accounting for gas/time to get there, TJ’s is HUGE cost savings, for really good food

    Comment by Diane — 1:33 am February 14, 2012 #

  43. Anyone who is going to a store for something on sale and then blindly filling their cart with full-priced items isn’t in the game! I have often left with only the weekly loss-leaders in my bags and feel no guilt. I can’t wait to have TJ’s in my arsenal. And I’m always amused by the “shop local” folks when it comes to groceries. So if Safeway has 10 lbs. of Washington potatoes on sale for less than Thriftway’s 10 lbs. of Idaho potatoes, I should support Thriftway? My wallet rules and I will make local choices when faced with them, but it’s not as cut & dry as some seem to think. My favorite is the portrayal of Costco as the big, bad corporate wolf. Huh? Local company, based in Issaquah, employees 1000s of residents, gives significantly to the community, and offers some (not all, like everyone else) good shopping options. Apparently it’s a bad thing to be successful…curse you evil Starbucks too ;)

    Comment by GenHillOne — 7:02 am February 14, 2012 #

  44. I think I’m the only one that doesn’t love TJ. Whenever I go in I walk around forever theneave with nothing. The brands are bizarre—obscure, perhaps imported? They seem to excel at frozen items, like weird French onion soup & processed tv dinners, but they also sell chopped onions (American laziness knows no bounds!) and other strange pre-made items. I never understood why they’re so popular, maybe it’s a cult following and you just need to be introduced to a their weird offerings. I will stick to normal grocery stores with familiar brands, large selection, and better local items.

    Comment by Rosanne — 8:35 am February 14, 2012 #

  45. I already endure hipster rudeness at Easy Street in order to “support local business.” I do try to shop local when I can—I am a fan of Husky Deli for sure. But until Met Market, PCC, and Thriftway offer me reasonable prices and consistently pleasant clerks, I’ll stick with TJs and Safeway. And I just plain love Trader Joe’s—the marketing, the staff, the food, the prices, the whole experience. Except for the crowds!

    Comment by Kayleigh — 9:20 am February 14, 2012 #

  46. I am with you GenHillOne, the “non-local” Costco comments always crack me up a bit. Also, I would like to point out that I shop at TJs because 1) I know for a fact that they pay well above the industry standard and their employees are long term, happy people and 2) it ALLOWS me further discretionary income to then spend at more “local” places without compromising my personal health or product standards. I only have so much to spread around, so by purchasing basics at TJ, I have money left over to pick up a six pack at the Beer junction, get local produce at West Seattle Produce stand, and even treat myself to some very nice premade deli items at Metro or a latte at one of our great cafés. Sure, I could do all my shopping at PCC, but if I did, there would be truly nothing left for anyone else. I refuse to feel guilty for managing my budget as best I can; each place has its own unique attributes and services and people make their choices as best they can with what they have available to them.

    Comment by Thistle — 9:24 am February 14, 2012 #

  47. That’s a perfect day for it to open – it’s my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! :-)

    Comment by sun*e — 9:27 am February 14, 2012 #

  48. I’m with you Rosanne. I can’t stand the layout of the TJ stores, I’m not into buying ‘gourmet’ frozen tv dinners and when comparing pricing of the basics, I can typically shop at par or even save money at the Met or Thriftway than any of the chain grocery stores. And the produce at TJ’s is horrible, at the level of quality/freshness as Safeway. I’ve never understood the cult following of buying processed, pre-made meals at TJ’s but the american public seems to love the convenience.

    Comment by hope — 12:07 pm February 14, 2012 #

  49. I’m already in line!

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 6:18 pm February 14, 2012 #

  50. Frozen chopped garlic in little cubes, cheap pantry items, great deli items and prepared foods, what more could you want? I hope their parking lot mimics Burien and not Cap Hill and U District stores… Looking forward to their arrival!

    Comment by Traci — 9:21 pm February 14, 2012 #

  51. I’m with you, Rosanne. I always leave empty handed or with just a few things. It’s way too much prepared foods and I just don’t have a need for it. Their fruit and veg section is also small. I don’t shop at Costco either so, clearly, I don’t fit the WS family shopping mould.
    Frozen, pre-chopped garlic is my case in point.

    Comment by Momof3 — 4:52 am February 15, 2012 #

  52. Rosanne, you must not wear contacts or have wimpy eyes like I do ;) Buying chopped onions ROCKS! I already get them at Cash & Carry, then freeze them in portioned baggies so I just pull one out and pop them in my recipe. Convenient? Yes. Laziness? No. Less pain, definitely. Now I have something else to look forward to at TJs.

    Comment by GenHillOne — 6:49 am February 15, 2012 #

  53. GenHillOne: Onion goggles are your friend:

    http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-International-Onion-Goggles-Black/dp/B0014SQU1A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329338728&sr=8-1

    Comment by MAS — 12:46 pm February 15, 2012 #

  54. I adore TJ’s. With West Seattle Produce right there it’s going to be a win-win since everyone knows (or should know) TJ’s produce is their only weak link!

    Comment by MaryCooks — 1:05 pm February 15, 2012 #

  55. I like TJ’s produce; bananas are still only 19 cents each; bag of limes for $1.69; bag of 3 head romaine for $2

    Comment by Diane — 1:08 am February 16, 2012 #

  56. Another TJ’s non-aficionado here. I buy very little in the way of packaged food, so prefer PCC or Whole Foods (which has very reasonable prices if you bother to check item per item). I also don’t like the excess packaging on produce. However, I just read in one of the above posts that they have TAMALES! My weakness, so may have to pay a visit.

    Comment by anonyme — 9:44 am February 18, 2012 #

  57. Response to a comment: “shop at the west seattle owned businesses instead of these mega corporation chain marts that pay below living wages”

    I have worked for Trader Joe’s for 4 years. I have excellent benefits (including a 401k with nothing out of my pocket), my entire family of 5 has complete health/dental and vision coverage for the cost of a single person. I get a raise every 6 months. This “corporation” truly takes care of employees.
    I have worked in many professions (sole proprietors, free-lance and corporate) and this is the absolute best company I have ever worked for. The flexibility of the shifts allows me to be available to my kids. I wouldn’t go back to making big money with my other professions simply because this job compensates me and accommodates my family’s needs.
    Buying local supports local economies. I shop both. Larger companies CAN have employee’s best interest in mind.
    Food for thought!

    Comment by Compensated Trader Joe's employee — 2:36 pm February 23, 2012 #

  58. TJ’s is very well known for selling liquor in States where they are allowed to sell it. My brother used to live in LA and we’d buy cheap rum there all the time. I can’t wait.

    Also, they are known to be good employers and have very loyal staff because of it. I have a friend who started with them in California 20 years ago and now he works as a buyer for them in Olympia.

    Comment by JG — 9:21 am February 26, 2012 #

  59. I cant wait. I can do all my big shopping right up the street at QFC for anything i cant get at TJ’s. perfect

    Comment by Sam — 8:48 am February 27, 2012 #

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