October 28, 2010

Sneaking a peek at Trader Joe's

The first Maine store opens Friday, featuring an 'old Portland' theme and the products Joe's fans adore.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Marianna Reeves, kneeling, and Steve Monks stock bottled water at the Trader Joe's store at 87 Marginal Way in Portland. The store has been drawing fans and onlookers as it readies for Friday's grand opening.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Trader Joe's, formerly the site of Wild Oats, will compete with a nearby Whole Foods.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

"I just love that building the Hay's Drug Store is in, where the Starbucks is now," Gould said. "I thought it was a cool, iconic piece of architecture to show."

The mural transitions to modern times and brighter colors, including an image of the newly renovated Portland Public Library and a clever nod to the store's neighbor, the Miss Portland Diner.

Then, of course, there's the food.

Trader Joe's brands are free of artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives, and there are vegetarian and organic choices.

Some products will be local or regional, Acciola said, although the store does not have a particular goal for those in mind. Local foods will be highlighted as they come into the store, she said.

The beer section already contains a large variety of local brews, including Allagash, Peaks Organic and Shipyard.

Portlanders will find some perennial Trader Joe's customer favorites, such as mandarin orange chicken and four varieties of organic frozen rice, along with some newer items, such as Trader Joe's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins.

The store is already stocked for the holidays, with displays featuring boxes of cornbread stuffing, jars of cranberry apple butter, and spiced cranberry cider, a juice blend flavored with ginger and cinnamon.

In the back of the store is a station called the "Sea Cove Sampler," where customers will be able to taste Trader Joe's foods. "The demo stations are a lot of fun for people who have never been to Trader Joe's," Mochizuki said.

She said the store's "crew members" will roam the store with samples, and if a customer wants to try a product, all they'll have to do is find an employee and ask.

Trader Joe's introduces about a dozen new items every week, and there is a display in the Portland store just for those new products. The current display is stocked with a hemp drink, cassava chips, some dessert foods, and tuna in red panang curry sauce.

The new store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Just don't show up today.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:



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Additional Photos

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Tracey Acciola is the store captain at Portland's Trader Joe's. She is featured water skiing in a mural in the store.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Store employees Roy Taylor (kneeling) and Elenore Toczynski place product signs on shelves as they prepare for the opening.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer


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