Employees were handing out Hawaiian Leis to customers as the Evanston Trader Joe’s market opened for business this morning.

The opening of the store at 1211 Chicago Ave. was so eagerly awaited that a couple of people decided to camp out overnight to be sure to be first in line.

Photo by Jose Calderon.

Store manager Ty James welcomed customers, local officials and the developers of the site to the new market.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Thank goodness

    My life is now complete. There's a Trader Joe's here. Colors now seem brighter, the air cleaner, people happier. What a wondorous day, indeed! God Bless Trader Joe's! (and the $2 million we gave them).

    1. Bless the birds and bees

      Trader Joe's would have come to Evanston without the 2M. Once again our mayor, city council, and city manager got hoodwinked and spent taxpayer money needlessly.

      1. Hoodwinked

        A charge without basis; a politician getting hoodwinked, who would believe such a wild accusation.  Good job Trader Joe's

    1. The sky is not falling

      I am so happy about not having to go to Chicago or Glenview to shop at Trader Joe's. Having the Trader Joe's here is not going to change my shopping at Whole Foods or Jewel, because I buy different things in each of those stores. I think a lot of people will come to Evanston to shop in these three stores, and I think a lot of Evanston residents who shopped at other Trader Joe's locations will shop at the new one here instead. This is an exciting addition to Evanston and no, the sky is not falling.

      1. Shop where you live?

        "…about not having to go to Chicago or Glenview to shop at Trader Joe's. Having the Trader Joe's here is not going to change my shopping at Whole Foods or Jewel, because I buy different things in each of those stores…."

        The writer reveals several thing. 

        1. He/she will drive to a grocery store out of the city.

        2. Will [as soon as the Trader Joe fad* passes] or has not 'shopped Evanston.'

        3.  He/she will continue to drive since who would pick-up items at one grocery, then walk to another for other items, then another for still different items, i.e. are  willing to take grocery from one store into another..  Assumption must be the stores are not meant for those who walk.

        4. If Trader Joe or any other store was so important and people drive, why not have put a store [Jewel, Dominicks, Trader Joes, etc.] where there is none close, e.g. old Kendall college block, 5th ward which complains about being forgotten, close to Evanston hospital ?  I assume the NIMBY around Kendall and the hospital have enough political and $$$ to keep them out.  And the 5th ward ?  Well the Council talks about helping there but seemingly nothing really happens except pouring money into pockets of contractors that make promises.  I have to wonder about the mentality of those who demand three stores within a block [are their tastes that refined that they can tell the difference ?] rather than making stores available though out Evanston ?

        5. Why could the Council keep Dominicks on Chicago Ave. ?

        * Years ago when the Dominicks on Greenbay openned I saw a woman get on a bus by the Dominicks on Chicago Ave. to go to the Dominicks on Greenbay !!  At that time the one on Greenbay had to have a policeman directing traffic there !  The Trader Joe fad will pass quickly. Whole foods south will close soon [the Council would pour whatever money is needed into Trader Joes so they don't have to admit  their mistake].

        1. TJ’s

          Think its hard call between which will close first — Jewel or Whole Foods. South location is good for Whole Foods with easy parking. Jewel is part of a compnay that is already closing stores in area.

          1. Jewel

            According to city officials, Jewel does about 3 times as much business as both WF stores combined. This will probably will continue to be maintained because Jewel offers 2 – 3 times the selection. Als TJ offers so few name brand products.

    2. Whole Foods South

      Whole Foods South will close ASAP, Jewel will remain. WF South stayed in business to keep Trader Joe's out of that location. Now that the city has paid for TJ's to come in it will be interesting to see what retail we lose from WF South and whether that will be made up by TJ's.

      And whether this was a worthwhile $2M investment (aside from addressing the number one quality of life complaint by Evanstonians expressed by the previous comment, "My life is now complete. There's a Trader Joe's here.").

      At the end of the day we'll switch one vacant location for another on Chicago Avenue.

      1. Yup

        I agree. And don't get me wrong, I love that Trader Joe's carries products that are cheaper than Whole Foods and of higher quality than Jewel's. It's spilt milk now, but there seem to be plenty of other locations in downtown Evanston to have built a fourth grocery store.

        1. Cheaper products

          Aldi carries cheaper products then Jewel,Trader Joes and Whole Food even cheaper then Food4 Less   and the other Grocery Store the taxpayers financed Gordon Foods and Dominicks

      2. Both WF will stay open

        We'll see what happens, but for now I'm going to contend that neither Whole Foods will close anytime soon. In fact, I think Trader Joe's will help WF South. As others have mentioned, WF, TJ, and Jewel create an easily walkable triangle. WF North will continue to get university students and people who live within walking distance, et al. It's two different markets.

        I can't wait for Mariano's in Skokie/Lincolnwood (off Touhy). Too bad Evanston Plaza couldn't get a face lift and lure them there….

      3. There is no comparison among

        There is no comparison among Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Jewel.   All offer different items.   I have to visit all three stores…and Dominicks… order to get the things I like to eat.  Each has its advantages…as well as Aldi, Food 4 Less, etc……and then I go to Walgreens for paper towels, toilet paper, etc… it's even more stores.  Same thing goes for clothing, furniture, household items, etc…..gone are the days of the General Store and one-stop shopping..and thank goodness!

        Nobody is going to close…..

        1. Same types of products

          All the stores sell the same types of products  and in some cases the same brand. All sell produce, breakfast cereal,meat, chicken. Frozen veggies, milk, Snacks

    3. Alternatives have/are already here

      Those who think they want Trader Joes and Whole Food for high quality foods, have they never been to DD Foods on Noyes that have meat and salads beat anywhere else I've seen—probably more places in Evanston.  I know people who would take the bus to Trader Joes or other stores but won't walk three blocks to DD Foods.  The Trader Joes customers will probably find another 'fad' grocery out of town soon.

      The argument about quality reminds me of those taste tests of water [Chicago tap always beats bottled] or vodka ['professionals' can't tell the difference] or stereo equipment [those who brag about their ability to distinguish, fail to distinguish].  Like bottled water, people have too much money to spend on labels or as the saying goes, "There is a sucker born every minute."


  2. This morning at Trader Joe’s

    I arrived a few minutes before 8 a.m.  By the 8 a.m. opening, there were almost 15 people waiting. About 10 minutes later, there were at least 30 people in the store. 

    Two observations:

    1.  Given the City's expenditures in support of this business, I hope that they hired a lot of people from Evanston. I saw at least 10 employees there and my checker told me that he lives in Evanston. 

    2.  On my way out, I sighted my first petition passer there, standing by the shopping cart corral just off the parking lot by the front door. She had already roped two people with her clipboard. But lo and behold, a TJ employee approached her smiling, telling her that she was welcome to get signatures but she needed to stay on public property. He walked her to the Chicago Avenue sidewalk but she seemed a bit disappointed not to have direct access to shoppers walking from the parking lot to the front door. Hopefully TJ will stay vigilant on keeping  the panhandlers and petition passers on the public sidewalk so the entrance remains clear and shoppers don't need to run the gauntlet at the door like at Jewel. 

  3. Crazy

    So Evanston, is there any new business that you would be happy with unless it was another non-profit theatre group or arts center with $1 rent?


  4. I wish Trader Joe’s luck

    I wish Trader Joe's luck and lots of business to generate sales taxes for our needy city coffers.

    Unfortunately I will not be shopping there. Food 4 Less and Aldi are my stores of choice.

  5. Trader Joe’s ends healthcare benefits for employees

    Five days after Trader Joe's opens in Evanston, the company cut healthcare benefits for part-time workers.

    Ain't that grand.

    Evanston taxpayers foot $2 million to bring Trader Joe's across the street from its competitors, Jewell and Whole Foods, and now the company is cutting back. My bet is that in three years one of the two downtown Whole Foods will close. Who knows. The new owner of Jewell is closing stores.

    Please remember to thank your neighborhood Democrat for giving us Obamacare. More taxes, less jobs. Give a shout out to the mayor and aldermen for a fine job handing out taxpayer's money to a select few businesses. 

    1. Thanks Obama!

      Hey Anonymous Al,

      That's a great idea. I WILL thank my neighborhood Democrats! Yay Democrats! Yay Obama! Thanks for Obamacare, President Obama! Now nearly all of my fellow citizens can have the healthcare they need.

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