This past Friday, October 3, Trader Joe’s opened its doors to the anxiously awaiting Syracuse community. For many Syracuse University students it was both a long time coming and a dream come true. At 8 a.m. Friday morning, the doors opened, like a scene out of Willy Wonka, to Trader Joe’s newest home in Raymour & Flanigan plaza on Erie Blvd.
The type of celebration that took place outside the storefront on Friday morning was enough for one to confuse the grand opening of a grocery store with that of an amusement park. Whereas some customers arrived as early as 6 a.m., there were others who packed their bags and made the commitment to camp out overnight. Christa Guzewski, a senior fashion design major at Syracuse University, said she had to park in the Denny’s lot to avoid the security guard controlling the traffic leading into the lot.
Shoppers were cheerfully greeted at the entrance by two workers playing steel drums, and overly excited employees wearing Hawaiian shirts and handing out leis.
Although it pains me to inform you that this store can’t sell the company’s signature 2 Buck Chuck, it has still held on to its tradition of free samples.
Guzewski said she sampled a delicious mac n’ cheese made with five different cheeses and coffee, and that the store was surprisingly bigger than her Trader Joe’s at home in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania.
As expected, the store was already out of most things when I arrived at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. A lot of the store’s basic items like soymilk and whole grain bread were cleared off the shelves, as was the Cookie Butter Ice Cream I had been looking forward to most.
Anything from beer to produce and pumpkin pop tarts can be found among the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Only ten minutes from campus, the specialty store is sure to exceed your expectations, but I’d advise waiting a few weeks before tackling Syracuse’s newest hot spot.