Trader Joe’s, the popular California specialty grocery store chain known for its exotic atmosphere and eclectic product mix, will open next year in Acadian Village at Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway.
Alison Mochizuki, director of national publicity for the Monrovia, Calif.-based company, said she could not give a more specific time frame.
However, Acadian Village owner Commercial Properties Realty Trust has said previously that a 54,000-square-foot building at the site will open in the fall of 2013.
The 13,000-square-foot Trader Joe’s going into the building will be the specialty grocers’s first location in Louisiana, the company said.
Commercial Properties knew landing Trader Joe’s would please Baton Rougeans who have become fans of the store after visiting locations in other cities, Marketing Director Tina Rance said.
“We just want to say how excited we are to play a part in bringing Trader Joe’s to Baton Rouge,” she said. “We think this is great for Baton Rouge, not just that another great national chain is coming here, but a very unique one.”
Mochizuki would not say how many people the store will employ, though she said most positions will be filled locally.
Trader Joe’s started as a handful of southern California convenience stores in 1958, but had transformed into a chain of wine and cheese shops within a decade, according to information supplied by the company. In the years since, Trader Joe’s evolved into the specialty grocery store chain it is today and now has 370 stores in 33 states.
Trader Joe’s employees wear Hawaiian shirts and the stores’ décor includes cedar-covered walls and tropical motifs “combined with a local flair that includes art celebrating the neighborhood.”
Trader Joe’s seeks out specialty items not from distributors, but manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad, and sells more than 1,000 of them under the Trader Joe’s label.
“All our private label products have their own ‘angle,’ i.e., vegetarian, Kosher, organic or just plain decadent, and all have minimally processed ingredients,” the company said.
The stores sell “foods and beverages ranging from the everyday to the exotic,” including fresh-baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100 percent juices, nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements.
“In order for an item to be sold in a Trader Joe’s store, it must pass the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel,” the company said.
“Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that … appeal to the culinary adventurer and microwave aficionado.”
Trader Joe’s said it doesn’t have sales, opting for the “everyday low price” model instead.
“Whenever possible, we buy direct from manufacturers in large volume,” a company fact sheet states.
“We bargain hard and manage our costs carefully. We pay in cash, and on time, so our suppliers like to do business with us.”
Trader Joe’s distributes its “Fearless Flyer” to customer mailboxes, touting new products — about a dozen every week — that the company thinks are worthy of customer interest.
Trader Joe’s is part of the larger redevelopment of Acadian Village.
After the Wal-Mart there was torn down, Commercial Properties, which manages the real estate assets of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, brought in Acme Oyster House.
It recently broke ground on the new 6,000-square-foot Galatoire’s restaurant, which will open in December.
Galatoire’s and Trader Joe’s are part of the $18 million first phase of the 12-acre development.
No other tenants have been named for the 54,000-square-foot building, though Commercial Properties has said that all but 20,000 square feet are under contract with restaurant and boutique retail operators.