Lexington Trader Joe's set to open June 29

ssloan@herald-leader.comMay 16, 2012 

In a long-awaited announcement, gourmet grocery Trader Joe's said Wednesday it would open its first Lexington store at 8 a.m. June 29.

Construction is nearly complete on the grocery at 2326 Nicholasville Road, the former site of Joe's Crab Shack.

The 12,000-square-foot grocery will have a separate wine shop of about 3,000 square feet.

This will be Trader Joe's second Kentucky store. The first opened in October at 4600 Shelbyville Road in Louisville.

Rumors had swirled for several years that the popular chain was coming to Lexington. Interest was piqued after a legal notice last summer that the company intended to apply for liquor licenses for a store.

Trader Joe's gained its name for the way the company searches the world for distinctive products. More than 1,000 items in the store are private-label offerings under various Trader Joe's-type names. Employees wear brightly colored tropical-print shirts, adding to the lighthearted mood of the stores.

The chain's roots go back to Joe Coulombe, who opened the first grocery in Pasadena, Calif., in 1967. A dozen years later, he sold the chain to the Albrecht family in Germany, which also controls the Aldi discount grocery chain.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz.

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