Trader Joe’s opens to large crowd in Kentwood

People line up outside the Trader Joe's in Kentwood ahead of their grand opening. (Sept. 25, 2015)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan’s first Trader Joe’s officially opened its doors Friday morning.

The store, located at 3684 28th Street in Kentwood, opened at 8 a.m. Friday. The Kentwood Fire Department warned drivers to use extreme caution entering and exiting from 28th Street and to consider avoiding 28th Street by entering from 29th Street.

Around 200 people were at the store for the grand opening. The first people in line told 24 Hour News 8 they got in line around midnight.

“We’re super excited to be part of the neighborhood and we’re hoping the community will come here and embrace us for our opening at 8 a.m.,” said Darla Sevok, the captain for the Trader Joe’s store in Kentwood.

A trip to Trader Joe’s will be different than the average grocery store trip. Employees will let shoppers try products right in the store before they decide to buy them. If a person would rather just buy it and try it later they are able to do so and if a shopper isn’t satisfied, they can return it with no questions asked.

The store is also stocked with 80 percent of Trader Joe’s own label. Trader Joe’s products are GMO free and also free of any artificial ingredients, preservatives and synthetic coloring.

“We carry everything from the exotics to the basics, so you’ll find flowers eggs, bread, milk, your basics that you need, as well as some other products that maybe you have never seen before,” Sevok said.

The inside of the 12,500 square foot store has the feel of a neighborhood market with signs handmade by workers and references to all things Grand Rapids like the Calder, Beer City USA and President Ford scattered throughout the store.

“The experience here at Trader Joe’s is very lively. Our crew is very excited to deliver the best customer experience to our customers when they come and shop with us,” said Sevok.

While there is excitement surrounding the grand opening the question now is: Will there be more?

“I can’t predict the future, but we hope that the community embraces us with our grand opening and being the first store in West Michigan,” said Sevok.

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