Trader Joe's confirms Wolf Road location

future trader joes site colonie

The site of the soon-to-be Trader Joe's in Colonie.

Trader Joe's has confirmed that it will be opening a store at 79 Wolf Road in Colonie. The company says the store will open during the 2nd quarter of this year. The grocery store will be approximately 13,000 square feet.

Commence whatever ceremony you had planned.

A tip of the hat to the Business Review's Michael DeMasi for first reporting the news today. And to the TU's Chris Churchill for first identifying the site back in November.

The strip mall where the TJ's is being built formerly housed an Office Max. When we stopped by last week to peek through the windows, the interior had been gutted to the dirt. A construction worker told us the space will be filled by a "a Chinese restaurant and a gourmet grocery store."

The Wolf Road Trader Joe's will not be carrying wine, says TJ's spokesperson Alison Mochizuki. This isn't surprising -- in New York State retailers are only allowed one location to sell wine and liquor, and TJ's has one in Manhattan.

As for why the company chose Albany -- and whether the We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District group influenced the company, Mochizuki says in an email:

There's a lot of foodies in Albany! We consider ourselves the neighborhood grocery store and feel Albany is a wonderful community to be part of.
Although it is very nice to be wanted, wooing doesn't go into our decision making processes of selecting a location.

Full company press release after the jump -- and a bunch of reaction from people on Twitter...

Jump directly to Twitter reaction.
____

Trader Joe's to Open Albany Store Located at 79 Wolf Road

The Store is Scheduled To Open 2nd Quarter 2012

(January 6, 2012) Monrovia, CA - Trader Joe's, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, has signed a lease to open a new store in Albany located at 79 Wolf Road. The store is scheduled to open second quarter 2012 and is approximately 13,000 square feet in size.

Trader Joe's was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves "traders on the culinary seas." Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.

Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe's "Fearless Flyer" in their mailboxes. The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe's products. It's been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. Each edition highlights a selection of Trader Joe's products that the company buyers believe are worthy of customer interest, including comfort foods and items that are organic or have other special attributes.

Trader Joe's carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs - all at honest, low prices.

Trader Joe's is truly a grocery store unlike any other. Trader Joe's is a "store of stories," meaning every item in the store has its own virtues -- high quality ingredients, great flavor or simply an extraordinary price -- many items often feature all of those qualities. Another significant point of difference, all of Trader Joe's prices are everyday prices. Trader Joe's doesn't have "sales" for a few days, only to hike the prices back up again. Their prices change only when their costs change -- there are no fancy promotions, discount cards or couponing wars.

So how does Trader Joe's offer unique groceries at prices everyone can afford? By offering more than 2000 items under the Trader Joe's private label, which includes Trader Darwin's vitamins (For the Survival of the Fittest), Trader José's salsas, Trader Giotto's marinara sauces, in addition to specially purchased items.

Also, Trader Joe's buys differently than other grocers - they purchase from manufacturers, not through distributors. They'll take a brand name product, take out the preservatives and artificial colors and ingredients, and put it under their Trader Joe's label to sell it at a real discount.

Trader Joe's introduces approximately a dozen new items every week, heightening the store's adventurous appeal. Our buyers travel around the world searching out unique products at great values. In order for an item to be sold in a Trader Joe's store, it must pass the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel. Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that both appeal to the culinary adventurer and microwave aficionado.

###

Trader Joe's is a chain of neighborhood grocery stores featuring high quality imported and domestic foods and beverages at honest, low prices. Trader Joe's (www.traderjoes.com) began in 1958 in the Los Angeles area. Since then, Trader Joe's has expanded to more than 360 stores in 31 states.
____

Reaction on Twitter

There was much rejoicing -- and skepticism, and snarking -- about the news.

Find It

Site of future Trader Joe's
79 Wolf Road
Colonie, NY 12205

Comments

Yeah!

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

This would be a great location for Trad-

Oh.

Now can people stop talking about this? You'll have chocolate covered blueberries! And frozen things to microwave! Wow!

There are cooler local campaigns than trying to get more chain stores on Wolf Road. The fact that this was so big for so long is really pretty lame.

The opening day with tons of people lining up to buy pasta sauce and candy bars is going to make me really sad.

WOOOHOOOO!!!

Any feeling on the effect this will have on Honest Weight?

Now just connect the parking lot to the corner of the Macy's parking lot like the neighboring Panera Bread plaza (or to the Panera Bread plaza itself) and we'll be ALL SET.

Yay!!! I have wanted to try this place so badly...I've visited it online, and have no doubt I will be making semi-regular treks (I live 25 miles from Albany) once it opens.

Yay, Yay, Yay! So happy!!

This utterly and completely FAILS to interest me.

I can neither confirm nor deny having squealed out loud.

Can't think of a better place for Trader Joe's than Wolf Road. You deserve what you get and vice versa.

I guess we will see regarding the effect on Honest Weight, but it won't change my shopping habits... I've never understood why people are such a fan of this place.

I'm curious to know if the change of heart had anything to do with the Troy Co-op situation. From what I've read, TJ's has only made up their minds about the area fairly recently.

As an aside, maybe it's because I now live within a 10-minute drive of a Wegmans, a Whole Foods, and a Trader Joe's, but never have I seen the level of excitement that the Capital Region displays at new grocery options. It's a little bewildering, I'll admit.

the most important question is, why aren't they going to use that Chinese restaurant space to make a separate storefront for selling TJ beer and wine?

I agree with Alison and Lola on this one. Sure there are some dried fruits you can't get at other stores, but at this point all major chains are carrying organic pasta, frozen stuff, canned stuff, etc. I understand why some people don't like Honest Weight, but I think they have infinitely more interesting things going on there.

Honest Weight may suffer initially as folks brave the Wolf Road traffic to check it out, but, Trader Joe's doesn't have great fresh produce or the cheese department or the bulk department, etc.

Also, it sounds like Trader Joe's does not buy local like Honest Weight does.

So happy to see a "non-typical for Albany" chain coming to Albany area.

And to #4 commenter Alison: The wet blanket store called, they want you back.

YAY!! I'm so excited for this!! I will continue to regularly shop at the Honest Weight Co-op for bulk items and local fruits/vegetables, but love all the unique TJ's items!

My husband and I just made a trip to the nearest TJs in Hadley MA this monday. This news is seriously amazing!!

Trader Joe's is the only place locally I can find Valrhona chocolate.

*does the happy dance*

Worth noting - http://www.utne.com/Environment/The-EcoMyth-of-Trader-Joes.aspx

Hate going up to Wolf Road. Would rather they put it on Central Ave in Albany.

I would guess that Brad and Alison et al have never lived anywhere else but this area. And now that Pete doesn't live here and lives near actual grocery civilization, it makes sense he thinks it's no big deal.

Kudos to y'all who have lived here and have cobbled together foodie-friendly existences in the CD, but the fact is if you haven't been exposed to good stuff--and this includes TJ's but also restaurants that don't regard foodiness as deep-frying pickles or bars with peanut shells--you might not know you want or need something, or what you're missing.

Every person I know who isn't from this area who now lives here say things like, "we don't have a Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/Wegman's here? What's up with that?" And then there are the locals, albeit well-intentioned, who commence to hand-wringing about the co-ops or are quick to defend what we already have.

The reality is all these places are needed, especially if you want people to move here to make microchips or stay after they graduate college. Some may not want that to happen, and if you think the idea of cheaply priced, healthy food is bewildering or uninteresting, you're free to keep spending 7 dollars on gluten-free granola while I head out to Wolf Road when Trader Joe's opens.

Very cool.
Sometime I wish I could "like" comments on here facebook style.I'm looking at you Terry, well said.

I get the business side of putting it in a large suburban area but it's a store like this that would have been the reason for many people to start moving to downtown Albany. You know, where people would walk to a grocery store from their new condo or apartment instead of driving all the way out to my version of hell, Wolf Road.

@ Michaelson

We already have a non-native who thinks he is enlightening us by complaining about everything we have and don't have. His name is Daniel B., his site is FussyLittleBlog and he manages to tell us what we need with out sounding like a d-bag, as you just have.

We get it. We aren't NYC, Boston or even (yikes) Providence. We don't care. We enjoy our questionable police force, our shootings, our lame music scene, our mozzarella sticks with raspberry sauce and our deep-fried pickles, which we stole from western NY I think.

@Save Pine Hills That's another battle to fight. In a sprawly city like Albany, TJ's--or Whole Foods for that matter--doesn't open in places like, say the Student Chopper. I've only seen TJs inside cities like Boston or NY or DC. It's not persona, I think, but business. They know yuppies also, or even mostly, live in the burbs near cities. Either way, I do think the existence of a TJ's is going to be on the plus side in favor of people moving to our area, which includes downtown. In many ways, it's apples and oranges: In NYC, people do make special trips on the bus to Fairway and/or TJs all the time, and use their local supermarket for everyday use.

I won't go on about how I miss FreshDirect.com. Heavy sigh.

Pretty certain some of the cranks and wet blanket comments on here probably don't have a kid that has a dietary disorder that is EXTRAORDINARILY difficult to shop for. And therefore, I welcome Trader Joe's with open arms. If Whole Foods wants to follow suit so be it.

And while the clamoring for a TJ's might have been off the charts in some respects, is the whining about the whining any less ridiculous. Excuse me as I order some irony to put on my cynicism.

Bring on the Joe's O's.

@Save Pine Hills Ooook, then. PS Did you ever live in Philadelphia, by any chance? PPS I love FussyLittleBlog. He should be more d-baggy, though.

I am so excited about this great news! I had given up hope that we would get a Trader Joe's. I lived on their food in graduate school and felt so deprived when we moved to Albany. It's truly affordably priced gourmet food. Everyone should check it out!

I will definitely check out Trader Joe's. At this rate we are going to have every grocery store except a Wegmans

The parking lot on site is very small. Do they plan to do anything about it?

I am calling BS on "wooing" not being effective. Hands down, forks up, our citizens of the Capital Region are effective lobbyists.

YIPEE!!! Its about time..

Wake me up when Wegman's comes to town. A 13,000 sq foot supermarket is TINY, and not worth the hour long traffic jam on Wolf to get to.

Hopefully they keep the Mustang. Excellent graphics.

This is great news. I'm glad not everyone wants to go there and some people are super grumpy - more cheap cereal and yummy fresh salsa and tabouli for me. I really like TJ as a company, appreciate the way they treat their employees (a friend of mine was a single mom putting herself through college working full-time there in another state), and of course I like many of the products (not all, but many). The competitive prices will give me an alternative to the same old Hannaford and Price Chopper situations. They also tend to carry a lot of kosher items, including some kosher meat, which is more than I can say for my local Price Chopper. See my link for an old blog post about my favorite Teej stuff.

Congratulations! This is truly a well deserved victory for our community! In just a few weeks, we will all know what success tastes like!

Bruce Roter, President
We [Want] Have Trader Joe's in the Capital District!
www.wwtj.org

It is going to be a nightmare getting to work on Wolf Road.

If you can't buy their 2 buck Chuck wine then why even bother? The wine law in this state is a joke.


I lived walking distance to TJ's in California and Ct. I'm with Jiminy on this one. It wasn't anything to write home about. The 3 store local grocer walking distance the other direction was far far better.

Not to mention a really really crummy location.

But hey, people get excited by all kinds of things.

Forget Trader Joe's, forget Whole Foods, forget Wegmans, I want an IKEA.

Does those two sweet rides belong to people living in the old Office Max?

Also, yay! I'm glad to see that the CR is finally being recognized as a suitable market for these markets. If only all the Price Choppers could turn into Wegmans overnight...

In just a few weeks, we will all know what success tastes like!

If ShopRite taught me something it's that I'm not going near Wolf road on TJ's opening day.

Trader Joe's is one of the things I miss most about living on the west coast. I am happy there will be one here. I love the hummus, the shampoo, some of the coffee they sell, and numerous other items. We already shop at numerous locations to find everything we want/need - Honest Weight, NIskayuna Co-op, Price Chopper, Hannaford, and the local Farmers' Markets. As someone who has shopped at many TJ's in many different cities and states, having a horrible parking lot that's always the worst part of the shopping experience seems to be a requirement for every Trader Joe's.

This is great news indeed. As for any potentially negative effect on HWFC... Oh nooo, now where will I go to get scowled at by confused, trashy hippies and make a 24 point turn in a parking lot?

"This is truly a well deserved victory for our community"

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Bruce. Who's community you talking about? I live 10 minutes from there but I sure don't see this as any kind of progress or growth for the area. One more chain store on Wolf Road huh? Color me unimpressed.

You and the people on WWTJ.org strike me as very sad and without real purpose in life. But that's America these days, we see ourselves as consumers before anything else. You want better food so you see this as the way to get it? Well I just don't get you. I hope that you didn't spend too much time on this little project because there's far more to life than giving your money away.

File this under "stuff white people like"

@Michaelson & @Save Pine Hills Thank you both. But for the record, I think there's been very little complaining about things in the Capital Region and a lot less pining for things we don't have. I'm thrilled that we have places that serve fried cheese with raspberry sauce. I mean it. Truly.

That said, I'm quite pleased about the new Trader Joes arriving ahead of schedule and I'm hoping that its presence close to legislators will help call attention to the need to reform our state's Byzantine liquor laws.

Parking is going to be a problem. But that's part of the experience. And opening day is going to be a madhouse. Although I have a feeling somebody is going to ask me to do the unthinkable, and I'll be thrown into the maelstrom. Wish me luck.

Another thing. I think the reason people are clamoring for chains of the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods ilk is because of a marked dearth of quality local establishments. Albany has so little to defend, and if you think otherwise, you really, truly don't know what you're missing, and haven't lived elsewhere.
I mean, what can you really say to a comment like this:

"We get it. We aren't NYC, Boston or even (yikes) Providence. We don't care. We enjoy our questionable police force, our shootings, our lame music scene, our mozzarella sticks with raspberry sauce and our deep-fried pickles, which we stole from western NY I think."

Is this confused sarcasm? Sad honesty?

Unfortunately, most enterprising folks tend to leave the area. Maybe it's because we never had a TJ's. This will surely be the tipping point in keeping those brilliant nano folks. That's the first thing they look for when relocating.

ROLLEYESSOHARDITHURTSANDTHEYFALLOUTOFTHEIRSOCKETS

@Hexstatique Without commenting on the supposed "marked dearth of quality local establishments," it's the quality of Albany's people that I'll defend. I have lived elsewhere, and for all of our supposed problems, and naturally with some exceptions, I'll go to bat with the people of the Albany area over anywhere else.

Sure, I'll visit Trader Joe's, but it's not the stores that Albany has or doesn't have that matters to me. It's the people, seconded by both great neighborhoods and by easy access to the Great Outdoors.

Other areas, including places I've lived, may have a boatload of TJ's, Ikeas, whatevers, but they also come with the baggage of being located in the proximity of rotten residents. For our future, I'm hoping there's no correlation.

I think there's been very little complaining about things in the Capital Region and a lot less pining for things we don't have.

Daniel, one thing you do well and we should all do more is instead of either of the above praise the good things we do have.

I think that's what the folks here defending Honest Weight are trying to do, bring more attention to a good example in the area. Not everyone has a popular platform so it percolates here.

***"This is truly a well deserved victory for our community"

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Bruce. Who's community you talking about? I live 10 minutes from there but I sure don't see this as any kind of progress or growth for the area. One more chain store on Wolf Road huh? Color me unimpressed.

You and the people on WWTJ.org strike me as very sad and without real purpose in life. But that's America these days, we see ourselves as consumers before anything else. You want better food so you see this as the way to get it? Well I just don't get you. I hope that you didn't spend too much time on this little project because there's far more to life than giving your money away.

File this under "stuff white people like"***

Here's my problem with this comment: the commenter is annoyed when he thinks Bruce Roter is speaking for him and his community, then follows up with sweeping generalizations about Mr. Roter's lifestyle. How exactly does this commenter know the members of WWTJ are "very sad and without real purpose in life."

BECAUSE THEY WOULD LIKE TO SHOP AT A PARTICULAR GROCERY STORE.

None of these people are parents or caregivers. None of them give to charity or volunteer. None work at not-for-profits to aid the marginalized members of our area. They are all white. They are all wealthy. They are all mindless consumers. People who want to shop at TJ's are all one-dimensional zombies with exactly one goal in life. It is their only purpose.

Commenter, please think twice before making such foolish and short-sighted judgments about your neighbors.


@ Michaelson

"The reality is all these places are needed, especially if you want people to move here to make microchips or stay after they graduate college. Some may not want that to happen, and if you think the idea of cheaply priced, healthy food is bewildering or uninteresting, you're free to keep spending 7 dollars on gluten-free granola while I head out to Wolf Road when Trader Joe's opens."

Fine- you and the other brilliant beautiful people can go live in your perfect world, far far away from the madding crowd of humanity. A Trader Joe's in Albany will draw talent to this area with an irresistible pull, and create a new paradise. Just as it has every place else.

@ Kerosena

Can a statement possibly be more mindlessly sweeping? Are you an actual person, or are you trolling to stir up controversy.

As one who relocated here after living in several other NE metropolitan areas, I believe we have a wonderful mix of food options in the Capital Region. Multiple local farms supplying fresh produce, dairy, and meat. Small grocers like Cardonas. Local butchers like Rolf's. Independently run co-ops like Honest Weight.
I hope Trader Joe's complements our existing offerings. While it might add one more monthly stop on my grocery-shopping run, I appreciate the additional variety. My biggest hope/concern is that TJ's does not hurt those other locally-owned and independently-run businesses.

@Eric, which statement?

I don't understand the negativity of having a Trader Joe's. People are acting as if it is some kind of elitist store or something wrong with having it. Its certainly not to be put on a pedestal but it gives up options. Yes it is a chain and I prefer to shop locally (and I don't like most chain restaurants) but I also like competition. I have never lived near a TJ but shopped in them enough in other places that I am glad to see it coming to the area. I don't like the location but they are filling an empty storefront.

Why do I like Trader Joes? They often have interesting food options not available in other places, the food usually has no or minimal additives, and finally the price is for everyday and everyone not the elite.

Price Chopper has a "natural/health" food section but its overpriced in my opinion. Honest Weight Food Coop has a good variety of healthy or natural foods but the location isn't convenient for me at least and its often expensive. TJ doesn't specifically bill itself as a health or organic food store but often those products are there.

I wish all of the places to thrive and I encourage you to try the new TJs and our local HWFC and patronize them if you like them otherwise don't!

Oh, I would like a Wegmans too....

My New Years resolution is to never read another Trader Joes argument-comment-thread again.

Wait, wrong post.

The only problem with TJ's I see is that we spend $30 or more per trip there without buying any actual food.
Dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts (minimum 50% hazelnuts by weight)? Check.
Candied ginger? Check.
Sauces, spices and chutneys? Check.
Fancy olives? Yes!

Something to bite into? No....

Trader Joe's is a hard-knuckle, bottom-line company that sells a marketing concept. The food in the aisles is secondary. They cater largely to a clientele that considers itself socially responsible and "hip", etc., but it's mostly lip service. TJ's is more of a marketing ploy than a utilitarian grocery store.

Some years back, an associate of mine worked on an environmental study for a TJ's distribution warehouse. Those are the places where all the trucks go to get the "stuff", so that they can take the "stuff" to TJ's stores far and wide.

You wanna talk about pollution! Idling semis outfitted with refrigeration units...running for hours on end in the middle of summer! Trader Joe's is just another company that wastes lots of fuel and electricity. They are just as guilty as the next corporation...particularly if you buy into the whole Global Warming thing, etc.

Trader Joe's is all about the ducats (the CASH) and the Bottom Line. They utilize a sophisticated distribution/supply chain, etc., which is probably much more efficient than a food co-op. However, their economies of scale cannot possibly offset fundamental aspects of the operation that are enormously wasteful: the excessive packaging, the shipping costs for so much frozen and refrigerated product from foreign lands, etc. Much of it is superfluous yuppie stuff that you really don't need anyway: prepared frozen foods that you could learn to make at home. Lots of prepared frozen "stuff" for the busy yuppie. Yay! (Btw, I am a "yuppie", and I have shopped at TJ's many times.)

TJ's capitalizes on the aforementioned need by some to FEEL socially responsible...without actually having to BE socially responsible.

No offense, but the Capital District is indeed behind the curve (which I find perfectly refreshing). But, once you become accustomed to having a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's nearby, you start to see it for what it is: more marketing.

Endeavor to patronize the many weekly farmer's markets and our wonderful Honest Weight. Please try not to get sucked into yet another marketing ploy (like TJ's), and/or whatever other chains finally decide to enter this regional market.

TJ's capitalizes on the aforementioned need by some to FEEL socially responsible...without actually having to BE socially responsible

Really? Please do not project your opinions on us.
Sometimes a banana is just a banana.

@ Kerosena

You don't seem to have very much of a sense of humor sir or madam. Stuff White People like is a blog, I don't actually think that everyone who shops at TJ is a white person.

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/

If you actually read my post friend you would see that these folks only "strike" me as sad and pathetic. I don't claim that I know this and I would hardly consider my post an over generalization. I find the tone of your comment a little hysterical really. Hopefully I'm wrong about the members of that group :) but who knows? It is a free country, and sadly we all have the freedom to do really, really, silly things with our free time*

I'm sure 99.9% of the people who will shop at TJ's are fine people, but I will tell you this; whatever "community" Bruce Roter and his associates are part of I do not identify with.

Meanwhile, I came back to make a comment about the "7 dollar gluten-free granola" post that's on the home page.

Really? You equate progress in America and in our city with the opening of a new store? That's what will make this a more attractive location to live? I suggest you go join this one group run by a guy named Bruce...


* like post on blogs, hehe

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Christine asked about bachelorette party ideas in downtown Troy. + We took a... (more)

In no more than 10 words

Long story short (because that's the point here): We had a chance to stop in to the Next Door Kitchen & Bar in Ballston Spa... (more)

"Very dramatic and a hell of a conversation piece!"

Currently listed on Albany Craigslist: "Electric Chair - $325" -- "Great for any "Man Cave", Bar, Fraternity or club house. Of course this is not... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Things should start to dry out just in time for this pre-Halloween weekend. And there's plenty to do, from haunted hayrides, scary movies and harvest... (more)

Morning Blend

Gabriel Vega -- accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh this past April -- was arraigned on charges that included murder, abortion, and arson. The... (more)

Recent Comments

... Let's also lower the city speed limit to 25 while we're at it. Maybe then these morons will not go 45 miles an hour down Washington Avenue. Why should cities surrender themselves to the automobile and automobile drivers? - the very forces that killed cities to begin with. ...

Poking at some numbers for New York school districts, graduation rates, and income

...has 7 comments, most recently from KM

In no more than 10 words

...has 6 comments, most recently from Burnt My Fingers

"Very dramatic and a hell of a conversation piece!"

...has 2 comments, most recently from Barold

Favorite fall hikes?

...has 16 comments, most recently from Tess

Albany Common Council passes red light camera ordinance: comments, votes, thoughts

...has 36 comments, most recently from -B