Welcome to Colorado, Trader Joe's!

By Amy Wagner on February 24, 2014

The news has been brewing since last summer, and it’s finally here! Once more, with feeling: Welcome to Colorado, Trader Joe’s! On Valentine’s Day 2014, three new Colorado Trader Joe’s locations opened for the first time, bringing their reasonably-priced, lei-draped, Hawaiian-shirted, cookie-butter-smeared goodness to the Centennial State. Eager customers showed their enthusiasm by forming lines that wrapped around the buildings of each location, far in advance of the 8 AM opening time.

Photo courtesy of traderjoes.com

The three inaugural locations are at Colorado Boulevard and Eighth Avenue in Denver, University Boulevard and Orchard Road in Greenwood Village, and on the 29th Street Mall in Boulder. Two more are in the works for Colorado thus far, including one in Fort Collins as well as an additional Denver location at East Seventh Avenue and Logan Street.

But what about the wine? Trader Joe’s is also famous to many shoppers as the main purveyor of “Two Buck Chuck” wines, produced by Charles Shaw and known for their extreme value (they range from $1.99 to $3.79 per bottle, depending on the location). Due to Colorado law that allows only one liquor license per grocery store chain, the Denver location was ultimately chosen to house a separate 3,740-square-foot wine and spirits shop next to the grocery store. Therefore, Colorado Trader Joe’s fans wanting their fair share of “Two Buck Chuck” will have to make the trek to the Denver location.

As an avid Trader Joe’s customer who has been to the Denver and Greenwood Village locations twice each, I want to offer some advice. Firstly, go at night. Whether it’s on a weekday or weekend doesn’t matter; if you go anytime from 7 PM to their closing time of 9 PM, you will be rewarded with shorter lines, more available parking spaces, and less crowds overall. Second, the Denver location has sparse parking, so don’t be surprised if you have to drive around the lot for a bit before you witness the welcome sight of someone walking back to their car, or if you get spot-jacked – more than once. Third, Trader Joe’s has a plethora of unique items (over 4,000, to be exact) and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Before your first trip, take a look at the Fearless Flyer, which is TJ’s monthly dose of news about new and featured products. And if for some reason you aren’t fully satisfied with a product, you can bring it back for a full, no-questions-asked refund.

Between the sheer variety of unique items, friendly customer service, and low prices, Trader Joe’s will surely become a Colorado hit in no time. Join me next week when I share some of my favorite TJ’s items thus far!

Amy is a third-year student at the University of Denver majoring in Communication Studies, with concentrations in organizational and intercultural communication, as well as minoring in business and international studies. She is a Colorado native, avid reader, coffee drinker, lover of all things active, and now, thanks to Uloop, a writer.

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