Night life

Trader Joe’s Store Opens in Coral Gables

Just in time for your Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Instagram hauls, Trader Joe’s is opening its Coral Gables store.

When it opens this Friday, October 29, the store, located adjacent to the Shops at Merrick Park, will only be the third Trader Joe’s in Miami-Dade.

In keeping with Trader Joe’s tradition, the shop will be decorated with murals that portray famous Coral Gables sites, like the Biltmore Hotel, the Venetian Pool, Miracle Mile, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

And, though Trader Joe’s may be headquartered in California, the grocery chain takes pride in immersing itself in the neighborhoods in which it resides. According to a press release, 85 percent of the store’s employees are from Coral Gables and neighboring cities. Trader Joe’s also donates 100 percent of all unsold (yet still consumable) products to local nonprofit, community-based organizations through its “Neighborhood Shares” program.

Trader Joe’s is known for its private-label food and drink. Some items, like Speculoos Cookie Butter, Jo-Jo’s Cookies, and Two Buck Chuck wine, have become the stuff of obsessions.

The store also has its own “lingo,” referring to its employees as crew members and its store manager as “captain.” Trader Joe’s sends a monthly circular — the “Fearless Flyer” — to residents who live near its stores, and those bells you hear while shopping are a system of communication among crew members: One bell is rung if a cashier needs help or additional registers are needed to be opened, two bells means a customer has a question, and three bells means a manager is needed at the front of the store.

The store, with a tropical vacation-meets-explorers club motif, is also famously smaller than many other grocery chains. The Coral Gables store, for instance, covers 9,600 square feet, whereas the average Publix boasts 40,000 to 60,000 square feet of shopping space.

Trader Joe’s will celebrate its Coral Gables grand opening on Friday, October 29, at 7:55 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Afterward, shoppers will be welcomed by store captain Marsha Morris and her crew members from 8 a.m. until the store closes at 9 p.m. Traditionally, that means balloons, giveaways, and samples all day long. The Coral Gables location will also have live music to entertain shoppers on opening day.

New Times has reached out to Trader Joe’s for further details about opening-day events and will update this story with any further information.

Trader Joe’s. 211 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables; 305-661-1432; Opens Friday, October 29. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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