Trader Joe’s proposal is all the buzz
By Chris Michlewicz; graphic by Tim Gamble
Signs that Trader Joe’s is considering a new location in northern Douglas County have created a buzz in the community.
Trader Joe’s, a specialty “fresh format” grocery store chain based in California, submitted a liquor license application with the Town of Parker (Town) for a proposed location northeast of South Parker Road and E-470, in the Costco shopping center. The Town’s liquor license authority approved the application on February 18.
Roth Engineering also has proposed a site plan for the construction of two buildings – one a 12,500-square-foot grocer and the other a 7,200-square-foot multi-tenant structure – on 1.7 acres in the Crown Point development.
Kenya Friend-Daniel, national director of public relations for Trader Joe’s, confirmed the company is “very much interested” in the area and is “going through the process of making it a reality.” She said regional accessibility, a top-notch potential customer base and a solid workforce are factors in the decision. She cautioned that the plans are still in the early stages and was unable to provide a possible time frame for opening.
Nikki Feltz, a longtime resident of the Castle Pines area, first discovered Trader Joe’s on a whim in 2001 while living in California. She shopped there weekly and was disappointed when she moved to Colorado in 2007 and realized there wasn’t a Trader Joe’s nearby. She was elated to hear the news of a location possibly coming to Douglas County.
“I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that something would come to Castle Rock or Castle Pines,” Feltz said, adding she had all but given up hope for a local Trader Joe’s.
Her teenage son attends Regis Jesuit High School a few miles up the road from the proposed location, and Feltz is already considering sending a grocery list with him when he drives to school. Feltz, a teacher in Highlands Ranch, expects her family to shop at Trader Joe’s once a week if the chain opens in Parker. She said the wine selection, high-quality produce, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, dips and fresh flowers are among the go-to items on her list. Feltz said she has always encountered a friendly, knowledgeable staff, too. “When you walk in, there’s a certain vibe,” she said.
A Town spokeswoman said the location near E-470 and South Parker Road appears to be the site (or one of the sites) in the Parker area that they are evaluating.
If Trader Joe’s comes to Parker, Friend-Daniel said customers can expect low prices and a selection of healthy, unique foods. Trader Joe’s commissions artwork, including wall murals, that depict local historical sites and events. The grocery chain also donates food daily to organizations that distribute food to those in need.
“One of the commitments we make is in the fight against hunger,” she said. “We take seriously our ability to give back to the community. One-hundred percent of the food we can’t sell is donated.”
Trader Joe’s currently has eight locations in Colorado, with the closest to Castle Pines being the store in Greenwood Village.