Friday, Oct. 18, is the day diehard Trader Joe's fans in Miami have waited for. After opining on "Bring Trader Joe's to Miami" Facebook pages or making a two-hour drive to the closest Trader Joe's location in Naples, Miami's Trader Joe's devotees now have their own store at 9205 S. Dixie Highway in Pinecrest.
On one evening last week, a few people got out of their cars or walked over from the strip mall next door to peer in the windows at the almost-finished Pinecrest store.
The grocery chain, which started in California, has no official Facebook or Twitter pages. Fans around the country share the love in unofficial social media groups like "Trader Joes Fan," which has more than 500,000 Facebook members. They gravitate to the grocery chain's many seasonal and private label products--the most famous of which might be dirt cheap Charles Shaw wine, also known as "Two Buck Chuck."
When we asked Trader Joe's fans on Twitter and Facebook what food products they were most excited about buying at the new Miami-Dade store, Olee Fowler and Jacqueline Colman both mentioned the wine, with Colman adding the "cinnamon alphabet cookies." @Indratron wants to get her hands on "Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls" and @MiamiNiceMag looks forward to "Gruyere and ham tarte, condiments and pumpkin ice cream."
Veronica Jewell is excited that she no longer has to take a larger suitcase on trips out of town to bring back Trader Joe's foods like "chocolate peanut butter cups, garlic naan, chocolate chip Dunkers, ready-to-heat lamb and Harvest Grains blend."
But not everyone is so excited about the Trader Joe's opening.
Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef at Eating House in Coral Gables, tweeted "You should watch the movie Dive! and see how big of a Trader Joe's fan you are after." In the documentary, Jeremy Seifert chronicles how much (still edible) food grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's throw away.
A potential downside may be the limited parking, at least during the opening. When the Naples store opened its doors, hundreds of people lined up before the 8 a.m. opening, according to Naples Daily News.
At the beginning of the year, Pinecrest Planning Director Stephen Olmstead told the Miami Herald the new store would have 89 parking spots.
Fortunately, the Pinecrest Trader Joe's is located right across the street from the Dadeland South Metrorail Station. Taking Metrorail may be a good way to avoid opening-day traffic snarls.
We did not hear back from Trader's Joe's after contacting the PR representative for comment.