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Trader Joe’s Winston-Salem Grand Opening!

Live from the Grand Opening

Trader Joe's Grand Opening in Winston-Salem, NC10/26/12 – Trader Joe’s opened at 8AM this morning to the enthusiastic cheers of a long line of dedicated Trader Joe’s fans (pictured are Tari and Shawn, with Susan Morris taking the photo; the very first three to arrive!). The first crowds in the door would be greeted by Hawaiian shirt toting, Trader Joe’s coffee-fueled employees, handed a lei and a free Trader Joe’s grocery bag.

Trader Joe's Winston-Salem mural post card

And then the stampede would begin to grab your favorite Trader Joe’s product before the shelves would empty. According to managers, they prepared for this opening with a heavy back stock of product, and we could already see shelves being refilled as we walked down the aisles.

Were You There? Share Your Experience

First Trader Joe's Fans get Leis and Free BagsWere you one of the lucky few who got to stand in line at the crack of dawn (or maybe you rolled in later to beat the crowds) and finally shop at a Trader Joe’s that’s not an hours drive away? If so, what was your experience? And what did you buy? Did you find all your old TJ’s favorites, or were there some new goodies you decided to explore? Please use our comment form below to share your story with us and our readers.

Grand Opening Set for October 26, 2012

Trader Joe's Grand opening ThruwayUpdate 10/19/12 – The Grand Opening is set for only one week away, October 26, 2012 at 8AM! Witness the “lei-cutting” ceremony and join the festivities! Watch your mail for their Grand Opening post card. Bring it to the grand opening to receive a free gift and be entered for a chance to win free groceries! Be there: Trader Joe’s, Thruway Shopping Center, 252 S. Stratford Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Update 9/24/12 – Per signs at the Trader Joe’s location at Thruway Shopping Center TRADER JOE’S IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS starting today!

Update 8/16/12, 2:45PM – It was officially announced today that the new Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe's carts

in Winston-Salem at Thruway Shopping Center is scheduled to open October 26, 2012 and will be open from 8AM-9PM every day. Permit delays caused setbacks in the original plans to open this month (August). The 13,000 square foot store will offer over 2,000 products under its own label.

Trader Joe's Coming Soon
Update: 4/19/12, 1:58PM

It was announced today that the new Trader Joe’s in Winston-Salem at Thruway Shopping Center will open in mid-August. The demolition work has already begun thanks to the help of Magnolia Construction. This opening schedule was announced today by Andrew Lopina, vice president of Thomas H. Hughes Architecture, who designed the exterior (showcased here) as well as the facade and the interior shell. The build-out inside is expected to start in the next month. The contract for the facade build-out is currently being bid on by Magnolia as well as I.L. Long and Shelco for the project, estimated at about $250,000. Thruway is expected to award the project next week to the winning construction company.


Trader Joe’s Plans To Open Its First Store In Winston-Salem, NC At Thruway

Trader Joe's Winston Salem Store Rendering at Thruway

March 9, 2012, 5:57PM, Winston-Salem, NC: It has been a long time in the making but the day we’ve all dreamed of has finally arrived. Trader Joe’s corporate offices in Monrovia, CA, announced today that they have signed a lease with Saul Centers to open a new store in 13,788 square feet of the former Border’s bookstore location in Thruway Shopping Center (see rendering of the storefront below). And, they plan to open in 2012!  As of March 12, 2012, construction had already begun.

Dedicated Fans Drove Success of Bringing TJ’s to Winston

For close to ten years, Winston-Salem residents and Trader Joe fans have worked diligently to making this dream of a home-town TJs a reality. Sure there are other factors but it is hard to ignore the fact that 40 people came out on a hot Saturday to an otherwise empty DASH BB&T Baseball Park to film a song, coordinated by TJ’s enthusiast and Winston-Salem resident, Tari Hanneman. They came with fan signs like you would expect to see at an American Idol concert, dressed in Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses – it was a festive afternoon that would make any company happy to witness in honor of themselves. The song was written by a group of locals who shared through lyric their enthusiasm for all of the wonderful and unique products that make the Trader Joe’s experience so special.

Then there was the petition that went around via evite 4 years ago that went viral (before everyone was on Facebook!) and got close to 500 signatures and encouraged countless new location sign-up request forms to be completed in honor of WS.

And most recently, a group popped up on Facebook called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Winston-Salem” in 2010 which now hosts 4,200 die-hard TJ fans who are very active in their group’s page discussions.

YOU did it – thank you for never giving up!

Important to Continue Showing Support for Trader Joe’s in the Triad

Even though the lease is signed, we feel it is important to continue showing our support and love of Trader Joe’s throughout the building process. Maybe we organize a city-wide party for the day they “break ground” at the new location. Perhaps we put a huge banner on the Wells Fargo building downtown when the sign goes up at Thruway for opening soon. The ideas are endless but if we want to ensure we get to shop at the new Trader Joe’s in Winston-Salem, we will need to make sure we support the process to get there. Never hurts…

Also, Greensboro is currently in discussions with Trader Joe’s to open a new location across from Friendly Center but has been delayed with zoning concerns. The good news is that zoning will certainly not be an issue in Winston since it is already zoned and recently used for retail sales. But, once the store opens in Winston-Salem, it also will make it more probable that a store will open in Greensboro and even Asheville if you look at TJ’s normal expansion planning. Once they set up a location and create massive demand there from surrounding markets in addition to the local market. Once new demand is created in these new markets, they will expand to grow that region and also utilize the distribution centers, vehicles, staff, etc. and even employees in many cases. This creates more efficiencies across their entire business which translates into more crazy fans like us here in Winston.

New Location for Trader Joe’s in North Carolina

The new Winston-Salem store will be located as 252 S. Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, near Dewey’s Bakery in Thruway Shopping Center.

This will be the 7th location in North Carolina after opening its first store in Cary in 2006 and beginning the state-wide pilgrimages for Joe Joe’s and Two-Buck Chuck Wine. Other locations are located in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, north Charlotte, midtown Charlotte and south Charlotte.

Breakout the Trader Joe’s Ale or Two Buck Chuck and let’s celebrate. Cheers Winston-Salem!

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About Michelle Schenker
Born right here in Winston-Salem, NC, at Forsyth Memorial Hospital, Michelle is a native. At age one she moved to Virginia but after spending 30+ years moving around Virginia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, California and even Paris, France, Michelle returned home to Winston-Salem in 2004. A job at Hanes brought her here but the heart of the city has kept her here. Her favorite things about Winston-Salem are its welcoming people who call it home, its art-centric culture, and its perfect location at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains and a short drive to the beaches of the Atlantic. The lack of traffic is a pretty tremendous asset as well, especially since it gives her more free time to enjoy cooking and playing with her dogs, Bella and Lily. Michelle is one of the many residents of this great city who are thrilled to call this "My Winston-Salem"!
  • Pat O

    My daughter and I dropped in on day two of the Grand Opening.  Because of the sheer volume of people, I escaped with frozen raspberries, two bananas and a bottle of wine (wine being the most important). My daughter did much better because she had been to TJ's in Charlotte and knew what to look for. However, I did get to explore yesterday (on 11/7). What a wonderful experience! I was pleasantly surprised at the prices, the unique variety, and the courteous and happy employees. I got some goodies that I'll be trying for the first time … and TJ's is definitely on my weekly shopping menu! I love the healthy cooking selection, and their green environment attitude is a plus in my book!

    Yay for Trader Joe's!!!

  • Ellen

    cookie butter spread??…also some almonds for me…dark chocolate of course.

  • Alex S

    Here's what I'll be getting this morning :)

    • Trail mixes
    • Roasted plantain chips
    • Kefir strawberry yogurt drink
    • $3 buck chuck (Chardonnay)
    • Lb. plus milk chocolate
    • Olive oil popcorn
    • TJ's ale
    • Pumpkin dog treats
    • Creamed honey
    • Fig Butter
    • Chocolate covered coffee beans
    • Cookie butter spread
    • Gruyere cheese
  • Anonymous

    OMG this is sooooo cool!! I can’t even tell you how long we’ve waited for this day :):):) This is a dream come through. We’ve lived in Winston since 2004, and honestly after years of effort I had given up the fight. But our die hard fans never did. TJ’s will be glad they chose us. I just hope I can get in there before the shelves are emptied of Belgian pound plus milk chocolate bars and Kefir strawberry drinks!!

  • Anonymous

    Amazing news! Cannot wait to have a Trader Joe’s just down the street!

  • Anonymous

    We have been working so hard to get Trader Joes to Winston Salem for years! So wonderful to see all of our hard work payoff. Thank you TJs and congrats to all in the Triad!!

  • Anonymous

    WE love you TRADER JOE’S!!! YIPPEE

  • Anonymous

    Can. Not. Wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I really do enjoy eating healthy and cooking things that are fresh, but usually you have to sacrifice one way or the other to either stay within budget or stay within your diet. It sounds like Trader Joe’s could be a useful alternative to my regular grocery store or at the very least, a valuable supplement.

    I learned a long time ago that to get the best bang for your buck and truly get the things you want, you usually have to shop in more place than one.  The problem with this is the convenience of course, so it can be difficult to find the time to shop in all the best places.  I usually try to make one trip a month to a bulk retailer like Costco or Sam’s Club and get the large amounts of non-perishable items that I use on a regular basis, and then get the more specific things I need on a weekly basis at my local grocer.  Trader Joe’s would be good to mix into that equation or supplant my regular grocery store if the quality is there and the pricing is right.

    I am especially interested to see what their liquor selection is like.  I drink a fair amount week to week but I do pay particular attention to brands when it comes to my alcohol purchases.  Grocery stores tend to be more inexpensive for certain things that I like, but if Trader Joe’s can provide comparable quality to what I am used to, then that would be ideal.

    I will look for a local Trader Joe’s in my town and visit them very soon.  If there is not one, at least I know now that you can make it known that you want one!

    It is cool to know that they are concious of the environment in Winston-Salem too.  I am finding a lot nowadays that there are a lot of misconceptions about the south and a lot of really cool, progressive towns like Winston-Salem and Austin and many more that would put some northern spots to shame.

  • Staci Lewis

    Hi, my name is Staci! My application is filled out and I'm eager to turn it in! My question is I've gone to the new location in the Thruway/Winston-Salem, and it's still under construction. Where do I go to directly turn it in? I'm excited and ready to work. I would greatly appreciate in knowing the next step! Thank you and have a great day!


  • Kristi

    Hi Staci!

    Thanks for reading. We've been keeping an eye on all announcements, as well as the Trader Joe's website. So far, no job listings for the Winston-Salem store are posted. We suggest you check their site regularly, under the "Careers" tab, select "Search for a job" and enter Winston-Salem zip code 27103. We suspect they'll be accepting soon, so keep an eye on their site! Thanks and good luck!

  • shyrican

    whoop…whoop…..whoop…yea baby I've been waiting for a Trader Joe's in Winston Salem! Soooooo happy.

  • unemployed trying to get a job with new location at trader j

    I was told that one of the reporters had said that Trader Joe's is opening up in 6 weeks.  I would like to apply for a job at the new location, but the only thing that I've seen is the front of the store being worked on and nothing showing for people to drop off job applications.  Does anybody have any idea where and when they are going to have anything set up for those who want to get on with the grocery store?

  • a star struck Winston-Salem visitor

    I am also looking for employment at the new trader joes. I have been riding by the new store religiously, and have been seeing the new construction going on. I have my application ready to turn in, but would like to know if there is someone I can take it to before the store opens. Thank you for your response.

  • Tina

    I  am the one who sent this question in about looking  for employment at your store in winston-salem n.c.. I must have missed your reply. Would you please send  me a response as to when and where to go to put my application in. Thank You


  • My Winston-Salem

    Hi Tina. 

    Thanks for checking back. We've been keeping an eye on all announcements, as well as the Trader Joe's website. So far, no job listings for the Winston-Salem store are posted. We suggest you check their site regularly, under the "Careers" tab, select "Search for a job" and enter Winston-Salem zip code 27103. The application is also available on the site. We suspect they'll be accepting soon, so keep an eye on their site!