Trader Joe’s Sign is Hoisted Into Place As Opening Appears Imminent

Workers unveiled the Trader Joe’s sign above the entrance to the new store on Columbus Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street on Monday.

As for when exactly the store will open, a store rep said they expect to announce a firm date later this week. Hiring is now in full swing, so we assume it’s any day now.

In the meantime, and always, support great local businesses like Mani Marketplace just one and a half blocks North!

Thanks to Jeremy, Koran, Jake and Victor Nicolescu for the photos.

NEWS | 66 comments | permalink
    1. Izzy says:

      EEK! I am so excited I could cry!

      • dannyboy says:

        “Trader Joe’s Sign is Hoisted Into Place As Opening Appears Imminent”

        Is the sign edible, people are getting hungry from all this anticipation.

    2. dannyboy says:

      Get in line now!

    3. ellie says:

      Congrats to the neighborhood. They waited long enough.

    4. UWS Cook says:

      I’m so glad you mentioned Mani’s. I will definitely shop at TJs but only for those items I currently go down to the 72nd St TJs. Still going to Mani’s for produce, bagels and prepared foods.

    5. Scott says:

      Where are the chain bashers? They seem quiet on this occasion.

      • dannyboy says:

        Break the chains! Free yourself!

        …and so on

        • MJ says:

          Affordable, organic groceries? This is a chain worth supporting. Trader Joe’s offers people of varied economic status to eat cleanly within a reasonable budget.

          All chains are not created equal.

          • dannyboy says:

            O.K. I’ll try ‘er out. I do eat that way, but didn’t get traction at the Trader Joe’s on bwy/72. The manager was extremely helpful, pointing out items that might suit my taste. Checkout staff was very energetic, suggesting my son join the “Team” (I guess that’s what they called it, but it could have been “Crew”, or some variation).

            I did go back several times to shop for a friend who craved their gluten-free pizza during her bout with cancer. That ended with her death.

            Since this store is so convenient, I will drop by. Corrently I do grocery shopping at WSM, where the staff and owners (Grrek family) are so helpful). I also shop often at Associated, where again, the staff is so well mannered and friendly and the management very professional.

            Also, I remember not ‘enjoying’ some of the TJ shoppers.

          • Woody Johnson says:

            “All chains are not created equal.”

            I always preferred 24k solid gold, myself.

      • Nat says:

        That whole section of Columbus Ave. is like a suburban shopping mall.

        • Woody Johnson says:

          “like a suburban shopping mall”

          Only A LOT more expensive, less selection and inventory and don’t even THINK about parking…

    6. UWS_lifer says:

      Ehhh, I’ll still go to Whole Foods.:)

    7. Elana says:

      An employee at the 72nd st location told me the opening was May 4th!

    8. Harriet F. says:

      I asked someone at the 72nd St store today, and he said first week in May. Not definitive, as it came from a cashier, not management, but that’s what he had heard.

    9. Westside Goddess says:

      Mani Market 4 ever!

    10. Alan says:

      Trader Joe’s is a welcome alternative to Whole Foods, but nuthin’ & no place beats Mani Market.

      • dannyboy says:

        Sounds like you might enjoy shopping at the Friday Farmers’ Market on 97 between Columbus & Amsterdam.

    11. Kitty H. says:

      I’d been enthusiastic about a Trader Joe’s coming to our neighborhood, and your last article on T.J’s included a link for details on their job recruitment. There I saw that all of the jobs listed were designated part-time, despite being 38 hours per week. I don’t know how else to read this but as an attempt to avoid providing the benefits which would be required for full-time (40 hours per week) jobs. If this is correct, some (all) of the edge has been taken off my enthusiasm.

      • ShameOnTJs says:

        Thank you for sharing that information. Trader Joe’s should be ashamed of itself for hanging its hat on value and community while devaluing the very employees (who are also local residents in some cases) who allow it to serve its communities. 38-hour-per-week part-time jobs are a blatant means of squeezing maximum gain out of people to whom they are intentionally providing the minimum return. TJs just lost me as a customer and I will make sure every TJ shopper I know is aware of their hypocrisy.

      • Julie in Morningside says:

        Would a labor specialist please weigh in here = What is legal/official ‘full-time’? Some places it is 35 hrs, but is that an anomaly or the law?

        Full-time steady work with benefits built the middle-class. Of course, there is work for real part-timers, which used to be 20 hrs/wk or less. But a 38 hr work/wk is nearly 40, i.e. full-time, and should be paid/benefited as such. Otherwise, it’s just worker exploitation.

      • Woody says:

        Requiring employers to provide full-time employees with healthcare benefits is not synonymous with employees receiving free coverage. Employers can pass along the cost up to approximately 10% of the employee’s wages.

      • Cyrus says:

        Kitty, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions on this. The minimum requirement for companies to offer full benefits in 30 hours a week, so I don’t think TJ’s could skirt that rule at 38 hours.

        Also, TJ’s is known for a generous benefits program (hence their loyal employees). But for sure we should keep an eye on this.

        • Kitty H. says:

          I didn’t conclude, there, I suspected on the basis that 38 hours was specifically stated in their copy. It seemed that 38, although awfully close, isn’t 40, which at one point in the past constituted full time. I hope I’m wrong and that Trader Joe’s is all that we would hope it to be.

      • Ellen says:

        A little research on this:

        https://www.glassdoor.com/Benefits/Trader-Joe-s-US-Benefits-EI_IE5631.0,12_IL.13,15_IN1.htm

        <>

        Written in 2018 by worker in California… hope this would be the same in NYC.

        • Ellen says:

          The material I intended to quote was cut off above:

          “Best thing: semi-annual raises, 401K, PTO, flexible hours, health and dental if you work 30+ hours, 10% employee discount …”

      • dannyboy says:

        Thanks for pointing that out. I forwarded their Job Fair to people, so I feel a little responsible, if that turns out to be the case.

    12. Ronke says:

      Trader Joe’s is opening on May 4…it is official. There is enough for everyone Mani’s will survive those large tomatoes on the outside are a staple for my salad and as someone mentioned their breads are great, fresh and good prices. There are many items I shop for at Trader Joe’s but I will also c continue to support Mani’s..and Mila Café that is also owned by the brothers…just a thought with the number of people descending on the neighborhood and the long lines at Trader Joe’s, Mani’s might pick up some new loyalists.

      • Filatura says:

        You may be right (and I hope you are). I think there’s a place for both Mani’s and Trader’s, and for Whole Foods as well; they’re each distinctive. But I wonder what will happen to the nearby D’Agostino’s, which was once the premiere food market in the neighborhood but has become so dispirited I get depressed just walking in. It feels as though it’s on a death watch. I suspect some of the staff may be headed over to Trader’s.

        • 50 years on CPW says:

          D’Agostino’s is now a good store, but that was not true until relatively recently. A few years ago, to paraphrase the Donald, You could have shot someone in the check-out line and no one would have cared. Mani’s has always been the best.

      • Mark Moore says:

        Mani will be fine. Their business might even increase. There’s a phenomenon where local coffee shops see an increase in business after a Starbucks opens nearby.

        • dannyboy says:

          I will always choose local coffee shops over Starbucks. Unless I’m only using the bathroom.

    13. St. says:

      Saw several rats in the new Trader Joe’s last night.

    14. Jean says:

      I remember when there was just Shopping Cart, Key Food, A&P and Daitch Shopwell, all on the UWS. Boy am I old.

    15. UpperBestSide says:

      I have been troubled by Trader Joe’s disregard for electricity waste (and the impact that has on our environment). For many many many months now, every single light in that space has been on 24/7, and for the past few months their registers have been on 24/7 as well. Why??? This does NOT give me a good feel for the company. Would SO much rather shop at Mani, where they know you by name, you can run a tab, and request any specific item you don’t see. And they play great jazz.

    16. Scholar With a Dollar says:

      Competition will be good for the ‘hood. A sad and fond farewell to all of the longtime employees at D’Ags. And Whole Foods had better up its game.

      Whole Foods is currently suffering from inventory management issues (i.e. not enough inventory), reportedly caused by a new Amazon-imposed system. I find that WFM is consistently ‘out’ of staple items of their own 365 brand, produce items, and their own eggs. Bare shelves.

      I hope Trader Joe’s will be a good alternative, without chasing WFM out of the neighborhood altogether.

    17. Kathleen Treat says:

      Hip, Hip, Hooray!!! Trader Joe’s has fab prices on fab quality.

    18. virginia olsen says:

      St.George Utah Really needs a trader joe. REALY

    19. JD says:

      I’m sorry, Whole foods will now have stiff competition from TJ’s. They are going to be hurting from Tj’s opening. I don’t think Mani is going to make it.

      • dannyboy says:

        Interesting analysis.

        When I discussed the fact that Whole Foods was just blocks away with the management of West Side Market, before their opening, they welcomed it. Turned out that they were right. Different shopper profiles. I identify WSM shoppers as more urban.

    20. Leigh says:

      Mani’s Marketplace should be your first stop for groceries always. They are kind, neighborhood friendly and always available to answer questions. Support local or we will be inundated with impersonal, big-box stores. If you find the ambiance of the big stores wonderful, I suggest you move to the suburbs.

      • Anti Leigh says:

        Really? SHOULD? So if people don’t want to shop in exactly the same kind of store you do, they should just leave the neighborhood?

        Actually, I kind of like the relative spaciousness of “Big Box” stores, and not having to brush up against people to pass in aisle. Some of these Mom&Pop joints are over-crowded, and of dubious hygiene.

        I think I’ll stay right here in the 024, shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market and wherever the prices are “kindest” and “friendliest”.

        As for people like you, if you see me, keep on walkin’.

    21. Eleanor Seepes says:

      So excited, esp for the moderate-cost dog foods of good quality.

      MANI MARKET: Every neighborhood should have a Mani Market and Taki & Mani! We need good small stores, and this is a modest emporium, not just a “store”. They took the risk in Harlem, opened Cafe Mila, respect all their clients, etc. Sooo, our area of Columbus Avenue will have the best-of-the-best on two corners now, and I can still shop in my pajamas!

      • Zorba the Neighbor says:

        Taki and Taso. Mani is the region of Greece their family comes from.

      • Zorba the Lurker says:

        Agreed 100%! (But it’s Taki and Taso. Mani is not the name of a person, but the region in Greece where their family comes from.)

    22. Zorba the Lurker says:

      Yes, TJ is great, but keep supporting the Mani Market!! Not clear if TJ will be a help or a hindrance to their business, but I will continue to shop from the Mani.

      (And btw, Mani is the name of a region in Greece, not a person. So calling it the Mani Market makes sense, even though lots of people call it Mani’s — which would be like calling a hypothetical Tel Aviv Market “Tel’s,” or Paris Baguettes “Paris’s.”)

    23. Annie Denenberg says:

      I’m an avid TJ’s fan and am very excited for the open. However, I still plan to give as much business to Mani Market as I can, as there’s nothing like having quality small businesses in the neighborhood as well. (Especially since they offer so many locally and regionally sourced products). I hope everyone will consider still supporting “Mani’s” along with their TJ’s fixes.

    24. Elizabeth M. says:

      I have pretty much stopped going to Mani’s. It is dirty and the produce is terrible. The bananas are covered with black spots and even the organic ones are rotten.I bought some and the next morning I bit into one and it was black inside. Not the first time, had to stop buying them. When I mentioned it to Taki he just shrugged. My friend could not find one decent apple without holes and that wasn’t bruised and mushy. Same thing with the potatoes. Their Italian bread is hard as a rock. I get organic milk and several times expired milk was on the shelves. Same thing with other dairy products. They have just gone downhill. The only decent fruit we could find last summer was the watermelon. Peaches and nectarines were tasteless. Boxes of strawberries were covered in mold. When I showed it to Taki he was annoyed. Obviously no one cares. His answer was that it is hard to find good help. They do have good coffee and their chicken salad is good too. I think they will definitely lose business to Trader Joe’s. We’ll see. I believe in patronizing the little guy but not when the quality is so poor.

    25. 50 years on CPW says:

      Mani’s Is a great market. Let’s make sure they continue to prosper or we will all be the losers.

    26. George says:

      I find some of the comments here incredible:
      “This part of Columbus Avenue is like a suburban shopping mall?”

      Having lived in or around the neighborhood for almost 50 years, I must ask, was it better when this part of Columbus avenue looked like a desolate Romanian communist era city with Mitchell Lama style brutalist buildings, with waste strewn concrete plazas and almost no shops whatsoever? Columbus Avenue between 91st and 100th street was perhaps one of the dreariest stretches of concrete ever built in NYC, and prior to most of those going up was in essence a bunch of vacant lots, and before that some of the worst tenements ever built in all of NYC, almost anything that opens along the stretch is an improvement.

      Regarding existing supermarkets, I remember frequenting D’ag in the 70’s with my parents and it has always been a junky supermarket. Travel around the country, New York citya nd especially Manhattan have traditionally and for many reasons have had the worst and most expensive supermarkets in the country. Why do you think that Fairway did so well for so long because it was head and shoulders better than everything else (and notice how it went to crap after they expanded!).

      As for the health acre nuts out there, I know people that have worked at TJ’s in several states, they offer all sorts of great benefits, including health care, so quite frankly you guys are just making things up.

      They have used too much electricity before opening??!! I guess you shouldn’t shop there then.

      People complaining that they don’t have their “brands” obviously people not gamiliar with TJ’s as that is pretty much the whole idea, about 98% of their stuff is “own brand” but funnily enough a lot of specialty stuff if private label from the same providers that provide WF’s but they just sell it at better prices (pretty much all the Indian food for example).

      Yes they are owned by Aldi from Germany, so what? It was a good California concept, Aldi bought it and has expanded it. They have good stuff at great prices.

      Mani’s? Manni’s is ok, Personally I find it cramped, and other than certain fruit and veg, I have never had much time for anything else there. Overall I would say that TJ’s F&V is much better than any main supermarket in the neighborhood, but worse than those that specialize, Mani’s will have to compete. The Upper West Side has a lot of people and there is room for everyone.

      as for the last comments about “big box” stores and moving to the suburbs, this reminds me of the story of Sheakespeare books and B&N and the historical revisionism that I have seen in places such as the WSR. (Yes I know that they are coming back).

      Shakespeare was a nice little store. They hardly ever discounted books and sold most books at list price, the most they ever discounted bestsellers was 10% IIRC, while one could read there, they was not much space to do so, and if you stayed too long you were often encouraged to leave. Their inventory sucked, and I recall never being able to find half the stuff I ever wanted to buy there. If they ordered something for you, it took forever to get it.They had little or no periodicals or newspapers

      B&N opened up, they discounted, with Bestsellers normally up to 40%. They had tons of areas to read in and were never crappy about you staying there as long as you wanted. Their inventory was exponentially larger than their smaller competitor, If they had to order something for you, unless it was really esoteric, it would come in a few days. They had a cafe. They had a full range of magazines and newspapers, and had no problems if you sat there and read them, and for at least the first 15 years or so had a staff that was just as good if not better than Shkespeare’s staff.

      The narrative over the last 25 years or so has become that the big bad B&N box store killed the cute little wonderful Shakespeare that was so wonderful. That was NOT the case.

      Now the World has changed and Amazon and others disrupted the book World and B&N is on the ropes (and is not what they once were, especially the employees) and Shakespeare is going to take another stab at it. Maybe they will do a better job this time.

      TJ’s in an asset to everyone in the neighborhood. They are NOT a complete supermarket, they do not sell (for the most part) other brands, and they do not have a supermarket’s selection, not much in terms of cleaning products for example. Hopefully they will continue to raise the game for all of us.

    27. Cjberk says:

      Please hurry and open. They’ve made a mess of my neighborhood on 72nd /Bway..maybe this will help clear it up. Take the crowds, the pretend homeless kids, the lines outside etc. and move them uptown. Hurry! We need a supermarket (Morton Williams?) Not this.

    28. kuptek says:

      Mani’s is gross. Dirty, tiny aisles and there’s always a smell of dead rats.

    29. Meredith Manitzas says:

      I love Trader Joe’s and I love Mani Marketplace. I go to 72nd St. already for Joe’s but it doesn’t carry the fresh herbs in small bundles, uncommon pastas, cheeses, etc. that Mani does. I don’t think they will blot out Mani–maybe complement them. Whole Foods was a greater danger. I wish Mani could expand a little