First Impressions: Trader Joe’s

The Trader Joe’s Soho store (on Spring Street just west of Sixth Ave., so it’s technically in Hudson Square) opened this morning at 8 a.m., and if you go in the next few hours, you’ll get the rare opportunity to experience a Trader Joe’s Manhattan store without crowds. Also, you’ll get to hear a Caribbean band playing at the entrance and a free plastic lei placed over your head.

I’m not a Trader Joe’s expert—or even a fan, to be honest—so I can’t really say how it compares to the company’s other stores around here. My first thought was that it’s big, but I think it’s airy more than anything else; the aisles are generally wide (but of course they’ll seem tighter when the customers pour in). And in Trader Joe’s style, while some sections are clearly delineated, other items seem randomly placed—oatmeal raisin cookies on a shelf above frozen salmon, for instance. The atmosphere is bare-bones, with many of the products—or maybe most of them—Trader Joe’s proprietary brands. And the staff is as chipper as can be. It’s open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Trader Joe’s is at 233 Spring (between Sixth Ave. and Varick); 212-691-2721;

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  1. Looks good…And glad to see that sign about the donation policy.

  2. I, for one, am thrilled. I never have to go to Whole Foods again.

  3. TJs and his two-buck chuck got me through college, and their cheap and relatively healthy frozen meals got me through law school, so I’ll always have some brand loyalty. Maybe the aisles are as big as the ones in the suburbs, but I’ve shopped at many TJ’s and never seen aisles that big! So much open space. Assuming it’s as packed as some of the other ones, that’ll be really helpful.

    However, I’m wondering just what the foot traffic will be there. There’s not actually all that much residential property right near it, and I can’t see someone closer to Christopher Street trekking all the way down, nor someone south of Laight or so trekking up. And I feel like Sixth Avenue somehow makes it *feel* far from Soho. OTOH, I imagine their takeaway prepared meals will be a big hit for the lunch crowds in the office buildings nearby.

  4. It was glorious! Except they’re not going to serve coffee in this one. :(

  5. I’m in Northern Tribeca. This is the first time since I moved here in 1974 that there has been a sizable grocery store less then ten minutes away. Hallelujah!

  6. How does delivery work?

  7. Definitely a great addition.

  8. This is so exciting!

  9. How I wish we could swap Target and TJ. My little feet would tire from walking to Spring instead of Murray. And who needs discount detergent and basement shopping for candy when there is Amazon.

  10. Cookie butter and pretzels on opening day? Come on, demo team!