One of the most anticipated grocery store debuts in the Sarasota-Bradenton region in several years now has an official date: Trader Joe’s in east Manatee County will open Thursday, Oct. 26.
The 12,000-square-foot store, at 8111 Cooper Creek Blvd., is in The Shoppes at University Town Center, a Benderson Development-owned shopping center across the street from The Mall at University Town Center. (The mall is in Sarasota County, while across University Parkway, The Shoppes is in Manatee County.) Other tenants in The Shoppes include T.J. Maxx, Fresh Kitchen, Total Wine & More and JOANN Fabric and Crafts.
The area around The Shoppes is also a center point for grocery stores: Within 1 mile from the new Trader Joe's there's a Fresh Market, a Whole Foods and a Publix.
Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe's confirmed the opening on its website May 5 and has been renovating the location, a former Party City, over the past four months. It’s also been hiring staff for the past few weeks and remains in hiring mode.
The interior artwork of the location, the company says, will highlight neighboring parks and schools, wildlife and local activities. In addition, through the company’s longstanding Neighborhood Shares Program, the UTC Trader Joe’s will donate 100% of products that go unsold but remain fit to enjoy to a range of nonprofit, community-based organizations seven days a week.
The store, according to a statement, will hold a brief ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 7:55 a.m. Oct. 26, open at 8 a.m. and will offer product samples and bag giveaways. The store’s operating hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Trader Joe’s began in 1967 in the Los Angeles area and has since expanded to more than 540 stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C.
This article originally appeared on sister site BusinessObserverFL.com.