Following years of speculation and an official announcement last week, Trader Joe’s held a grand opening ceremony Thursday morning for its new Fox Point location that was attended by over 100 shoppers.
The new location — the first Trader Joe’s in Providence — is a welcome addition to the lineup of grocery stores in the city, according to several shoppers who spoke to The Herald.
The grocery store hired over 75 new employees, called crew members, in preparation for the grand opening, Trader Joe’s Public Relations Manager Nakia Rohde wrote in an email to The Herald. There are no current plans to expand to additional locations in the city, Rohde added.
A line of shoppers formed around the store for a ribbon cutting ceremony leading up to the grand opening at 8 a.m., after which they were welcomed into the building.
Crew Member Erin Langlois told The Herald that staff members have “been working really hard … for the past two or three weeks” to stock the store and build shelves in preparation for the grand opening, adding that the team was “really excited when we saw the line wrapped around the building this morning.”
Shopper Sumana Chintapalli MD’26 said she was “delighted” about the opening.
“I’ve totally taken on the Rhode Island custom of not traveling far to go anywhere,” Chintapalli said. “The other Trader Joe’s (in Warwick) seems really far to me.”
Chintapalli, a student at Warren Alpert Medical School, highlighted the store’s proximity to the medical school building and its offering of organic foods, though she noted that the store opening may introduce traffic in the area. “I don’t know … how this will change how long it takes me to get to school,” she said.
Cranston resident Candace Gauvin said the location is much easier to get to than the existing Trader Joe’s in Warwick — the only other location in the state — and added that she is looking forward to the store’s selection of foods.
“There are certain things that I can get here that I can’t get anywhere else,” she said. “Natural (products) like lavender, vegan or gluten free things — that’s what I’m interested in.”
Mathieu Greco ’26, a photographer for The Herald who got up at 7 a.m. for the grand opening, said he has “never woken up this early before.”
Greco said he “lived one minute away from Trader Joe’s” in his hometown and visited almost every day. “When I heard about this one opening, I was very excited,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to the store’s grocery selection and the friendliness of staff.
Ward 1 Councilman John Goncalves ’13 MA’15 was among the shoppers at the grand opening. Goncalves welcomed the new grocery store to Fox Point in a press release Thursday morning.
“We’re so thrilled and excited to welcome Trader Joe’s to the neighborhood,” Goncalves said in the press release. “Residents from near and far are enthusiastic about the grand opening of another grocer that will offer fresh produce and organic foods to the Capital City and beyond.”
Neil Mehta is a designer and senior staff writer at The Herald covering the Diversity beat. He is a sophomore from New York studying public health.