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Sandy Journal

New Trader Joe’s store confirmed for Sandy/Draper area

Dec 02, 2022 12:38PM ● By Heather Lawrence

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

After months of rumors (and whispered updates from the Cottonwood Heights location employees), it’s official: there will be a Trader Joe’s store built at 11479 S. State St. The confirmation was posted on the company’s website Oct. 14.

People have been discussing the store online and asking employees about it for months. On Aug. 31, a resident started a thread on the Sandy area Nextdoor app saying the new store opening was postponed. This was six weeks before the company even confirmed there would be a store.  

“To all those who were excited—and we still are—about having a more convenient Trader Joe’s location: I found out this morning while at Trader Joe’s that they will not be opening now until February (2023). Sounds like there were several reasons for the postponement,” writes C.C. of Sandy.

Dozens of people commented, most of them excited about a location in the Draper/Sandy area. “Can’t wait for a closer TJ’s,” posted A.M. “They usually have amazing staff that seem to like their jobs,” wrote B.F. 

Others were curious as to why people seem so loyal to this California-based chain. R.P. asked on Nextdoor, “I honestly want to know (because) I am unfamiliar with (it), what is so special about this store? Is it a natural foods store like Whole Foods or Sprouts?”

Many people responded that they like the Trader Joe’s branded items, though it does sell a few things that are found in other stores. Because they carry only one or two brands of each item, the overall store is smaller. There’s also a selection of ready-made meals.

“It’s not very big, but it’s got a lot of items. You won’t see traditional brands that are in familiar grocery stores.

“They have their own products, they do their own thing. Some of the things they carry (you) can’t get anywhere but at a Trader Joe’s,” answered C.C., who had started the original thread.

On their website, Trader Joe’s describes themselves as “your neighborhood grocery store. You’ll find unconventional and interesting products…as well as everyday basics.” Milk, eggs, produce, cheese selection and fresh flowers are also mentioned.

An ad called the Fearless Flyer is sent to homes close to the store. It advertises seasonal items and features old-fashioned looking drawings of people enjoying Trader Joe’s products and making witty comments.  

A few people were less enthused about having a chain store that purported to be a neighborhood store, worried about how it might affect the established grocery store offerings.

“I want a real neighborhood grocery, not a niche store that I might visit once every three years. The (Sandy) Smith’s is absolutely horrible, and without any competition they will continue to be so. Trader Joe’s is not the kind of competition they need,” wrote M.W.

Smith’s operates two stores in Sandy and several others close by. It is owned by The Kroger Co., which is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The location gets a lot of traffic—it’s right off State Street and 11400 South where there is a freeway entrance/exit. Many businesses seem to be flourishing there, though others have had a hard time.

The store’s location used to be a Whole Foods, but it closed in 2017. Months ago, a Taco Time in the same shopping area closed.   

Curious neighbors have driven by and watched for signs on development. “I peeked in the windows a couple of days ago and could tell by the state of the interior that there was zero chance they’d be open by October or November.

“It looks like they’ve only barely started demolition of the old Whole Foods,” wrote R.J. on Sept. 1.

When it opens in 2023, the location will be the fourth in Utah. The Salt Lake City location opened on 400 South in 2012, the Cottonwood Heights location in the Fort Union area opened in 2015 and the Orem store opened in 2018.

Information on locations, including announced locations, is on their website,

The final Nextdoor comment on the thread was a positive one. It was posted Sept. 7 by a current employee, S.S. “I work at the Cottonwood Heights location. Plenty of business to go around. TJ’s has a loyal following!”