81ºF

Trader Joe's opens in Jacksonville Beach

Store captain: 80% of hires are local

photo

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A new grocery store is in town and a lot of people in Jacksonville have been waiting for it.

Trader Joe's, located near Home Depot at State Road A1A and Butler Boulevard, officially opened Friday morning in Jacksonville Beach, bringing a new grocery store and a boost to the local economy.

Eighty percent of the people hired are from the Jacksonville area.

"We want to make sure we are part of the community and embraced by the community and that our crew reflects that," said Collin Carson, store captain.

The store manager is called the captain and the employees are called mates.

Trader Joe's has a bell system, with a different number of rings symbolizing to the crew a different task needing assistance.

The grocery store chain has about 400 stores throughout the nation.

Carson said the new store is convenient for people close to the beaches, but said it's worth a trip for people in the greater Jacksonville area. It's the only one in northeast Florida.

"We hope it's going to be a stop on their trip wherever they're coming from," Carson said. "We are the only store here in northeast Florida Trader Joe's-wise, so it might be a stop on a trip to the beach or to stop and see what all the excitement is about."

The captain and his mates have been ready to get the grand opening underway, and people who live in the area were just as excited.

"My wife and daughter have been waiting a couple months now as they've been building it, hoping it will get here soon," Ponte Vedra Beach resident Frank Souza said.

Trader Joe's will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.