I Admit, I Was Wrong

Brynn Grimley writes:

Don’t tell my husband I’m admitting this, but I was wrong. Yup, that’s right, I was wrong when I wrote a blog post back in May about Trader Joe’s not coming to Kitsap.

In my defense, I did follow up with a post the very next week saying that, well maybe Trader Joe’s really is coming to Kitsap.

For those who haven’t seen the paper, or been one of the 60-plus people to comment on the story online, business reporter Rachel Pritchett wrote yesterday that, Yes Virginia, there will be a Trader Joe’s in Kitsap.

A little background on why it’s been so tough for us to confirm whether the California-based specialty grocery store would in fact be coming to Kitsap. We started receiving calls from Trader Joe’s customers this spring saying the store was coming to Silverdale. These people learned this from employees of the Trader Joe’s stores that are peppered throughout the Puget Sound region. But, representatives from Trader Joe’s head office wouldn’t comment on those rumors — in some cases they never returned calls.

The only way we could get confirmation was to wait for permits to be filed with the county. That would give us official documentation that proved, on the record, that the store was coming to Silverdale. Thanks to our attentive readers, I arrived in the office Monday to find a handful of emails from people saying permits were filed with the county for Trader Joe’s — they found the permits by regularly checking the county’s building permit list.

We looked into it, and sure enough, the applicant name on the permit says Trader Joe’s. We still haven’t received confirmation from the company, but it sounds like that’s par for the course for Trader Joe’s headquarters. Reporter Steven Gardner sent me this link from CNN Money that was written in August about the “Secret world of Trader Joe’s.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article, describing one reporter’s attempt to talk with company leaders:

You’d think Trader Joe’s would be eager to trumpet its success, but management is obsessively secretive. There are no signs with the company’s name or logo at headquarters in Monrovia, about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Few customers realize the chain is owned by Germany’s ultra-private Albrecht family, the people behind the Aldi Nord supermarket empire. (A different branch of the family controls Aldi Süd, parent of the U.S. Aldi grocery chain.) Famous in Germany for not talking to the press, the Albrechts have passed their tightlipped ways on to their U.S. business: Trader Joe’s and its CEO, Dan Bane, declined repeated requests to speak to Fortune, and the company has never participated in a major story about its business operations.

You can read the full story here. (Warning: It’s long, but informative).

Based on the article, I’m guessing we may never get confirmation from Trader Joe’s corporate that they’re locating here until possibly opening day — which we still don’t know when that will be. Regardless, I know there are a lot of Trader Joe’s devotees out there who are pleased as punch that they will no longer have to take a ferry or pay the Tacoma Narrows toll to get their favorite TJ food items.

And I’m happy that we can finally put the Trader Joe’s rumors to bed.

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