When Trader Joe’s opens its highly anticipated store in Montrose on Friday, it will spell the end of the company’s second-oldest location, a cramped 43-year-old institution on Foothill Boulevard.
Most of the employees at the La Crescenta store, which has a tiny parking lot wedged into a sloping lot, will be moved to the new Montrose location, according to company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki.
“This wasn’t an easy decision,” she said.
Many customers outside the La Crescenta store on Thursday said they’re looking forward to the new location, but at least one shopper said he won’t frequent the new 14,670-square-foot store a couple of miles away on Honolulu Avenue.
“Frankly, we’ll go to Cordons, who is in competition with them, before we’ll go there,” said Marvin Bryer of La Crescenta.
Cordons Ranch Market is just down the street from the new Trader Joe’s.
Bryer also said the 60-space parking lot at the new Trader Joe’s, which meets Glendale city code, probably won’t be enough to accommodate the number of customers — a trait shared by many of the store’s locations.
The La Crescenta store, which shares 40 parking spaces with other tenants, is no exception. Standing in the bustling lot Friday, Sunland resident Phil Gingrich said parking was “a pain sometimes.”
It’s enough of an annoyance that Tujunga resident Vicki Pierce said she sometimes goes to the Trader Joe’s in La Cañada Flintridge because it has more parking spaces.
Meanwhile, the Montrose store is one of only a few that Trader Joe’s has built from the ground up, which has helped generate buzz.
“I live there, so I can’t wait,” Montrose resident Emily Gnip said. “I’m a Trader Joe’s shopper, so I’m ecstatic.”
Trader Joe’s in Montrose will hold a lei-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. Friday, reflecting the tropical uniforms and décor inside all stores.
That’s when many people will be saying goodbye to the old, and hello to the new. The La Crescenta store will close its door for the last time on Thursday.
“We’re not losing a store, we’re gaining a better one,” Sophia Rosales of Tujunga said.