|BREATHING ROOM: Trader Joe's in Paramus is putting up a new sign as one of the finishing touches on a long-overdue expansion of the cramped specialty foods market that began in November.|
|20 FEET: A manager said the store is now 20 feet wider front to back (taken from a vacant space next door), allowing for noticeably wider aisles, such as the one below.|
|WIDE-OPEN SPACE: Look at how Trader Joe's has expanded the aisle with the antibiotic-free hot dogs, cold cuts, cheese and other items. Juices have been moved into this aisle from the other side of the store.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
PARAMUS, N.J. -- Has it been 14 months since my last shopping trip to Trader Joe's on nail-biting Route 17 north?
And when I stopped there today to make a video complaining about the cramped market and grumpy customers who won't allow others like me to stop and read nutrition labels, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
The popular specialty foods market is putting the finishing touches -- including a new sign -- on a long-overdue expansion.
A manager said the Paramus Trader Joe's -- which first opened in 2007 -- is now 20 feet wider front to back, using space from a vacant store next door.
The work began last November. The store, at 404 Route 17 north, is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
This afternoon, I spent more than $40 there on antibiotic-free cold cuts, beef hot dogs and bacon; organic sweet potatoes, juices, and small jars of cut beets and grilled artichokes for salad.
And no one slammed a cart into me as I stopped to read a label.
|CHECK OUT ALL THE SPACE: Trader Joe's check-out counters were moved into the expanded space.|
|ROTTEN APPLE? A 6-pound bag of organic Fuji Apples for $5.99 (about $1 a pound) is a good deal, but I couldn't find a bag without at least one bruised apple.|
|SMOKED WILD SALMON: Trader Joe's offers two kinds of smoked wild salmon, but they are far more expensive than the 1-pound package of Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.|
|NO ADDED SALT: Trader Joe's offers an organic Marinara Sauce with no salt added, but most of the other bottled sauces on the shelves contain 19% to 24% of the maximum daily recommended amount of sodium in a half-cup.|