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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Just when you're not looking, Trader Joe's finally expands cramped store in Paramus

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
EDITOR

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Has it been 14 months since my last shopping trip to Trader Joe's on nail-biting Route 17 north?

Yes. 

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. 
SWEET! One of my favorite items at Trader Joe's is the 3-pound bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes for $4.49 or about $1.50 a pound. The sign suggests "slice and make fries" or "bake with some butter," but I prefer to cut up and boil the sweet potatoes with peeled cloves of garlic, drain them and mash them with extra-virgin olive oil, cinnamon, black pepper and other seasonings.
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.