Trader Joe's Houston Grand Opening

Trader Joe's is here!! Was anyone else more excited about the grand opening of Houston's Trader Joe's on Shepherd and West Alabama than you were about the iPhone 5 that debuted today as well? Based on today's crowd, I'd venture to say yes! My husband and I came to Trader Joe's today as if we were touring a new museum exhibit. We had no intention of buying anything due to the fact that the line must have been 75 shoppers long! We were happy to peruse the Trader Joe's brand organic/vegan items and just the new space in general.

The building is an old movie theater, renovated and made into a grocery store. They decorated the place with that in mind. While the store is small, they have a lot to offer, and, sorry Wholefoods, but their prices are cheaper for the most part!

As I was touring the space, taking note of things I needed to come back to buy, I noticed that many shoppers were doing the same thing I was: chowing down on free samples with no shopping cart or basket at hand. One woman commented, "That peanut butter sample was like heaven on a spoon. I don't remember what it was called, but I'm coming back for that!" Neither of us were quite crazy enough to wait in that line.

I spoke with one of the cashiers before I left. When I asked her how she felt about the long line, she stated, "I don't look at the line. I know if I did, I would get really overwhelmed. I'm just taking it one customer at a time."

I am interested to see how Trader Joe's will affect it's business neighbors. Situated between Whole Earth Provision and Petsmart, I think everybody will win here. I would imagine that both the outdoor store and the pet supply store will see an influx in customers who were drawn to their strip center by Trader Joe's. People who like organic food also like animals and nature, right? We will see!

I plan to go back to do some actual shopping sometime this week, after the crowds die down.

What did everyone else think?