The floral button-up shirts of Trader Joe's employees have found their home in Miami Beach.
The grocery chain's long-awaited South Beach location finally opens its doors Tuesday morning. The 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the California-based company's 19th Florida location and its first storefront in Miami Beach. To celebrate the occasion, Trader Joe's will provide a plethora of free tastings throughout the day while a steel drum band provides musical entertainment.
"We definitely tapped into our local neighborhood," store captain Garret Stewart says as he points to aisle signs written in an art deco font. Trader Joe's crew members have also painted Miami Beach-themed murals that hang throughout the store. The pieces incorporate historic landmarks with store products: For example, a Lummus Park-inspired "Hummus Park" mural hangs above the appetizer section, and a painting of cheese hotels like "Stilton" and "Pesto Place" mirrors Ocean Drive's thoroughfare.
Stewart says the new outpost offers all of the same items as any other Trader Joe's store, but this location is unique for the creative way in which South Beach has been incorporated into the store's design. Free coffee and taste tests can be found at "Joe's Beach Bites," and the store's famous two-buck Chuck wine is located by a Lincoln Road-inspired mural depicting Charles Shaw.
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Although some of Trader Joe's products still come packaged in plastic, sustainably minded shoppers will be happy to know that plastic bags are not available in the checkout line. At the end of 2018, the grocery chain announced its intention to eliminate one million pounds of plastic from its stores by the end of this year. Trader Joe's offers brown paper bags instead, and reusable ones sell for as little as 99 cents at the checkout.
Miami Beach's excitement over the new grocery store was evident in the number of would-be shoppers attempting to enter the store in the past week. Stewart says it's been a repeated occurrence. In fact, at least three eager locals knocked on the sliding glass doors during New Times' tour of the store yesterday.
"I'm excited for our neighbors to come join us," Stewart says.
Trader Joe's. 1683 West Ave., Miami Beach; traderjoes.com. Open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.