Specialty store Trader Joe’s opens its doors to excited shoppers

Long lines of carts waited to turn onto Allen Street, Beaver Avenue, Atherton Street and several other cash register lines named after local roadways at the Trader Joe’s grand opening Friday.

The long-awaited specialty food store, at 243 Patriot Lane, opened its doors at 8 a.m. and already had about 25 people in line to shop.

Nellie Lykens, of Bellefonte, was one of the first people in line at 6:15 a.m., shopping for non-frozen items first and making a return trip for the cold ones. Lykens has shopped at Trader Joe’s before and was very excited for the opening.

She said it will make a nice addition to the already vast number of grocery choices in the area.

“I like the variety in Happy Valley,” she said. “It’s like a smorgasbord.”

Rita Berg, of State College, had never been to a Trader Joe’s before, but she made a special trip for the opening. After a few minutes in the store, she said she was leaning toward making it her new go-to place.

Berg especially liked the local artwork on the walls, which were emblazoned with Nittany Lion logos and shrines, football fields and other local sayings and landmarks.

“The whole layout of the store impresses me,” she said. “The presentation is excellent.”

Lykens said she will be back anytime she is looking for organic food or some of the other specialized items that the store offers.

The 12,500-square-foot store, in the Trader Joe’s Plaza off of North Atherton Street, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.