Is Trader Joe's Coming to Western New York?

September 10, 2012 Updated Sep 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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September 10, 2012 Updated Sep 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM EDT


KENMORE (WKBW) A very popular grocery store may soon be headed here to Western New York, after a local group worked for years to convince the chain to consider the area. But Trader Joe's is keeping quiet on the issue, the location, and everything Buffalo related.

As of Monday night, Eyewitness News has not received confirmation from Trader Joe's corporate offices, but a local group is now claiming victory in luring a new store to this area.

The meeting of the Kenmore Village Improvement Society was all smiles, as the group announced that the Trader Joe's grocery store was coming to Western New York.

"Yipee! We're happy they're here. We can't wait," Kenmore Village Improvement Society president Melissa Foster said.

"I was absolutely thrilled. Buffalo is the city of good neighbors after all, and we want to welcome Trader Joe's with open arms," Society member Jan Utz added.

The village improvement society has been fighting for years to get a Trader Joe's in Kenmore by writing letters, making phone calls, and even creating a mascot named 'Kenmore Joe.'

"We took him everywhere around Western New York, we would take pictures and send them to Trader Joe's corporate and post them on our Facebook page," Foster said.

The group says the new location will be in a major corridor somewhere here in WNY, but not in Kenmore, and is slated to open by the end of 2013. It is an example of hard work by a small organization with potentially big results.

"What can we do next? If this is accomplished we can do anything I guess," member David Cooper said.

Trader Joe's is a grocery chain that carries specialized, healthy, and organic food all under it's own brand name. The once-small Southern California based company has become very popular throughout the country, and could be the next big thing to hit Western New York.

"It is a little bit of a status symbol, it is a destination location. And in Buffalo we want to keep developing destination locations so we can bring outside dollars into our area and indeed that's what will happen with this store," organization president Foster added.

There are currently no Trader Joe's locations near Western New York, the closest being Albany, Ohio, or Pittsburgh. The company does have plans to open a location outside of Rochester later this month.

We attempted to contact Trader Joe's multiple times on Monday, but our calls were not returned.