Fans of Trader Joe's won't have to wait as long as they thought for the opening of a Colorado Springs store.

The California-based, ultrapopular speciality grocer says it will open its first Springs location at 8 a.m. Oct. 10 - a few months earlier than the 2015 date it had previously announced.

Trader Joe's will occupy a 12,400-square-foot, stand-alone building at 5342 N. Nevada Ave. on the north side of the University Village Colorado retail center, northwest of Nevada and Garden of the Gods Road.

Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said she couldn't comment on why the store is opening sooner than it originally had said. But work on Trader Joe's had started in the spring, and one local construction industry expert said at that time the building likely would be ready to occupy in the fall.

October's opening will be marked by the chain's traditional lei cutting, as well as giveaways and free samples, Mochizuki said.

The store hasn't started hiring; job seekers should check Trader Joe's website - - for details or watch for a "now hiring" banner to be hung on the store at a future date, she said.

Colorado Springs residents had watched for years as the chain opened stores around the country, but regularly bypassed the state.

This year, Trader Joe's entered Colorado in a big way. In February, it opened stores in Denver, Greenwood Village and Boulder. A second Denver store is scheduled to open Sept. 5, and a Fort Collins store also will open this year.

The Colorado Springs store will be similar in size to other locations, and its offerings - about 80 percent of which will be under the chain's private label - will match that of other stores. The Springs' location, however, will not sell Trader Joe's popular Charles Shaw wines; Colorado law limits grocery chains to one location for liquor sales, and wines are being sold at one of the Denver stores.

Trader Joe's calls itself a chain of neighborhood groceries that features high-quality imported and domestic foods and beverages. It began in 1958 in the Los Angeles area and now has more than 400 stores in 39 states and Washington D.C.

Although its 4,000 or so items are a fraction of what's found in larger groceries, Trader Joe's has become popular for its unique lines of gourmet, vegetarian, organic and frozen foods that aren't found elsewhere. The chain carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, including fresh-baked artisan breads, international frozen entrees, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, along with milk, eggs and other basics.

University Village Colorado, a regional shopping center, is the centerpiece of a redevelopment effort along North Nevada. It's anchored by a Costco Wholesale Club, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse and Kohl's and Stein Mart department stores, and also has numerous restaurants and smaller retailers.


Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter @richladen

Facebook Rich Laden