Trader Joe’s first location in Maine, and one of their largest in the nation in terms of retail floor space, opened this morning to great fanfare on Marginal Way. In front of a crowd of people that circled the packed-to-capacity parking lot, Portland Mayor Nicholas Mavodones and Portland “Store Captain” Tracy Acciola performed a ceremonial lei cutting, before the first lucky patrons were let in the door, to cheers from the Hawaiian shirt-bedecked staff. Excited customers had taken the day off from work; one woman I spoke to pulled her daughter out of school for the day. Whole Foods, you’re in big trouble. Let’s leave aside the questions of whether Trader Joe’s fits in with Portland’s “Buy Local” ethic, and the sticky business of “One Centavo More,” for just a few seconds, to allow ourselves to revel in the joys of frozen taquitos and two dollar wine, shall we?
More photos of the store’s interior and more of the festivities, after the jump.