Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

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umtrr-author
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Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by umtrr-author » 24 Oct 2009 11:51

Recently made a stop at the Trader Joe's on Elm Street in Westfield, NJ. This building is oriented at a right angle to the street with parking in front and adjacent to the left side of the building (looking at the front).

I moved out of the area over twenty years ago and this was my first trip back in some time. I'm wondering if anyone happens to know what was previously in the building now occupied by Trader Joe's, and possibly when they moved in.

Hardly an earth-shattering question, but I'm curious... thanks for any help.

maynesG
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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by maynesG » 24 Oct 2009 14:49

Hi, Not seeing a photo of the building, I am just taking a guess at this, but the building you describe with the parking lay out ,sounds a lot like the old Finast on Elm street in Westfield New Jersey. If it is it started out life in the 50!s as a Safeway and was sold with the rest of the division in 1961. It was good store for Finast rigth up to the end. I believe that it was converted to and independently owned Foodtown for many years.
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umtrr-author
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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by umtrr-author » 24 Oct 2009 18:05

Yes, that does help, thanks! The Foodtown reference sounds familiar.

Next time I'm in there, which probably won't be for a while, I think I'll earn myself a few funny looks by asking the employees...

Ephrata1966
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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 25 Oct 2009 11:37

Trader Joe's rarely uses old supermarket buildings. Lots of them are new construction. I do know two of them next to former A&Ps. Another one was an Eckerd.

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submariner
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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by submariner » 25 Oct 2009 13:48

Ephrata1966 wrote:Trader Joe's rarely uses old supermarket buildings. Lots of them are new construction. I do know two of them next to former A&Ps. Another one was an Eckerd.
Looking at Google Street View, I'd have to agree it's a new(er) construction. It may have had another building at some point, but the current one is recent.
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umtrr-author
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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by umtrr-author » 26 Oct 2009 18:23

You know, it had been so long since I had been to the center of Westfield, I wasn't even thinking "new building," but you're right.

So maybe I need to change my question to "What was on that site? And it might not have been anything that's on topic here. Ah, well...

Data point edit: It looks like from the news archive search I did, that it opened in January 1998 and was the first TJ's in New Jersey. Hmm, I guess I did move away a long time ago...

Thanks for the info!

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Re: Trader Joe's Westfield NJ: What was it before?

Post by bring-back-pylons » 27 Oct 2009 22:26

I know for a fact that Trader Joe's was originally an A&P that was built in the early 50's. I serviced the refrigeration in the original store which had embosses tin ceilings and both a front entrance on the street and a rear entrance to the parking lot. Each entrance had 2 checkouts. The store was long and narrow. The Produce and main Meat Prep rooms were in the basement along with restrooms, grocery storage, breakrooms and all the refrigeration and HVAC equipment. Then in the mid 80's it was remodeled and the small bump out on the side drive area was added which held the checkouts. Around 1998 it became a Trader Joe's.
One block away is a small Stop & Shop which was originally the Finast this from the late 50's. When I started servicing that store in the mid 70's it was already a Mayfair Foodtown. It remained that until Twin County Grocers (which owned Foodtown) went out. It then became Edward's (an Ahold ownership) for a short time and finally Stop & Shop. (Ihaven't been back there in about a year so I'm assuming it's still Stop & Shop)

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