A rendering of the proposed space Trader Joe's will occupy in Halfmoon.

HALFMOON, N.Y. — After months of rumors and questions whether a Trader Joe’s grocery store was really going to open in town, the talk became reality when site plans were dropped off at the town Planning Department last week with the company’s logo all over them.

The project had moved quickly through the department’s planning process starting in May under a listing of, “3 Halfmoon Crossing Boulevard project”. After representatives for the company made several appearances before the board in the spring, the plans were given final approval in late July.

During all their board appearances the company’s representatives refused to identify the building’s tenant; that all changed last Friday.

Construction on the 12,500-square-foot building is well underway at 3 Halfmoon Crossing in the Crossings. The 4.7-acre site is opposite a Home Depot store and just east of a Berkshire Bank building. According to the company’s representatives the parcel is the last undeveloped plot on the road.

“Through the site plan approval process and the permitting process the owner wouldn’t divulge who was going in as a tenant,” said town Director of Planning Rich Harris. “But when they had to get the permit for the interior of the building the documents were sitting on the front desk last Friday and the company logo was clearly on them.”

Harris said the board was careful in its review of the project due to concerns it would have enough parking and would not in any way add to occasional vehicle backups on the street from a nearby car wash. The final approved plans have 102 parking spots.

He did not have a timetable for the store opening.

Since its founding in 1958 in Pasadena, Calif., the company has built up a dedicated customer base that is loyal to its specialty items under the Trader Joe’s name that can only be found in its stores. The first store in the Capital Region arrived in 2012 on Wolf road after years of work by a group of loyal fans.  

Some of the big draw items include Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, its Everything But the Leftovers Seasoning Blend, Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeno Dip, Everything Croissant Rolls, Organic Watermelon Fruit Spread, Kale Gnocchi, and Steamed Pork and Ginger Soup Dumplings.

A regular grocery store carries around 50,000 items. Most Trader Joe’s stores carry around 4,000 items.

Halfmoon supervisor Kevin Tollisen was happy to have the business select the town for its second store in the Capital Region.

“It’s a great addition to Halfmoon and the surrounding area,” he said. “It’s a unique grocery store that offers other supplies and different types of items. We’re happy the official announcement came out and we’re happy to be able to provide that announcement to the public.”  

Coming on the heels of a town effort to support businesses in the community by putting photos of its Facebook page, Tollisen said the arrival of Trader Joe’s is another example of a business choosing the town because it offers great services, low taxes and a good population to support it.

In its early years Trader Joe’s stocked wine from the Charles Shaw winery which was priced at $1.99. The wine later became better known as Two Buck Chuck. The origin of the company’s name came from original owner Joe Coulombe. Coulombe chose the name to poke fun at the notoriously high-priced and tiki-themed Trader Vic’s restaurant in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Where Trader Vic’s charged high prices for a meal, Trader Joe’s would offer the public superior food and wine at a very reasonable cost.

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