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First Customers Camped Overnight at Trader Joe's

"If you are what you eat, I am Trader Joe's," said Scott Ogawa, the first in line at the new store at 1211 Chicago Ave. in Evanston

Sergey Gitlin and Scott Ogawa explain why they camped outside Evanston's new Trader Joe's store.
Sergey Gitlin and Scott Ogawa explain why they camped outside Evanston's new Trader Joe's store.
Sergey Gitlin and Scott Ogawa pitched two tents outside the new Trader Joe's store in Evanston around 8:30 p.m. last night.

Their goal: to become the first customers when the store opened at 8 a.m. with a ceremonial lei-cutting the following morning.

"If you are what you eat, I am Trader Joe's," Ogawa said. 


Evanston residents have been pleading for a Trader Joe’s to come to town for years. Last February, the city finally announced that developer Terraco would be opening a Trader Joe’s at 1211 Chicago Ave., at the former Blockbuster location. Construction proceed through the winter and into the summer, and in late August, a sign appeared in the front window announcing opening day: Friday, Sept. 6.

Both Ogawa and Gitlin are graduate students in economics at Northwestern University, but they said their decision to camp out wasn't an economic one. There was no prize for the first person in line--simply the glory of being first.

"Might as well procrastinate here rather than at home," Gitlin quipped.

Asked whether they slept well, Gitlin admitted that the store's lights shone into their tents all night, and that a crew came to set up for the grand opening around 4 a.m.

But the disruptions to their sleep didn't dim their excitement.

"I just really like Trader Joe's," Gitlin said. 

He and Ogawa were joined by fellow Evanston resident Delores Walker around 6:30 a.m. Walker said she knew the store was opening and couldn't sleep, so she decided to head over early.

"I thought I was going to be the first one," she added.
Blu September 06, 2013 at 10:24 AM
I am sure that feat will look really good on your resume.

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