Wichita's first Trader Joe's ready to welcome customers

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WICHITA, Kas. (KWCH) The wait is almost over for shoppers excited to hit the aisles of Wichita’s first Trader Joe’s.

They’ll get their first chance Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.

Eyewitness News got a sneak peek inside the store Thursday as crew members finished stocking the shelves.

The new grocer is located in the Bradley Fair Shopping Center, near 21st Street and Rock Road.

The store manager said the enthusiasm is making him excited for opening day.

"My whole family moved here from California to open this gorgeous store," said Chris Evans, the Captain of Wichita's Trader Joe's. "People around the town, I've been in restaurants, and people are giving me high-fives, hugs, one lady wanted to take a selfie with me to send to her friends."

He said people have been campaigning on Facebook and sending the company letters hoping to see a Trader Joe's come to Wichita. He added now was the right time to fulfill that wish.

Katrina Wolf agrees. She and her mother came by Thursday to get an early look at the store.

Katrina said she first experienced a Trader Joe's while on vacation and knew she had to find a way to bring one to Wichita.

"I sent an email once we got back from D.C., saying it would be a great market for Wichita, and I'm glad they kind of listened. I can't wait," Wolf said.

She and her mother are planning to return Oct. 11 for their first shopping trip to what will be their hometown Trader Joe's.

"I’ve very excited about finally getting something different here, than the same old, same old," said Katrina's mother, Janie Ritz. "Hopefully, it will be staying around for a long time because I think Wichita is going to be excited about getting something like this. Something that’s affordable for everybody."

The store employs 80 people, about 85 percent of whom are local.