Another week, another grocery store opening.

Despite the pandemic, New Jersey is proving to be fertile ground for grocery store operators. The newest store is the oft-rumored and long anticipated Trader Joe’s in Freehold; the grand opening is this Friday, 10/2, with the ribbon cutting at 7:55 am in advance of its 8 am debut. It is located in the Pond Road Plaza on Route 9 in the spot where a Walgreen’s used to be.

According to the company, “Known for its produce, and frozen food and meals, Trader Joe's is a hit with foodies, offering more than 33,000 items under its own private label. It introduces about a dozen new items every month.” It also carries an array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrees, juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs.

It will be Trader Joe’s 19th NJ location; it opened its 18th in Cherry Hill at the end of July. The new Freehold store will feature artwork that features Freehold's rich history, including the Metz Bicycle Museum, Turkey Swamp Park, the Freehold Diner and the Hall of Records. The store will be open from 8 am until 9 pm daily.

New Jersey has seen a lot of activity in the grocery store realm; last month, German chain Lidl announced that they would be doubling their footprint in the Garden State by opening ten new stores over the next two years. Aldi also announced expansion plans, adding four new stores, including one on Route 9 in Marlboro.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.