It had been rumored for a few weeks, and now it’s been verified: plans are in the works to bring grocery chain Trader Joe’s to Freehold.

A spokeswoman for the chain told Patch.com that they were “early in the process” of negotiating the deal and the planning board still has to review the application for the store with an additional warehouse.

If it goes through, the 12,000 foot store would go in the Pond Road Plaza on Route 9, replacing a shuttered Walgreens. According to the store’s website, the chain started in 1967 in Pasadena, California; it has grown to 488 stores in 41 states. There are currently 16 New Jersey cities with a Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s is known for its private label products that are offered at a lower price than their brand name counterparts. I hope the store comes to Freehold, but that doesn’t make up for the township rejecting Shake Shack.

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