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STORE TROOPERS SHOPPERS WELCOME NEW TRADER JOE'S.

Byline: Nicholas Grudin Staff Writer

BURBANK - Although Heather Ferguson has lived in Burbank for 13 years, she usually drives to La Canada to do her weekly grocery shopping.

But with the opening Friday of the Trader Joe's at Alameda Avenue and San Fernando Road, Ferguson's weekly pilgrimages into the hills have come to an abrupt halt.

``We've been waiting and waiting, driving by every day, looking,'' Ferguson said, pointing out some of her Trader Joe's favorites in her well- stocked shopping cart, like fresh apple cider and ``very cheap'' Scottish shortbread.

``Everything is such high quality, and such a good value. We're big fans,'' Ferguson said.

The opening of the city's first Trader Joe's signals a shift to a more affluent market, said Susan Bowers, executive director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.

``It says a lot about the direction that Burbank is taking,'' Bowers said as a crowd of excited shoppers piled through the doors of the new store after a brief ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor David Laurell.

``Trader Joe's fulfills a market that has been very needed,'' Laurell said.

Ferguson was one of about 50 customers armed with shopping carts, primed to attack the pristine new aisles lined with foods for which Trader Joe's is known - fresh Atlantic salmon fillets, dried wild blueberries and Tahitian vanilla extract.

Clerk Glenn Swan lives in Burbank and said the demand for Trader Joe's products is palpable.

``There's a need for it - there's a community in the hills that will respond to it,'' Swan said.

And manager Ed Hirsh, who previously worked at the Glendale and Toluca Lake stores, said that Burbank residents have always been avid Trader Joe's shoppers.

``People were just screaming for a Trader Joe's here,'' Hirsh said.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Customers fill the aisles of the new Trader Joe's market in Burbank, which celebrated its grand opening Friday.

John Lazar/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 2, 2002
Words:316
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