GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The prospect of national retail chains, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's coming to Grand Rapids illustrated how passionate their customers are. Hundreds of Facebook posts and tweets quickly added to the anticipation that Grand Rapids may finally get more of the shopping options treasured in other parts of the country.
Jennifer Smits was typical of many who told us they could not be more thrilled. "I jumped up, I screamed and then I sat and I was like 'I think I have chills!' It was the best feeling in the world, I was so excited," she said Wednesday.
Adam Langlois, a GVSU student, said driving several hours to shop at the store is no bother for him. "It's the experience of being able to go to the place and interact with the products and find new things. Your (typical) grocery store you probably know all the products there, but at Whole Foods you'll probably run into multiple that you don't have any clue what they are."
Earl Clements, a veteran commercial realtor, said Tuesday that the stores were looking strongly at sites in Grand Rapids. He predicted Trader Joe's would be here within a year, and Whole Foods in about two years. Officials from those companies would not confirm those plans. It is common practice for retailers to scout locations years in advance before announcing firm plans to locate anywhere.