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Trader 'No': Trader Joe's not opening Butte location, despite mysterious sign

Trader Joe's sign hoax
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jun 24, 2024

BUTTE — The rumor mill in the Mining City got people talking, hoping, and dreaming of welcoming a trendy national grocery store to the Uptown Butte area last week.

If you’re a foodie or a food aficionado, a sign spotted on East Park Street probably got you excited for a new Trader Joe's—but as it turns out, the sign is a hoax.

"I don’t know if it’s a joke or not but I do know that Trader Joe’s has never contacted me to build up here. So, I suspect it’s a joke," says Denise Kelly of Butte.

Kelly owns a plot of land on East Park Street located just a few blocks from the heart of Uptown Butte. After photos popped up of a sign announcing Trader Joe's would be building a site in Butte, she took a closer look. Was the sign on her property? She wasn’t sure until she drove by.

"I didn’t actually know that it was on my property 'til I saw it on social media, but it really doesn’t bother me. It was—it’s probably harmless, I thought some of the comments were hysterical," says Kelly. "Just how much everyone wants it to be Trader Joe’s and don’t be stupid and it was just, it’s funny. It’s got the town talking, yeah. It’s an uproar."

Comments ranged from hope that it was true to cynicism.

"Would be nice probably not happening butte does not get anything have to travel to get anything new," read one comment.

"Cruel, cruel prank," said another.

A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s said in an email that a new location has not been confirmed for Butte.

"We are actively looking at hundreds of neighborhoods across the country as we hope to open more new neighborhood stores each year," said Nakia Rohde, the public relations manager for Trader Joe's.

"At this time, we do not have a location confirmed in Butte, MT. We list all of the stores that are opening soon on our website."

"They’re great stores and I don’t think that they would announce with a paper sign. Just gonna throw that out there," says Kelly.

There are currently two large commercial developments taking shape in Butte: one at the mall and another further south on Harrison Avenue. At least one location is planning to build a grocery store, though the retailer has not been named.