File photo.

Trader Joe’s is finally opening another Florida location. But for many of us, it’s not close enough. When Trader Joe’s first opened locations in the Tampa area few years ago, it was so busy that police were needed on scene to direct traffic. Sarasota was first to get a Trader Joe’s. Grand openings soon followed in Tampa and St. Pete. But since then, nothing.

It’s been a surprise to many Trader Joe’s fans that the chain stopped at only two locations here in the Tampa area. Parking lots are always nearly full. The aisles are always crowded. Trader Joe’s is clearly popular enough to add more stores in the Tampa area.

Well, they will. Sort of. Trader Joe’s has announced they will open their next area store in Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota. This University Park location will be at 8473 Cooper Creek Blvd according to their website. So far there’s no word of when the location will open.

Where would YOU put the next Traders location in the Tampa area? To me, Clearwater seems to be a no-brainer. And I’m sure they’d do well in Pasco or over in Brandon too. Tweet your thoughts to where they should open next @GenoRadio and I’ll include your comments below.

Other Florida Trader Joe’s locations that are open now include Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Davie, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, Pembroke Pines, Tallahassee, Wellington and Winter Park.

The Most Popular Trader Joe's Items According To Customers

  • Best Overall: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

    These spicy little scrolls made from stone ground corn masa that is cut, rolled, and fried to a captivating crunchiness—then generously dusted with hot chili & lime flavored seasoning.

    Runner up:

    TJ’s Hashbrowns
    Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings
    Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend – We use this on EVERYTHING (no pun intended)
    4 Chocolate Croissants

  • Best Beverage: Sparkling Honeycrisp Apple Juice Beverage (Seasonal)

    This is a three-ingredient blend of 100% Honeycrisp apple juice, water, and bubbles. Too bad it’s not on the shelf year-round.

    Runner Up:

    Triple Ginger Brew (seasonal)
    Sparkling Peach Black Tea with Peach Juice
    Sparkling Cranberry & Ginger Beverage (seasonal)
    Non-Dairy Brown Sugar Oat Creamer

  • Best Cheese: Cheddar with Caramelized Onions

    This full-bodied English cheddar is mixed with onion marmalade for a memorable, sweet-savory bite.

    Runners Up:

    Syrah Soaked Toscano
    Baked Lemon Ricotta (seasonal)
    Blueberry & Vanilla Chèvre
    Brie (various)

  • Best Entrée: Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

    Trader Joe’s has the best pre-made meals around. This is an authentic Indian recipe that’s mildly spiced and partnered with delicate, fragrant grains of Basmati rice.

    Runners Up:

    Chicken Tikka Masala
    Kung Pao Chicken
    Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese (seasonal)
    BBQ Teriyaki Chicken

  • Best Household Item: Scented Candles

    Who doesn’t love a scented candle? Trader Joe’s Scented Candles are made with a paraben-free, soy-wax blend imbued with sweet fragrance and hand-poured into a portable lidded tin. They burn for up to 20 hours and have the best seasonal scents!

    Runners Up:

    Daily Facial Sunscreen
    Ultra-Moisturizng Hand Cream
    Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner
    Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Mask

  • Best Produce: Bananas

    Trader Joe’s Organic Bananas are an incredible value at 25¢ each, every day!

    Runners Up:

    Teeny Tiny Avocados
    Honeycrisp Apples
    Brussels Sprouts
    Organic Carrots of Many Colors

  • Best Snack: Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

    We already told you how delicious this snack is!  It’s perfect for picnics, beach days, work breaks, movie watching, and anything in between.

    Runners Up:

    Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers
    Organic Corn Chip Dippers
    World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs – OUR FAVORITE
    Crunchy Curls


  • Best Sweet/Dessert: Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones

    Each crunchy cone is lined with smooth chocolate and filled with creamy ice cream—then dipped in a rich, chocolatey coating.

    Runners Up:

    Danish Kringle (various)
    Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
    Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Best Vegan/Vegetarian: Kale & Cashew Pesto

    The most simple pesto recipe that’s perfect for any vegan. Made with kale, cashew and basil. Add garlic to give it a little more flavor, or lemon juice to brighten it up.

    Runners Up:

    Vegetable Fried Rice
    Beefless Bulgogi
    Palak Paneer
    Cauliflower Gnocchi

Hey it's Geno. Thanks for reading. Got something to add to this story? Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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