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With a lei cutting ceremony, Trader Joe's opens in Lexington

Trader Joe's -- a unique grocery store with a loyal fan base -- opened its newest store today in Lexington.

A lei cutting kicked off the shopping and then it was an organic stampede as customers sought out their favorite foods.

The first customer arrived at 3 a.m., but as it got closer to opening time dozens of other people joined her.

"We had lines all the way around the corner to Nicholasville Road," said manager Richard Flanagan.

This is the second Trader Joe's in Kentucky. The first is in Louisville.

"I go all over the country, my cupboard is full of Trader Joe's food," Carmen Covert said.

The store is known for its private label items. One side features a grocery store, the other side is a wine shop.

The store at 2326 Nicholasville Road is a grocery store and a separate wine shop adjacent to one another. The grocery store is approximately 10,000 square feet and the wine shop is around 2,400 square feet.

The grocery store will be open from 8 a.m. To 9 p.m. daily, and the wine shop will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m.

Inside the new store, customers will find Trader Joe's signature festive décor, which mixes cedar covered walls, Hawaiian-inspired elements, and some "local flare" - including art that celebrates the neighborhood.

Throughout the grocery store, there are several hand-painted murals that pay homage to all things Lexington, including Kentucky Horse Park, Thoroughbred Park, the Kentucky Theater, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, and more.

The "Trader" in Trader Joe's refers to the way the company blazed a distinct trail through the grocery industry, searching the world for great values and distinctive products. Store employees, dubbed "Crew Members," consider themselves "traders on the culinary high seas." Crew Members sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the friendly and light-hearted air of the store.

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