As Vernon Hills attracts new businesses, there is one particular store that has remained out of reach.
“We have targeted Trader Joe’s on numerous occasions,” Village Manager Mike Allison said.
Vernon Hills officials said they repeatedly receive input from residents who hope the grocery store will one day be a part of their town.
“Everybody loves Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s, when they look to come into areas, they look for cheap square footage. We don’t have a lot of that,” Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar said.
“We’ve talked to them over the span of five or six years, saying, ‘Are you interested?’ Everybody that I’ve talked to from their real estate department says, ‘For now, we’re staying south of Lake-Cook Road,’” he said.
Kalmar noted that Vernon Hills has attracted a number of other successful businesses, including Steinhafel's, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Mariano’s.
“We think that’s the gold standard for grocery stores,” Allison said of Mariano’s.
“They are blowing the doors off up there,” Kalmar added.
But, they said, residents continue to express their desire for a Trader Joe’s.
“People find interesting, unique foods at a good price, and that’s what people tell us consistently,” Allison said.
Vernon Hills Patch readers have shared their wishes for a Trader Joe’s on Patch’s Facebook fan page. In response to a recent story about new clothing stores planned for the Rivertree shopping center, a number of readers said they’d rather see a grocery store.
“I would be really excited if it was a Trader Joe's!” wrote Heidi Bultman Murphy.
Facebook fan Lori Reisin Briere agreed. “What's a VH Resident need to do???? Let's vamp up the area and put in NEEDED stores and markets,” she wrote.
Vernon Hills officials said they last talked with Trader Joe’s representatives 18 to 24 months ago. They will continue to “check in periodically” with the company, they said.
“It isn’t a function of one versus the other,” Allison said, noting that Trader Joe’s would still be a welcome addition to Vernon Hills, despite the recent addition of Mariano’s. “We really tried. I’m sure Trader Joe’s, just like Mariano’s, is someplace that people would really use.”
Vernon Hills’ Dominick’s closed last year after more than three decades in the village. Soon after, Mariano’s opened on Milwaukee Avenue. Other options for groceries in the village include Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Nearby Trader Joe's locations include Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich, Northbrook and Glenview.
Do you hope to see Trader Joe's in Vernon Hills? If so, why? Are there any other stores you think would be an asset to the village? Tell us in the comment section below.