An e-mail landed in Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola’s inbox last month, seeking a meeting to discuss Trader Joe’s in the capital city.
“We’ve had that meeting,” Stodola says.
“And, I’ve got the contacts and will be reaching out to them.”
We obtained the e-mail, which was sent by a local realtor. The rumblings add to an existing appetite for the California-based grocer here in the natural state.
“I, like many other people, would love to see them come to Little Rock,” Stodola says.
A Facebook page dedicated to the effort shows more than 5,000 likes on the page, supporting a Trader Joe’s location in central Arkansas. Julianne Dunn created the fan page about five years ago.
“I know that the interest is still there,” Dunn says.
Dunn has sinced moved to Washington, D.C. but keeps activity on the page moving faster than a self-service checkout line.
“It’s just obvious by the number of messages and posts that people comment on the page,” Dunn says.
“I feel an obligation to keep it going.”
Legislation passed this year makes it easier for certain wine shipments to enter the state. Mayor Stodola believes it uncorks new potential for Trader Joe’s and its popular ‘Two-Buck-Chuck’ brand.
Stodola plans to reach out to Trader Joe’s and already has potential locations in mind but no timeline.
He compared the process to bringing Bass Pro shops to town.
“I went up and hustled Bass Pro about four years before they got here,” Stodola says.