Louisville’s Trader Joe’s in St. Matthews — aka store 628 — is the first Trader Joe’s in Kentucky. It opened at 4600 Shelbyville Rd. in October 2011. While you won’t find local produce or products inside the eclectic grocery store chain with a cult-like following, you will find Derby City history written on the walls and reusable bags.
Above food displays lining the walls are 10 framed murals of landmarks. Let us paint you a picture.
Starting at the front of the store, just past the entrance, is a riff of our “Greetings From Louisville” mural. TJ’s version says “Check out Louisville’s finest flowers.” In the produce section, above the refrigerated fruits, are four Victorian-era mansions in Old Louisville. Next to it is the Ferguson Mansion towering over the meat and fish case.
At the back of the store is the Louisville skyline with a plane flying a banner that reads, “Any way you say it…Louisville TJ’s means value!” with an image of a Louisville Slugger a little further down by the milk and eggs.
Rounding the corner, you’ll see the red Belle of Louisville propelling over cheeses and specialty dips before running into three images of the Kentucky Derby by the snack nuts and checkout lanes.
Off the walls, you’ll find more nods to LOU in the state-themed reusable bags. The Kentucky one features a horse in a Derby hat, a cardinal, and bourbon barrel. On the side, there’s a recipe for Joe’s Kentucky Hot Brown — a spin on the Louisville-invented dish made with sliced chicken breast, Trader Joe’s Giotto’s Alfredo Sauce, and Fontina cheese.
While it’s true that the grocery doesn’t carry local products, the wine shop next door does sell local beer and bourbon, of course.
Find how a Trader Joe’s store is made in episode 52 of “Trader Joe’s Inside.”