Trader Joe's will open in Fort Worth on June 15

Trader Joe's, the value-priced, California-based grocery chain with a cult following, has finally announced that it will open its first Texas stores June 15 in Fort Worth and The Woodlands.

The announcement Thursday by the German-owned chain said the Fort Worth store will be at 2701 S. Hulen St. The site formerly housed an upscale wine store and French bakery called Ronnie's. It was later occupied by Dorian's Interior Design, which closed after Trader Joe's negotiated a lease.

Job applications are being accepted 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. daily at the store, spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said. The news release did not indicate how many more stores will open in the region or give a timetable.

Trader Joe's, with 365 stores, has built a loyal following with drinkable Charles Shaw-label wines -- dubbed "Two-Buck Chuck" because of their original $2 price, now $3 or more depending on shipping costs -- as well as gourmet condiments, sauces and high-quality, low-price frozen prepared food.

Though smaller, Trader Joe's will go toe-to-toe with such competitors as Sprouts Farmers Market, part of a Phoenix-owned chain specializing in natural foods; Central Market, the gourmet supermarket owned by San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co.; and Austin-based Whole Foods. It will be a few blocks from a Tom Thumb supermarket.

The closest Trader Joe's to Fort Worth is in Leawood, Kan., 455 miles away.

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

Twitter: @startelegram