FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – About 150 people were in line Friday morning for the opening of a new Trader Joe’s store in Fort Worth. This is the first location in North Texas. It is located at 2701 South Hulen Street, and area traffic is already expected to be gridlocked throughout opening weekend and beyond.

Most of those in line, minutes before the doors opened for business, had been to the stores in California, where the company is based. But a handful of the earliest patrons arrived just to see what all the excitement was about. “I’m excited that they’re finally here,” said Paula Sterns, the first person in line on Friday. “We’ve been writing letters to them for years and saying ‘Come to Fort Worth! Come to Dallas! Come anywhere in Texas and we’ll come to you.’ So, that’s why we’re here.”

“It’s how small they keep it, it’s the variety of stuff, and it’s the price points, mostly,” said Ricki Klos, describing what makes Trader Joe’s so special. She lived in California for eight years and just moved to Fort Worth 10 days ago. “My favorite thing, absolutely, hands down, in here is the smoked trout. And it is to die for, and that’s the first place I’m going when we get in there.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was even excited to see the new store. “I’m just here to sample it all and see what’s here,” she said Friday morning.

Trader Joe’s has a Hawaiian theme. Rather than a ribbon-cutting ceremony, city officials and store executives cut a Hawaiian lei to mark the store’s first day. Customers were greeted with boisterous employees welcoming them in the front doors. “I think it’s wonderful,” said Flo Jones, who had never heard of Trader Joe’s before. “It is a party!”

Trader Joe’s is also opening a store on Friday in The Woodlands, near Houston. Further expansion is expected throughout the state next year.

Also Check Out: