Pirate Joe's forced overboard from Kits location (but not jumping ship)

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After just over three years of operation at 2348 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, everyone’s favourite “specialty” grocery store Pirate Joe’s will be closing its doors on March 2, 2016.

The unauthorized re-seller of Trader Joe’s products was forced to shut up shop after the building in which the store resides was sold to a new owner (an active developer in the city), last June.

As soon as the sale went through, Pirate Joe’s and the neighbouring stores that also line the 2300 block were informed that they had to pack up and go, Pirate Joe’s owner Michael Hallatt divulged to Vancity Buzz over the phone.

Pirate Joe’s customers worried about how they’re going to get their stash of Trader Joe’s goods without crossing the border have nothing to fear; Hallatt confirms Pirate Joe’s is gearing up to move to Point Grey. Pirate Joe’s new outpost is projected to open in April at 3744 West 10th Avenue.

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SEE ALSO: Musette Caffe relocating on same street this spring

The new location will be double the size of the old one, says Hallatt. With more room to move, Hallatt and his team plan to expand Pirate Joe’s product line, which will include more food stuffs that are not readily available in Canada. Hallatt says that they’ll be “sourcing [products] from around the world,” and offering fresh food options too. Hello Trader Joe’s tamales!

When asked about how the depressingly weak Canadian dollar is effecting his business, Hallatt simply replied that it has indeed “dampened sales.” However, while customers (who are for whatever reason unable to visit the nearest Trader Joe’s store in Bellingham) might be a little thrown off by the price hike, they are still actively seeking out Pirate Joe’s selection of goods.

While Pirate Joe’s intends to re-open in April, Hallatt let slide that the store will be operating under a “secret knock” policy from mid-March, which can be thought of as a quasi soft launch. Those who spot a hand drawn picture of fingers pressed upon lips (signaling “shhh”) in the window from mid-March onwards are encouraged to knock on the door.

On Pirate Joe’s final day of operation, a podcast crew from NYC will be in the store recording from 2 p.m.

For further developments on Pirate Joe’s re-opening stay tuned to the shopfront’s social media pages.

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Jess Fleming Jess is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Originally from Sydney, she obsesses over where to eat and drink and writes about adventures near and far.
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