Mayor Wayne Levante has only been on the job for about two weeks. Nevertheless, Newton’s new mayor has done his best to make an explosive impact on the city. The mayor has been pleading with Trader Joe’s to open a new store in Newton. Last week, Mayor Levante took to the Internet to garner support for the cause. He has set up a petition in hopes of uniting supporters and gaining the attention of the high-end grocer. The mayor admits the move comes as a response to the answers he receives when asking local residents what type of businesses they would like to see in town.

“Trader Joe’s is one of the stores that I’m always hearing people say they want to see up in this area.” Levante has taken the first steps to fulfilling that wish. In just five days, the petition exceeded its initial goal of one thousands signatures. That encouraged Levante to increase the goal to two thousand. The mayor has promised to leave the petition running for the rest of the month in hopes of accumulating a few thousand signatures.

After the signatures have been collected, the mayor intends to use it as bargaining power to request a formal discussion with executives from Trader Joe’s. The Mayor realizes that a larger number of signatures will increase the likelihood that Trader Joe’s will take the request serious. A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s refused to comment on their procedures for selecting new store locations. They also didn’t say whether or not Sussex County was being considered for a new supermarket.

At this point in time, the grocery chain has 465 stores throughout the country. They operate in 41 states, as well as Washington D.C. In New Jersey alone, Trader Joe’s operates 11 stores. Wayne Levante was officially sworn in as mayor on July the 1st. He confirmed that the town recently held a meeting with a regional convenience store chain. During the meeting, they were able to identify five potential locations that would work well for a store like Trader Joe’s.

The Mayor also confirmed that location would not pose a problem. He went on to admit that the city would find Trader Joe’s a spot, if they really want one. The online petition gives local residents an opportunity to express their wishes through a comment system. The mayor insists the comments reaffirm the local residents’ wishes for a local Trader Joe’s.

Those interested in signing the petition can do so by visiting You can also click here to be transported there.

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