They came, they saw and some even bought.

They came, they saw and some even bought.

Longtime Trader Joe's shoppers and dozens getting their first look at the specialty grocer were lined up this morning for its long-awaited opening in the Northgate Centre Marketplace in Medford.

"I've been waiting for years and years," said Cheri O'Connor of Central Point. "This is a happy moment."

O'Connor showed up with her friend Kim Backes, of White City, who frequented Trade Joe's in Sacramento "20 or 25 years ago."

"We've been doing the online voting for them to come here for years," O'Connor said. "We always wrote in they needed to put a store in 97502."

Like the hundreds that poured through the doors, they were more than happy to settle for northwest Medford's 97501 address.

Rick Alves of Cave Junction was among the long-suffering Trade Joe's fans, waiting for this day.

He was surprised when he swung by the shopping center after making an early-morning drop-off at the airport.

"I drove by at 5 and there was no one," he said. "So, I knew it was going to be easy."

Many of the first shoppers emerging from the 13,500-square-foot shop next to Petco passed up bargains such as Trader Joe's $1.98 version of toasted oat cereal, waiting for another day. Alves, however, had his Trader Joe's reusable shopping bag stuffed with Kona coffee, orange muscat, ground cumin, crimini mushrooms, artisan bread and linguine.

"I do most of the cooking in our household. I was looking for specialty things today," said Alves, who figures he will make the 120-mile round-trip "once for sure and maybe twice a month."

— Greg Stiles