NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Are you ready for some pain au chocolat, stuffed escargot, stepladders, organic veggies, and Brooklyn-baked goods? Salsa music rocked the shoppers waiting on line at the opening of the new Lidl grocery store on Milltown Road in North Brunswick yesterday, as a new business brought life to an old building in a once-vital shopping center in the township.  Masks, music, social distancing, bargains, and a welcoming spirit made the opening of a supermarket during a pandemic and especially significant event.  In many ways, it was a local and an international event.

The two biggest questions? 

*Is Lidl connected to Aldi?  It is not.  Aldi and Trader Joe's have a family connection, as both are part of the Albrecht family of businesses.

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*How is LIdl pronounced?  In German, the correct pronunciation is LEE-DUL

In 1973, the first modern Lidl store opened in Ludwigshafen, Germany. With only three employees and about 500 products, this small store became the foundation of Lidl’s far-reaching expansion. During the 1990s, they began opening stores outside of Germany and, within a few years, had stores all across Europe.

Lidl now operates more than 11,000 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing around 287,000 people globally. Their mission is to offer customers the highest quality fresh produce, meat, baked goods and household products at the lowest possible prices.

In June 2015, we established our U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Today we sell our award-winning products in more than 95 stores in nine states across the East Coast. (website.)

Things to know about Lidl, North Brunswick:

*The hours are 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.

*After this opening week, as TAPinto East Brunswick was told by a manager, shoppers should bring their own bags.  Know that you are responsible for bagging your own groceries.

*The store is brightly-lit and aisles are wide.  There was a long line on opening day, as shoppers were practicing social distancing. All customers are required to wear masks.  

*The store features many international products and brand with which shoppers may be unfamiliar.  Generally, it is a good idea to try some new brands which a lower-priced, rather than paying a top or regular price for familiar brands.  For example, if you need to buy Oreos, you may get a better deal elsewhere. If you want to try something new, this may be the store for you.  Here is a guide to shopping wisely at a Lidl store.

*Many brands are produced in the country that specializes in that cuisine.  For example, TAPinto East Brunswick looked at the labels on Italian food products, all of which were produced in Italy yet packed in Virginia.  German sausages and chocolate were made in Germany.  The frozen macaron were from France