BOULDER - Trader Joe's workers will offer a free rose to female shoppers and a Hawaiian lei to all shoppers starting at 8 a.m. sharp Friday to entice people into the new grocery store at the Twenty Ninth Street shopping district in Boulder.

Shoppers also can try free food samples, listen to live music and register for gift bag giveaways on Friday, Feb. 14, the store's opening day. The 14,000-square foot Trader Joe's is opening at 1906 28th St. in the site of a former Applebee's restaurant, which was demolished.

The new Trader Joe's store will be known for stocking store-brand label items at low prices, and for the ongoing food tastings at an open demonstration kitchen open to shoppers at the back of the store, said Lance Violette, the Boulder store's "captain," or general manager.

Trader Joe's is able to offer low prices ($1.99 for a packaged bag of greens or a cereal box of Joe's O's, for example) because the company doesn't do traditional advertising, Violette said. Trader Joe's buyers also find deals on food products around the world, which they're able to pass on to customers, he said.

The more than 400 Trader Joe's stores in 37 states across the country have generated a sometimes cultlike following among shoppers looking for unique items. In Boulder, the store stocks such items as "cookie butter," a spreadable nut butter substance with crushed ginger cookies made in the Netherlands, and frozen pizzas made in stone ovens in Italy, Violette said.

About 80 percent of the Boulder store's products fall under the Trader Joe's store-brand label, meaning the products have no artificial colors, flavors or genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, Violette said.

Trader Joe's does not disclose numbers of employees or sales figures or comment about the company's business practices, according to a spokeswoman for the privately held Monrovia, California,-based grocery store chain.

Violette comes to Boulder after managing a Trader Joe's store in Pittsburgh. He has worked for the company for 17 years. Employees painted the distinctive scenes hung on store walls that picture Boulder Falls and the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art, the Boulder and Fox theaters and Royal Arch, among others.

The new Trader Joe's store in Boulder will join an already crowded grocery market that includes three Whole Foods Market stores, three King Soopers stores, three Safeway stores, Sprouts Farmers Market, Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage, a Lucky's Market and an Alfalfa's Market.

Violette declined to address the competition, saying, "We're just giving the Boulder community another option for grocery shopping."

Trader Joe's officials also plan to open two other grocery stores in Colorado on Friday - one at 750 Colorado Blvd. in Denver, and the other at the Cherry Hills Marketplace at 5901 S. University Blvd. in Greenwood Village.

Trader Joe's has plans to open five stores in Colorado in 2014, including a 12,000-square-foot store in Fort Collins at the northeast corner of College Avenue and Horsetooth Road and one near Governor's Park in central Denver. The privately held grocery store chain started in 1958 in the Los Angeles area.