Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Trader Joes?

OK, I've never lived in the same town as a Trader Joe's. All I know about them is that they sell a $2 bottle of wine called "Two-Buck Chuck", and that they're very "California".

Now comes word that a Trader Joe's is going to be opening near Union Square, in fact in the very same building that one of the NYU gyms is in. (Cross-promotions coming our way, no doubt. Some cheese between reps?) This is two blocks from a brand-spankin' new Whole Foods, too.

So, what's the story? Why is TJ so popular? What do you, my faithful readers (or more likely, lone faithful reader), have to say about this? Or do you like Whole Paycheck better?

Post me comments, yo!


At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Carrie said...

My experience with Joe's (as we refer to it familiarly) is that they have good wines and beers at good prices, a really good selection of cheeses, and possibly the best frozen green chili rellenos this side of Hatch. Much of their stuff is organic (is there such thing as an organic wine?), which is a plus. They are definately a specialty store, however - you wouldn't want to have to rely on their "fresh" veggies!

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Andrew Hooper said...

Trader Joes is an updated and bulked-up chainstore version of something common in the 1970s -- the "Gourmet Grocery Store." It does indeed carry a fair selection of organic and allegedly vegan items, but you would find it hard to stock your kitchen on the selection there -- you would want to go to Whole Foods for staple items like flour, rice, canned veggies, cooking oil, etc. But if you want a bag of delicious four-cheese tortellini, a pan of heat and serve spanikopita and a bottle of industrial red wine, Trader Joe's is THE choice.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous megc from astorians said...

Trader Joe's is one of my favorite stores. Originally from Pasadena, California, it started as a liquor store that sold cheap (read: inexpensive) wine and beer. In CA, all the TJ's have a nice wine selection and a good beer selection. After they'd been open for a spell, they started selling things like cheese and nut butters and such - I remember going to the local TJs in Ventura in the early 1980s with my Grandfather and buying almond butter, something I'd never heard of before. This means I've been shopping at TJs for more than 20 years now! Over time they started selling more and more grocery items, and stocked a number of great vegetarian foods. My regular purchases would be brown rice, canned beans, chocolate, green salsa, tortillas, tofu, hummus, and a whole bunch of other things. There are always new and interesting things they have, sometimes only for a short time, and sometimes they become regular items. I was told last year that they are one of the top sellers of organic foods. I think TJs is more than simply a specialty store - you can buy all sorts of staples there (flour, rice, sugar, bread, olive oil, cheese). I can't wait until they open a store in NYC! It will be really freakin' awesome!!!!

At 3:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TJ boxed corn bread is great!!! Definitely a must try item.


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