The following items in my pantry have traveled hundreds of miles (I’m talking specifically since I’ve purchased them) to be perched on my shelf, awaiting the moment when I get a craving: Oreos, wheat thin crackers, dark chocolate, and olive oil (which I normally don’t crave, but do use in other yummy dishes). Why such a long journey you may ask? Because they come from Trader Joe’s, and not a-one of those stores can be found in the Capital Region. This absence needs to be fixed. I know I may sound like I drank the Trader Joe’s kool-aid (or rather, their fruit juice NOT from concentrate) but I honestly am a big proponent of the chain.
The basic reason TJ’s needs to join us here in Troy (or Albany, I’m flexible) is because the store is FOR EVERYONE.
If you consider yourself more earthy-crunchy than the average consumer who indulges in Pop Tarts and microwave pizza at a whim, you can find a plethora of organic options at your finger tips which will satisfy both your conscience and your cravings. And, if I may insert my humble opinion, you can no longer claim that the ‘healthy food’ version doesn’t taste as good as the ‘junk food’ version in regular stores. I can personally testify that TJ’s Oreo cookies, which do not have trans fats (or partially hydrogenated oils) in them, taste just as good if not BETTER than those from Nabisco.
If you consider yourself to be on a strict college student budget – insert sad violin music here- or perhaps you’re on a fixed income as an elderly person, or even if you’re just a regular Joe (pun intended) who simply don’t feel like paying SKY HIGH prices for better quality food (no offense, Whole Foods), then Trader Joe’s is right up your alley. Those Oreos I told you about: $2.49/box at TJ’s, $3.29/package at Price Chopper.
If you want to ENJOY your grocery shopping experience, walk into a Trader Joes, you’ll find that those employees with the tragically unfortunate Hawaiian shirts are some of the nicest, most personable and helpful grocery store people you’ll meet. It’s similar to shopping at a farmer’s market, where complete strangers take the time to talk with you as you shop or check-out. (Note: Trader Joes is not a farmer’s market, and their products should never be advertised as such. I am merely noting the social similarities of the venues, and the pleasant atmosphere they both have.)
If you want to be a part of the IN-CROWD, then go shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s no doubt, the chain is a fad, but THAT my friends is one of the strengths of the brand. Trader Joe’s image makes it COOL to buy brown rice, or parmesan cheese by the wedge, organic olive oil, or those AMAZING Oreos! This trend which propels consumers to buy- to desire- better food is what we NEED. Because sooner or later, corporations will start paying attention to the purchasing decisions we consumers make, and my guess is they’ll want a bite of the profit. (From what I understand, the profit is pretty sizeable: see the following article for more information about Trader Joe’s business.)
In conclusion, I hope you’ll consider bringing your reusable*ahem* shopping bags to a Trader Joe’s next time you’re near one. And if you happen to hear rumors about TJ’s opening up near RPI, please PLEASE let me know.