Tuesday, April 03, 2012


A consumer report survey of customers’ favorite and least favorite grocery stores was just published and the two grocery stores where I shop were on the top five and bottom five lists.
I wholly concur with the findings. 

Trader Joe’s was in the top five; actually, it was second from the top. I love my Trader Joe’s and I’m so fortunate to have one within walking distance. As a matter of fact, it’s a block from the church where I sing, so I hit TJ’s twice a week. 

The staff are ever so friendly. You can just tell that every employee is happy to be there and it shows. Also, there are plenty of staff on hand. If you find yourself searching for an item, a chirpy employee will magically appear to help. If check-out lines become the least bit crowded, a bell rings and several workers leap into place behind cash registers and beckon you into their queue. 

And the prices! Oh, you’ll love Trader Joe’s for the prices. Most of the items are their own brand, from the frozen foods to the wine, the prices are remarkably low. Frozen food entrees for $2.49 are common. Their wines are $2.99 a bottle and often score surprisingly high at wine tasting competitions. 

And there’s a whimsical side to Trader Joe’s that I enjoy. Italian food items will be under the name, “Trader Giotto’s”. Mexican will be “Trader Jose’s”. Their brand of Cheerios is “Joey-O’s”. Very cute, indeed. 

My Texan friends and family will soon have TJ’s opening up near them. Stores are already open in Dallas and Houston. One is opening in San Antonio very soon with plans for additional Texan stores to follow.

At the bottom of the survey is Jewel-Osco. I can vouch for that. 

When I need to go to a regular-type of grocery store, there’s a Jewel nearby. It’s crowded, messy, and their produce aisle is often picked clean. It’s not uncommon to find one lonely, bruised banana or just a few squished grapes available. Don’t bother looking for someone to assist. If you want something from the deli, be prepared to send up a flare in order to get their attention. When it’s time to check out, you may find a line so long that there are Cro-Magnons near the front of it.

As I write this, I have to laugh, though. 

Millions of people in Africa would be grateful for a meal of cold yam paste while typical Americans bang on their high chairs when we have to wait more than five minutes to pay for our bounty.

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At 12:54 PM , Blogger Bob said...

The closest Traders to us is in Charlotte, but sometime later this year we'll have one in Columbia!
I cannot wait! Back in California, it was my go-to grocers.

At 7:36 PM , Blogger Mom said...

I love Trader Joe's, but it a goodly drive to go, so it is a rare treat. Our local Giant is fine with all we ever need, just not as much fun as TJ's. We do live in a land of abundance.


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