Guarantee : This is an 100% independent blog, unaffiliated with Trader Joe’s in any way!

I paid for everything here (however Mr Trader Joe’s, if you ever want to give me some free stuff to check out for review I’d gladly accept it, also for the same 100% unbiased feedback.

“Rants & Raves” about Trader Joe’s

Welcome! This website is intended to be a place where you learn, share, add comments with your raves, rants, favorites, likes, dislikes, recipes, stories, experiences, comments… absolutely anything and everything you might want to say about “Trader Joe’s”. So feel free to comment, rave, or rant, and I’ll post it to share with the world.

My name is Jed, and I have a small business in NYC (ProMacNYC) where I work as freelance computer consultant. So this blog is just for fun, not for business for me.

Background: New York City is a place that had no Trader Joe’s stores until a not too many years ago. So NYC used to be foreign territory those who knew Trader Joe’s, and basically I knew very little about Trader Joe’s other than what I read from time to time in the media, the main thing being about some $2 wine they sold called “Two Buck Chuck”.

It took many years for TJ’s to open any store in NYC, but New York City did finally get a Trader Joe’s store in around 2005 (?) or so, on East 14th Street, near Union Square, right next to an NYU dorm. It was always packed (mostly with NYU students?) I used to see people out there door and assumed they must be giving away free food, otherwise why would a line be that long for some groceries?

In late 2010 TJ’s opened a store not too far from my neighborhood (Upper West Side) on 72nd Street and Broadway. The store is not exactly next door to me, but not as far away as the two other TJ’s (in Union Square and Chelsea). At first I admit I didn’t get the whole Trader Joe’s thing…? What was so special about this grocery store? When I went to the first NYC TJ’s (E. 14th St) I just saw these endless lines that went on and on from the cash registers literally curling around the entire store right to the front doors! Hundreds of people waiting on line! I just could not fathom WHY all these people would wait on line for about 30 mins to buy groceries? (The 14 St. TJ’s is notoriously always jammed with long checkout lines)

So to start with, I went to the TJ Wine Store next door on 14th Street. I had heard about “Two Buck Chuck” (which actually sold for 3 bucks in NYC). I tried a bottle. Great no, but honestly for the price it was not at all bad, in fact I have bought wines at 2-4 times the price that were worse. Frankly I still think Two Buck Chuck must taste better when its $2 and not $3! Now I’ve bought similar wines in France, called vin du table (everyday table wine) for about the same amount, especially at a French vendor called Nicolas, the kind of wine vendor in France where you can even bring your own empty bottles for refill which they fill from a wooden barrel with a spigot! Actually in France and many European countries being able to buy a drinkable vin du table for around $3-4 is completely normal, folks!

I began to get intrigued about Trader Joe’s. I tried some other wines from the Trader Joe’s Wine Store next door to the main store on 14th St in NYC. All the selections at the TJ wine store seemed reasonably priced and good selections. Staff? Great. Helpful, knew their stuff, and give no attitude, in fact were super friendly, unlike the typical wine store. I liked the handwritten note on display with very personal & informative descriptions of the wine, written as if a friend were telling you about a wine they tried and liked. They even had a drinkable Port (from Portugal not California) for something like $7. Decent Sherry for $5. “Good wines” for $9-10. I started to get it. Trader Joe’s is interesting.

(…to be continued)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy Beltrandi
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 22:28:16

    Staff is certainly polite and helpful. If they could only move the customers through the line at a pace similar to Fairway! The California culture doesn’t always fit in with the New York way of life. The first few times it was refreshing but I soon found myself hungering for the rude and speedy check out line in Fairway. Please don’t ask me how I am or start a conversation about how I seem to be in a rush. Puhleeze – you’re wasting time.


  2. Soy Nuggets
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 15:21:30

    SIGN our Online Petition to BRING SOY NUGGETS BACK!!!!!

    Trader Joe’s has discontinued the delicious Soy Nugget in favor of the inferior and distinctly unpalatable Chickenless Nuggets. This is a crime against Trader Joe’s shoppers everywhere.

    For more info visit us on FACEBOOK (http://on.fb.me/ojo67h) and TWITTER (http://twitter.com/#!/SoyNuggets911)


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