Tony and I have a mutual friend who used to travel 90 minutes to go shop at Trader Joe’s where we used to live. We thought he was crazy, why would anyone get so excited about a grocery store? Fast Forward to last month, where I was giddy like a kid waiting for Christmas. Trader Joe’s has the effect on me.Trader Joe’s is definitely not a place where I would do my regular grocery shopping. However, for hard to find items and good organic foods, it’s a great place to stop by. I always find something surprising, like a great seafood cioppino in the freezer aisle and delicious sea salt brownies.
I think what’s really nice about the place is that unlike other grocery store’s, the workers seem happy to be there. It’s pretty well-known that they compensate their employees better than most places, so I think it shows. Also, they know their food, my check-out girl and I traded ideas of what to do with the “teeny potatoes” I bought (they’re seriously half the size of my pinkie finger). The people handing out samples of soup are smiling, and the guy at the wine tasting is cracking jokes. Maybe I’m being a sucker, but it doesn’t feel like your typical corporate market.
At the end of the day though, it’s about the haul. For less than $30.00, Tony and I walked away with some goodies. We heated up the Seafood Cioppino, which has nice chunks of fish, shrimp, clams, and mussels. The garlic and parmesan baguette we had with it was nice and crisp. Plus, we have some hearty and healthy lunches for tomorrow, the curried chicken salad for Tony and the gorgonzola salad for me.
Normally when I got to a normal supermarket, I spent a lot of time worrying about finding something healthy and tasty. You won’t have that problem at Trader Joe’s. Don’t expect to get everything off of your list there, but do expect to find something that will open your eyes to something new.