I've been shopping here since the end of 2009. Presently, these people see me every single week lol :) Cheers! I've also moved farther away from TJ's but that doesn't stop me. I will happily drive that 22 minutes each week to get here. There are many reasons why I shop here for Most of my food. I've even taken the pleasure of checking their website out www.traderjoes.com for recipes, history, and locations. So you should,too.
I don't think I can order these reasons for importance, because they are all important but one of the main reasons is their customer service. Every single week I am asked if I need any help finding anything, and if they are out of something they go find out when they will be getting some more. If the lines are long, other employees jump on the register to help out! So nice. I've asked workers if they tried certain items and more than likely they have and give me good reports :) Which is credible in my book because most of these people I know by name. Not to mention the times they've opened foods just so I can try it before buying. Yea. Let's talk about customer service!
If ever you want to try something (non-frozen of course) you can always ask a worker to let you try it out. And if you bought something, tried it and hated it-you can ALWAYS return it. No hassel. No receipt. Easy peezy. That says a lot about the quality of their store, their company; and even the people that shop there. They stand behind their product.
Many of the foods I've bought from there have been from their sampling stand. Every single week they are sampling something new. What an excellent way to try their different stuff :) So I have to say it's definitely an experience to shop here. You can even ask the workers for a categorized list of gluten free, organic or vegan foods. That will definitely help if you have a certain diet to follow.
Those reasons alone should make you want to try it out if you haven't already. I've shopped at every other grocery store here in Columbus and I have to say it's kind of unappealing to be around employees who obviously hate their job. Workers have been rude, lazy and just plain ol' mean. Sometimes you can't avoid that, you need to shop at those places for specific products but I'm telling you-pleasant shopping is the best. A great company equals great employees equals great customers.
So on top of everything I've already said about this happy store :) there's more. They are overall the cheapest store for healthier foods around here. I've done Whole Foods, Raisin Rack, HSU, Earthfare, Costco, Target, Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Wal-Mart. Some of those places offer healthy choices, but you'll have to catch a good sale. Not counting the Health stores I've mentioned above, but the other ones don't have a bigger selection than Trader Joe's.
Some of my produce I can find cheaper at Kroger. And other little things like shrimp but mostly I'm shopping there for the quality of the food and the diversity of it. They are always coming out with new foods. In 2007 Trader Joe's made a commitment to eliminate added trans fats from all private label products (along with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives & GMO ingredients. So I feel a lot better buying a quick frozen meal here than I do at other stores. Many of the items I buy, have clear cut, healthy ingredients- most of which I can pronounce :)
Okay there's one last thing...whoever is the chef or CEO of Trader Joe's is-they like some kick to their foods. There are many foods that have a spicy additive to them lol and I love it! For instance, their Taco seasoning. I love it. Flavor, good ingredients and spice!
Just to be clear, not everything in their store is healthy for you. They sell sugary junk lol. It may be an upgrade from others' sugary junk but it's still junk. So don't go and buy things labeled organic sugar & yummy cupcakes! Go and look around, take your time and ask questions. I do. If they don't know, they'll ask someone else who does :)
Sorry if it seems like half the store, but
Some of our favorites:
4 Cheese Pizza
Maui Maui burgers
Organic Strawberry Jelly
Olive oil popcorn
Sweet potato tortilla chips
Spinach & cheese frozen pasta
Redskin frozen potatoes
3 Layer Hummus
Frozen Orange Chicken
Kerry's gold butter
Simple Nut mix
Soy strawberry Yogurt
Greek Honey Yogurt
Thai Green Curry (sauce)
Okay, I better stop here before it gets boring ;)
If you haven't stopped in (yes I sound like I work there and yes I would like to one day) you should. Locally, we have one at Easton and one in Dublin...I love taking first timers too, so hit me up if you want to try it out! I love sharing and learning new things people have tried. Happy Shopping!!
p.s. Don't forget your grocery list!