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Megan Blocker

Trader Joe's Coming to Manhattan!

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you people are a bit nuts. stores are sweet in union square because not just because you stuck up manhattan metrosexuals live in the area, but because so many trains go through there, among mo-other reasons. its not that you can get all that crap you want better and cheaper from the indies but who seriously has time to go to chinatown for live shrimp and zabars for some dips and citarella for a great brioche and to brooklyn for some meat and still eat before midnight. TJ will bring a bunch of great product to the hub of lower manhattan to one store with a great business model.

chillz people, move on, move on. daniel, lets get boozed up and hit tj's just to have some fun.

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Clearly, Trader Joe's is the Wal-Mart of small to mid-sized German-owned specialty grocery store chains.


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Clearly, Trader Joe's is the Wal-Mart of small to mid-sized German-owned specialty grocery store chains.

Don't agree with that analogy. Trader Joe's is non-union, yes, but the pay scale of their workers is about 30% HIGHER than industry averages; They also attempt to sell mostly environmentally-conscious products. Not at all like WalMart.

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Clearly, Trader Joe's is the Wal-Mart of small to mid-sized German-owned specialty grocery store chains.

Don't agree with that analogy. Trader Joe's is non-union, yes, but the pay scale of their workers is about 30% HIGHER than industry averages; They also attempt to sell mostly environmentally-conscious products. Not at all like WalMart.

Trader Joe's will fire you if you don't wear a Hawaiian shirt. You won't see that happening at Wal-Mart.


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Trader Joe's will fire you if you don't wear a Hawaiian shirt. You won't see that happening at Wal-Mart.

No, but Trader Joe's won't lock you up in the store overnight. Having a dress code is hardly a difficult work criterion.

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Ok, I give! I KID Trader Joe's! I'm just sore they discontinued the pickled herring in wine sauce, the most recent in a long line of discontinued products carried just long enough to develop a serious addiction. YOU ARE SUCH A TEASE, TRADER JOE'S!!!


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Hey, the Trader Joe's/Wal-Mart analogy crept up over in the r-e-g-u-l-a-r TJ's thread! I guess it's pretty obvious.


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Ok, I give! I KID Trader Joe's! I'm just sore they discontinued the pickled herring in wine sauce, the most recent in a long line of discontinued products carried just long enough to develop a serious addiction. YOU ARE SUCH A TEASE, TRADER JOE'S!!!

Yeah, it's part of their MO to discontinue lots of products. They track how the item sells and also what they have to pay for it. We were upset about the disappearance of Skinny Soy Chips, uniquely different from other products of that ilk.

They do, however, still carry Snackmasters Beef Jerky, the absolute best of its kind, anywhere! No chemicals, no preservatives, and only $4.99 for 4 ounces!!

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This problem is certainly not limited to Manhatten. Towns, cities and even entire regions are becoming homogenized into cookie-cutter existence. While that does provide for a certain level of consistency, it also has a tendency to reduce or eliminate things that make particular areas special. Trader Joe's may not be the cause, but it is a reprresentative symptom even if it may be markedly better than most homogenizing chains. While I do not specifically avoid chains (it is very difficult to in The US in today's day and age), I do ttry to patronize more unique businesses when and if I have the opportunity, especially if they are selling more unique and locally representative quality products.

Amen. I love Mom and Pop stores that really have great and distictive products. I would go to Kalustyan's over TJ or WF for nuts anyday.

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Trader Joe's is my favorite store in the world. I gave a $100 gift card recently for a bridal shower. I give various denomination gift cards all the time. Their gift cards NEVER EXPIRE, another reason that TJ is so great. Because there is not close to me, I only go a few times a year and never get out for under $200. The stuff there is fabulous and well priced. And unique. Most nights I eat something from Trader Joe whether it be a frozen veggie pizza or a veggie blend that I take from the freezer and steam or cereal (better prices than supermarkets) or soups or rice or a frozen burrito, everything low fat and ready to eat. GREAT GREAT PLACE!! I wish one would open near Fort Lee. Westwood is totally inconvenient!

Enjoy TJ, you 14th Streeters!

Marge

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Menton,

I have said that I will go.  Its going to be in Union Square.. So if you visit New York and you want to take something authentic home.. Take the Holland Tunnel, shoot up Hudson and cross over on 14th.. Its right next to this big outdoor market where people are selling locally made produce, raw cheeses, meats, flowers, and other wonderfully prepared items.. Walked passed that old mess and look for the Neon Sign..  :biggrin:

Daniel, nobody really cares if you go to TJ's or not...

I think Katie does... :laugh:

ETA: And I do, too! :smile:

You're right Megan. I do care about Daniel. And I also can't resist the opportunity to bust his chops a little bit when he makes it so easy. pop.gif


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Here's an item from an L.A. blog, instructing Manhattanites on how to maximize our Trader Joe's exposure...

Click!

Seems we should target party foods, frozen products and exotic produce...not sure how popular some of that will be with the eGulleteers. I suppose it depends on how good it all actually is!!!

I'm very eager to decide for myself.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Megan,

GREAT GREAT TJ article. thank you!

As a major TJ fan, I can tell y'all that this article is totally right on, especially about the frozen foods. Get real food there and not just fattening snack foods and you'll be addicted for life to that place. And the frozen meals are the best. look at the fat content. they have plenty of stuff with 15 grams of fat per serving. but they have plenty with under 5 grams of fat per serving too!

Let me quote from the blog:

"Frozen foods: Here is where they separate themselves from the pack with unique offerings. You won’t find any Swansons crap here. Frozen soy chorizo and potato flautas or chicken lasagne, for example. Lots of Mexican, Asian, vegetarian and ice cream offerings. Mochi ice cream is stocked regularly. Vegetable side dishes galore." SO SO TRUE!!!!! (I hope I was allowed to quote that!)

Marge

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I got their thin rice crackers with soy sauce... I HATE Trader Joes now they have forced yet another addiction on me! Wah! :sad: First salted, roasted pistachios shelled, then milk chocolate covered raisins, then the salmon stuffed with crabmeat then the quiches and now this! I HATE TRADER JOES! (not) heheh...

P.S. I like their gimmicky smart water too! :wub:


Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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My snack addiction is the Snapea Crisps. On my last visit I bought 10 bags because the time before there were none on the shelf. Another customer saw me and mentioned to his lady companion that they must be good if I was buying so many.

I advised him to try one packaged and I would give odds that he would be back for more.

I originally "discovered" them when they were giving out samples.

A couple of weeks ago they were sampling the frozen Chicken Verde - (not exact name but similar) - a new offering. I bought some and it is as good as my homemade stuff and much quicker to prepare.

Some of their pizzas are also very nice.

The burritos are excellent.

As someone else has mentioned, as did I, the frozen fruits are excellent. If nothing else, try the organic blueberries. They are tiny but have a wonderful flavor.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I haven't read every single post in this thread, but I will make a few statements:

1)I disagree that people who shop in the greenmarket wont be the same people at Trader Joes. I shop at Farmer's Markets once or twice a week for produce and will make a once a month pilgrimage to TJ's...I would maybe go more often if it was closer. (I'm in Bayonne and the closest TJ's is Westfield).

2)Trader Joes is more comparible in the "chain" arena to Citarella and Whole Foods than it is to Olive Garden and McDonalds'.

Trader Joe's is much more specialty store than it is grocery store. But it has a lot of grocery store items (at better quality usually and cheaper price definitely) that make it more fun to shop than Balducci's or Citarella. I would say it's closer to a Whole Foods, but not as expensive and not as grocery store like. I'm not sure how well it will do in Manhattan and I wonder how the prices are going to stay as low as the prices are say in Jersey.

My favorite TJ items:

Frozen packaged fruit - wild blueberries, mango chunks and berry mix...I LOVE the mango chunks.

Frozen veg - yes I try to eat mostly fresh, but in a pinch on a weeknight... my faves are the pre peeled butternut squash chunks and the haricot verts.

Great variety of olive oil, vinegars, mustards ..ie funky condiment heaven :wub:

TLC Crackers - they can be found elsewhere, but there is always a large variety at TJ's.

Whole grain cereals - again a large variety and inexpensive

TJ brand chicken sausages ..I think there are 3-4 different varieties and they are all good.

The cheese and bulk chocolate chunks (usually callebaut) are unbelievably reasonable.

and last but not least:

Chocolate covered espresso beans :wub:

cheers,

JeAnne


Xander: How exactly do you make cereal?

Buffy: Ah. You put the box near the milk. I saw it on the Food Channel.

-BtVS

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When shopping TJ I like to stick with raw ingredients rather than the prepared foods. I'd noticed that TJ skews all of their sauces towards the sweet side, and I don't like that very much.

Also, they stock a few this-is-good-for-you-so-it-has-to-taste-like-cardboard snack products... the soy and flax-seed chips look pretty... but taste like cardboard... ditto several of the other healthier-looking snack prducts.

What I really like:

Cereals. They have the Manhattan $6 box of cereal beat in both quality and price if their pricing is consistent with the suburban shops.

Fruit juices. Great options that beat the Ceres and Looza imported options you find all over Manhattan higher-end groceries.

Yogurt. TJ's own greek yogurt products are quite good, and great value.

Turbinado sugar. Good product, good price, sometimes more expensive than the Fairway turbinado, but sometimes not.

Frozen mushrooms. Great blend of exotic mushrooms, frozen. Don't know where in NYC such a blend would be available, much less at the TJ price point.

Chocolate. Valhrona at less than half the price lots of other stores ask for it. Passable belgian chocolates... great for the price. An evolving selection too.

Olive oil. Great bang for the buck.


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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1)I disagree that people who shop in the greenmarket wont be the same people at Trader Joes.  I shop at Farmer's Markets once or twice a week for produce and will make a once a month pilgrimage to TJ's...I would maybe go more often if it was closer.  (I'm in Bayonne and the closest TJ's is Westfield). 

I don't disagree that there will be some overlap, but my point was that the greenmarket crowd, by which I mean people who primarily cook for themselves , is not their target audience. Using myself as an example, having been to TJs and as a frequenter of the farmer's market, it seems to me that the majority of people who have posted pluses on this board have focused on the following types of products:

- Frozen fruit, veg, and prepared meals that is of a higher quality

- Better quality chips, crackers, salsa, and other party-type foods (also alluded to in the LA blog)

Products that are "healthier than x" seem to come up as pluses a lot as well, i.e. the Trader Joe's chips/frozen burrito/pizza has fewer grams of fat than the one at my local grocery store.

I agree with all of this and that these are all good things, but virtually none of the things listed above are things that I, personally buy. Being a Manhattanite, I rarely cook frozen pre-packaged foods because I have a world of take out options that are good and cheap. I don't buy snack chips, cookies, etc. too often because I try to avoid snacking (weight problem) and I don't entertain extensively because I live in a 1BR apt. Other than a few packaged grocery items, such as cereal, bread, paper products, cleansers, etc. I almost exclusively buy "ingredients" (raw veg, fruit, meats, seafood, etc) that I plan to cook with, so I am going to judge whether Trader Joe's has better produce, better meat, better grains, etc. or look for the same items I usually buy at a lower price. In my experience, I have better produce and meat today than I have seen at Trader Joe's. I certainly expect that I would go there to get certain staples like sugar, flour, etc. that I buy completely on price, but if that is the primary reason I am going, I will probably not go a lot. If I am, I am then judging TJs the way I would judge a Costco, purely on price.

I don't mean this as a knock on Trader Joe's, in fact they might get killed if they tried to compete with the Citarellas of the world (although the D'Agostinos of the world leave a ton of room for improvement.) I just think that the strengths of a Trader Joe's will show better to people who cook less frequently than people who primarily cook for themselves and don't buy as much packaged, ready-to-eat food.


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Mochi ice cream by Mikawaya (the inventor) is carried by Trader Joes. I dare anyone who has tried them not to get addicted to that stuff.

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Large package of frozen artichoke hearts, $1.99. Nothing added. Aside from a great bargain and high quality, you can eat them the way you like, no soybean oil or other nasty stuff added. (And you can't get these at the greenmarket, either!)

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Large package of frozen artichoke hearts, $1.99.  Nothing added.  Aside from a great bargain and high quality, you can eat them the way you like, no soybean oil or other nasty stuff added.  (And you can't get these at the greenmarket, either!)

I agree. You generally can't get frozen vegetables and the greenmarket. :biggrin:


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I agree.  You generally can't get frozen vegetables and the greenmarket.  :biggrin:

You can't get ANY KIND of artichoke hearts there, mikey. :wink:

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I agree.  You generally can't get frozen vegetables and the greenmarket.  :biggrin:

You can't get ANY KIND of artichoke hearts there, mikey. :wink:

No, you can get actual artichokes (in season, of course). :wink:


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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No, you can get actual artichokes (in season, of course).  :wink:

Well, you could also buy roasted and processed coffee, or you could go to the tropics to see the actual tree, but I prefer the already-processed product. It's somehting like that with artichoke hearts, as well.

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