The first couple times I went to Trader Joe’s I really didn’t get what all the fuss was about. I found it crowded, difficult to find things, and didn’t really see much I wanted that I couldn’t get somewhere else, in some cases for the same price or cheaper.
Sarah pointed out that it’s a good place if you’re looking for something very particular that is hard to find elsewhere. Also, that those particular items, which would normally be terribly expensive because they are hard to find, are actually reasonably priced. This coupled with the glowing recommendation from Chef Nanci Wokas who presented the cooking class I took Monday night (and who also apparently drove her RV to NOLA to cook for people after Katrina) convinced me to give it another shot.
I’d considered that she may have been hired for product endorsement. If so, it worked! Go product endorsement!
As evidenced by many of my posts, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking lately and have expanded my culinary horizons. Therefore, I’ve become one who is looking for those ingredients you don’t find at your local mega-supermarket. Yesterday I biked on over to Trader Joe’s and found 8 oz bars of baking chocolate with 100% cacao for 99 cents!
I won’t bore you with the rest of my shopping list, but I will tell you that I was largely impressed with the way they dealt with my using my bike pannier as a shopping basket. I’ve been slightly paranoid about doing that ever since I was warned at Lunds that security didn’t like it. My protesting that it was an clearly-visable uncovered box nearly the same size and shape as their shopping baskets that I was going to have to carry with me through the store anyway made no difference.
Yesterday, the cashier at Trader Joe’s packed my groceries right back into my pannier for me and then proceeded to ask me if I’d like the raffle tickets I had earned by using my own bag. Apparently, they have a drawing for $25 of groceries. Bonus!
Sure, I’m warming up to them now. It’s still a little too crowded for me, but as long as I’m only there for a few items at once, it’s tolerable. Have you found hidden treasures at Trader Joe’s? Do you know if the location near you offers a raffle if you bring your own bag and what the prize is?