Dear Trader Joe’s,
I shouldn’t like you. Really, I shouldn’t. After all, you’re just another chain with a gimmick – an appealing and quirky gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless – and we have more than enough gimmicky chains around here.
But then you had to go and leave flowers by the door to welcome me with fragrance and color as I cautiously crossed your threshold.
And then, just past the symphony of colors and scents, the produce. Oh, how glorious it was to see my sugar snap peas looking healthier and tastier than anything I’ve ever seen at Giant or Food Lion. Surely they must cost a fortune.
But that’s not all. The other produce met or exceeded the peas standard: fresh, inexpensive and a wide assortment of organics. I’ll give you this: You know how to make an entrance (area).
As I wound my way through the wide aisles, each bearing its own surprises (a 10-pound chocolate bar, pistachio cookies, bags of assorted frozen peppers – perfect for taco night!), my will-power waned, but it wasn’t until I found the Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew for nearly $2 less than anywhere else that I finally broke down and confessed my love for you.
Sure, you’re just an odd grocery store in a glitzy big box park along the highway and you don’t sell Gatorade, an essential at my house. But you’re fun. And cheap. And kind of tailored to my diet. And your employees are nice, helpful and very efficient.
But you’re so small: 11,000 square feet, according to those who know. How do you do it? How do you offer so much in such a little space? Actually, don’t answer that. I’d rather not know. I’d rather my affection exist without the cold realty of business tainting it.
Will I visit every week? Perhaps. I can’t say. I’m sure there will be times when I’d rather not drive the 10 minutes it takes to get to your door. Plus, I noticed you don’t have many of the non-food essentials: paper products, toiletries, etc. Which is fine. I know another place close by that has those; it's the only real hang up in all this: Food Lion.
I’ve stood by “The FL” for over a year, extolling its virtues to all who will listen. And here you are, in your shiny new building, disrupting a solid relationship. Home-wrecker.
Oh, that’s not fair. It’s not your fault that I like natural, healthy foods at reasonable prices. You didn’t force me to happily fill my cart with your wares.
Maybe this is just an infatuation with something new and novel that will fade with time. Who knows? But for now, let’s just keep this between you, me and the poor souls who still point their browsers to this moribund blog. (They’re cool; we can trust them to keep the secret.)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Dear Trader Joe’s,