Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Stopped by Trader Joe’s

I am not sure these people ever left the store. (Photo by Larry Steagall, Kitsap Sun
One of the things Yogi Berra is credited with saying is, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

On Saturday while gassing up at Costco I got the fool notion to stop by Trader Joe’s, which is described as the Krispy Kreme of grocery stores or the Wal-Mart for yuppies by its detractors and fans. I had only been to the store a couple of times when I was living in Camas and I didn’t really catch the vision of what so many people seem to appreciate, or idolize, or detest.

We had a few calls last week telling us we hadn’t done enough stories on Trader Joe’s leading up to its opening. Based on the crowd I saw on Saturday we did plenty. I managed to find a good enough parking spot. I had planned to go to Costco to get the meat I’d be barbecuing Sunday for Father’s Day, but thought maybe Trader Joe’s would have what I wanted and that maybe the crowd would be manageable to negotiate.

This is the part of the story where I reveal that I am a little claustrophobic. It’s situational. I especially get it when I’m carting around my kids. Put me alone in a crowd of people exiting Safeco Field and I’m fine. Put me in a grocery store with a 4-year-old boy and I’m fidgety like Robin Williams during a moment of silence. I managed to make it back to the meat and browsed enough to see that the store has a lot of things I would like.

No way, though, was I going to stand in line behind 18 people just to get out of there. I stood in a line that long to get out of Mexico once and I’m not eager to repeat it. That experience was tainted by the fact that I had to pull my car into the border patrol station so officers could search for illegal drugs, fireworks or people. At least I was traveling alone.

I’ll actually have to try some of the Trader Joe’s stuff before I render judgment. I want to try those frozen pizzas with the spinach and tomatoes. The prices really were decent. It looks like a place I would have loved when I was single. I wasn’t hauling around kids then. I was probably more patient.

Trader Joe’s will open June 17

Brynn writes:

Yes it is true, we finally have confirmation from Trader Joe’s corporate: The Silverdale Trader Joe’s will open Friday, June 17 at 8 a.m.

Was that a pig I just saw fly by?

Since jumping on the Silverdale beat five years ago I can easily say the most common complaint I heard — if you could call it that — was that there was no Trader Joe’s on the Kitsap Peninsula. I often heard stories of TJ’s faithful shoppers making special trips to University Place across the Tacoma Narrows bridge, or hopping on the ferry to Seattle to hit up one of the many stores across the sound.

I heard rumors from people who said they were told by TJ’s managers that the corporate office wasn’t interested in Kitsap because we didn’t fit the demographic. But then when World Market opened a few years ago in the Kitsap Mall I wondered if maybe, just maybe, that might get the attention of other, similar retailers.

Then the Facebook fan pages came along, and Kitsap residents admitted to sending repeated emails TJ’s corporate asking for a store. Then about a year ago the rumors started. A store manager at the University Place TJ’s said they were opening a Silverdale store. I immediately called the company spokeswoman, but she said the company had no plans for Kitsap, we weren’t even on their radar screen, she said.

That left me to write this blog post in May 2010: “The Truth About Trader Joe’s” that said Trader Joe’s was NOT coming to Silverdale. But, by the next week I was writing a retraction of sorts after a trusted source in the community called me to say he in fact talked with representatives from TJ’s that were in Silverdale looking for vacant retail space to bring a store.

I called corporate again and was still told no, no TJ’s in Silverdale. Then the building license surfaced and we had confirmation, the store was coming. Most recently we received an email from a reader who said the store was scheduled to tentatively open on June 17.

While the former Circuit City building where the store will open was a little more than 26,000 square feet, the Trader Joe’s will take up about half that amount of space. This is still significantly larger than most of its other stores, which fall around 6,000 to 7,000 square feet.

For those who are still in disbelief, here’s the official press release:

Trader Joe’s to Open New Store In Silverdale Scheduled for Friday, June 17th at 8am

(May 24, 2011) Monrovia, CA – Trader Joe’s, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, is scheduled to open a new store in Silverdale, Washington  located at 9991 Mickelberry Road (inside the Mickelberry Plaza).  The store is scheduled to open Friday, June 17th at 8am and is approximately 13,300 square feet in size.

Trader Joe’s is pleased to announce the appointment of John Alvey, as Captain (Store Manager).  John comes to the new store from the Trader Joe’s in Bellevue and has been with the company for more than a decade.  First Mate (Assistant Store Manager) is Chris Melsha from the Olympia location and he has been with the company 21 years.

Trader Joe’s was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.

Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer” in their mailboxes. The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products. It’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. Each edition highlights a selection of Trader Joe’s products that the company buyers believe are worthy of customer interest, including comfort foods and items that are organic or have other special attributes.

Trader Joe’s carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs – all at honest, low prices.

Trader Joe’s is truly a grocery store unlike any other.  Trader Joe’s is a  “store of stories,” meaning every item in the store has its own virtues — high quality ingredients, great flavor or simply an extraordinary price — many items often feature all of those qualities.  Another significant point of difference, all of Trader Joe’s prices are everyday prices. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have “sales” for a few days, only to hike the prices back up again. Their prices change only when their costs change — there are no fancy promotions, discount cards or couponing wars.

So how does Trader Joe’s offer unique groceries at prices everyone can afford?  By offering more than 1000 items under the Trader Joe’s private label, which includes Trader Darwin’s vitamins (For the Survival of the Fittest), Trader José’s salsas, Trader Giotto’s marinara sauces, in addition to specially purchased items.

Also, Trader Joe’s buys differently than other grocers – they purchase from manufacturers, not through distributors. They’ll take a brand name product, take out the preservatives and artificial colors and ingredients, and put it under their Trader Joe’s label to sell it at a real discount.

Trader Joe’s introduces approximately a dozen new items every week, heightening the store’s adventurous appeal.  Our buyers travel around the world searching out unique products at great values. In order for an item to be sold in a Trader Joe’s store, it must pass the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel. Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that both appeal to the culinary adventurer and microwave aficionado.

So there you have it. In less than a month we’ll all be able to attend the grand opening, and those who’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s before can see what all the hype is about.

Will Trader Joe’s open in another month?

Brynn writes:

If you’ve been to Silverdale lately you’ve probably seen the former Circuit City building along Myhre Road looking more and more like a soon-to-be Trader Joe’s.

In fact, there is now a sign hanging from the entrance with the phrase: “Trader Joe’s Coming Soon!” (Side note: The company still has yet to publicly announce the opening, although a spokesperson did finally confirm in March that the store would open this year).

Without company confirmation about an opening date, it’s hard to know when exactly we might finally get the chance to have some of Trader Joe’s faithfuls’ favorites: Three Buck Chuck, vacuum packed marinated racks of lamb, maple leaf cookies and fat free feta cheese.

I learned in March that the company was aiming for a June opening, but was never told an exact date. Thanks to a recent email from a reader, it now sounds like the company has narrowed its timeline and selected an opening date. (Remember though that in the construction world everything is tentative, so don’t bet the bank on this date until the doors actually open).

A reader who contacted the Northwest Trader Joe’s customer relations department got a response saying the company hopes to open on Friday, June 17.

Here’s the exact text of the email: “We are shooting for June 17th. See you there and thank you.”

Short and sweet, but it’s more than I’ve been able to get out of Trader Joe’s corporate. So mark your calendars, June 17 it is!