Here's some Trader Joe's-related good news and bad news for your Friday.
The good news: Southeast Florida finally has a Trader Joe's. The store officially opened at 8 a.m. today, October 18, with a ceremonial lei cutting.
The bad news: This particular Trader Joe's is in Pinecrest, a tony suburb, located about six miles south of downtown Miami. That means a bit of a schlep if you live in Broward and Palm Beach.
More good news: Palm Beach County will be getting three Trader Joe's locations soon, with a 12,500-square-foot TJ's opening in Boca Raton's East City Center in the near future; and another shop opening at Delray Place in Palm Beach Gardens in October, 2014.A Wellington store is also in the works.
More bad news: Broward residents, so far, are left to drive north or south to experience this grocery chain's own brand of tiki-inspired awesomeness.
So what's in store for you at Trader Joe's and why are so many people fanatical about a grocery store? Well, it could be something in the green plant juice that everyone was raving over at the opening celebration down south, or it could just be the sheer awesomeness of the store itself. Here are a few highlights of what to expect:
Trader Joe's Prices are Cheaper than Competitors
Perusing the aisles at Trader Joe's, you'll catch onto one thing instantly... nearly everything is named after the store. Cookies are Joe Joe's. Tangerines are Josies. Cereal is Joe's O's. Just go with the flow, because you're basically buying the same stuff, just packaged cuter. That's because the company, based in Monrovia, California, buys direct from the manufacturer and brands it with private labels -- but the savings go in your pocket. That means 30 different cereals all under two bucks a box. Go Joe!
Trader Joe's Products are Free from GMO's
When you buy Trader Joe's branded products, you're also buying GMO-free. According to their website,
"When developing products containing ingredients likely to come from genetically modified sources, we have the supplier of the product perform the necessary research to provide documentation that the suspect ingredients are from non-GMO sources. This documentation is in the form of affidavits, identity-preserved certification of seed stock, and third-party lab results from testing of the ingredients in question. In addition to this work done in developing a given item, we conduct random audits of items with potentially suspect ingredients, using an outside, third-party lab to perform the testing."
If You're Feeding a Family, Trader Joe's is Your Friend
Here's a familiar scenario. You're a working mother or father and you need to put food on the table. You can marinate a piece of chicken, put some rice on to cook, and chop vegetables for a nutritious meal. Or... you can buy Trader Joe's premarinated meats. We ran into Michelle Loretta, a Trader Joe's veteran who used to live in California. Her cart was filled to the max with prepared foods for her family. She told us she loves the easily prepared foods, especially the chicken tenders with curry. "I don't have to think about a TJ dinner. I can buy the ingredients at Whole Foods, but it would cost me two, three times more. Plus, look at the label. These are real ingredients."
It's One-Stop Shopping
Don't think Trader Joe's is just about procuring inexpensive exotic foods. You can buy everything here on the cheap, from toilet paper to dog treats (check out the pumpkin cookies for Fido) to sunscreen -- all at lower prices than you're used to. Plus, shipments on perishables arrive daily, so everything is fresh.
See also: Trader Joe's Opening in Pinecrest