Trader Joe's fan commercial not to be missed

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95 Responses to “Trader Joe's fan commercial not to be missed”

  1. cycle23 says:

    I like pictures of no-camera signs, too.

    I do not, however, and in contrast to my feelings on TJs, ever intend to go into one of these stores ever again: http://flickr.com/photos/tk23/431199796/

  2. StephanieInCA says:

    I love the commercial, but Trader Joe’s makes me decidedly more stabby:

    http://urbzen.com/2008/12/02/it-dang-near-killed-him/

  3. Carl Rigney says:

    @TheWalrus #72: At 2:38 in the video you can see a note about the $25 raffle if you bring your own bag, although it’s fleeting.

    The SF Bay area TJ’s I’ve been to have been very enticing, even with cramped parking lots. To me, Favorites sometimes going away is part of their charm, even when it’s sad. It’s the intermittent reinforcement of finding new and strange things, intermixed with mono no aware, the bittersweet sadness of ephemeral things.

    Although I hope they don’t stop carrying Mochi (the rice flour covered ice cream balls) though, those are SO good.

  4. burdt says:

    @DANFAN that’s one of my favorite songs. i heard it first in my intensive Portuguese class.

  5. saragorn says:

    What was that thing about bull penis in a braid? Is that for dogs? Crazy. I’m totally all for using the whole animal, but…

    braided???

  6. Sunfell says:

    No TJs within 6 hours of my home- not even Memphis has one. Heck, no TJs in Arkansas. I’m glad we finally got a Whole (paycheck) Foods, but that was because our Wild Oats got bought out.

  7. vonnegutlives says:

    @32

    TJ’s has been phasing out a lot of the food imported from China.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-02-10-trader-joes-china_N.htm

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh man, do I ever miss Trader Joes. There was one in Annapolis that we shopped at every couple of weeks and everything we bought there was always gone within a day or two.

    On the website it says that they’re opening FIVE more in California. YOU HAVE ENOUGH LET THE REST OF THE COUNTRY HAVE SOME!

    Of course Florida is a wasteland who’s only big industry is misery and stupidity, so that might be why there isn’t one here.

  9. Grimnir says:

    I also shop at the 39th and Holgate Portland TJs, and for me it’s because of Limbo next door– everyone knows the produce is the worst section of any Trader Joe’s. Everything all packaged up like that, so wasteful. It’s usually fresh enough but seriously, what a pain. Shrink-wrapped broccoli? For real?

    But let’s be honest here. Trader Joe’s is where you go to buy awesome prepared food. It’s not particularly healthy, natural, sustainable, local, or organic– it just tastes good. Yes, they have a better selection of organic food than Safeway and the quality is obviously better, but you’re still eating processed garbage from south america, and paying a premium for it.

    Trader Joe’s does away with a lot of the pain of selection, and it’s clearly a supermarket that treats its employees better and has better quality control, but it’s still just a supermarket. Fan worship of TJ’s is misplaced. To me, it just shows the lack of companies worth doing business with that companies like Trader Joe’s are held up as bastions of good management.

    I do like that you can get a drinkable bottle of wine or a decent fresh loaf of bread for under $3, though.

  10. jfrancis says:

    Great.

    Now cut it back to :60, and give us a :30 and a :15, too.

  11. SC_Wolf says:

    I would think they’d insist on removing all the verses about the “things they don’t have anymore” before airing it on TV, and that would gut the song, I’m afraid.

  12. moorebeer says:

    I remember this song when it was recorded as “Waters Of March” by David Byrne and Marisa Monte. Pretty entertaining.

  13. pigpen says:

    But mostly, it’s the dumpster out back. And knowing the truck schedule through trial and error. And a case of two buck chuck when your relatives buy you a gift card, since they always see you eating food from TJ’s.

  14. Gutierrez says:

    When my in-laws lived in Oregon Joe’s became a vacation destination for my wife and me. If only they would get a location in Houston. Then again, I’d buy a bunch of silly junk all the time.

  15. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Here’s the crew of Sealab singing it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjUOxxwjpSE

  16. jennylens says:

    Re ethnicity of TJ employees: I walk to the TJ’s on Pico and 33rd, bordering Santa Monica and West LA. Many employees are African-American, Latino/a, Asian, and some pale like I. It’s one of the few stores around with so many skin colors, ages, and sizes. It’s one of many reasons I walk there for entertainment.

    I am sooo tempted by their offerings, but trying to stick with my raw foods. I’ve always felt their prices and quality of food to be excellent. Although I do steer away from the fresh veggies because most are not organic. But I’ve been known to buy a great deal of their offerings, and never disappointed. Better prices than anywhere for same items!

    I always am in a great mood there, even if I don’t buy anything. I smell the flowers, buy a banana (that vid showed them for $.19, but the price jumped to $.29 in my hood), get money back and no ATM charge, exchange a $10 bill for laundry and bus quarters, then use leftover cash at the fresh farmer’s market at the park.

    I sing and dance to the oldies, talk to some of the employees, some whom I know by name and they know me.

    Because I walk and carry my backpack, I never deal with traffic. I laugh at peeps too lazy to walk a few blocks and carry a few items. That’s one point that’s not mentioned in the vid: carry a backpack and walk. It’s good for you!

    It is NOT TJ’s mission to move into buildings without enough parking. Zoning laws are so restrictive they can’t find small stores with large lots. It’s not like Whole Foods, who build or remodel HUGE stores with huge lots. TJ’s aren’t large stores, so finding ZONING which allows them to move in is the problem! Stop blaming them.

    They would love a Pacific Palisades or Malibu site, but they can’t find one. They are taking a survey of shopper’s zip codes, trying to figure out how to move where their shoppers live, despite restrictive zoning laws.

    There’s an empty pharmacy on the lot right now, but the owner won’t lease it to them. Oh the behind-the-scenes stories.

    I’ve yet to find most stores with enough parking. It’s a sign of the times, as we refuse to carpool, or walk, or take buses.

    As for discontinued items: that’s life, nothing is forever. So find other items to enjoy. Move on. Don’t look at what’s not there, but focus on what is there. Affordable, tasty, NEVER expired food (I don’t understand that comment about expired food, it’s not the 99 Cent Store or Big Lots), but most of all, it’s the most fun store I’ve ever come across. And I’ve been around for awhile!

  17. Gutierrez says:

    When my in-laws lived in Oregon Joe’s became a vacation destination for my wife and me. If only they would get a location in Houston. Then again, I’d buy a bunch of silly junk all the time.

  18. Rezpect says:

    Gee wiz, that was awesome!! Too bad there was no line about the lines at the Manhattan TJs. Those are insane but I wait in them anyway! Because TJs rules!

  19. AsteriskCGY says:

    Heh I lived pretty much right next door to a TJ at UCI, so no parking problems for me. Though I can see what he means about the stuff their. I liked their selection of pasta sauce better than the albertsons up the road, but I’d rather get my soda at albs than TJ.
    On the other hand, it felt like I was paying less per trip to TJ than to Alb, but that’s probably cause pasta+sauce is gonna be cheap regardless.
    And their milk seems to last longer. Though I just found out about premium milk.
    I also heard of new branch of a similar type, Fresh and Easy, supposedly from Britain.
    Oh well, back at home and all I got is a Vons and 99 Ranch.

  20. MrC says:

    Too true, although the concept of putting an ad on TV anti-TJs anyway. At least they claim in their radio spots.

    Like every TJ’s lover I have a long list of stuff I liked but they don’t carry anymore, although if I had to choose 1, I’d choose the $0.99 fruit-juice based energy drinks, or the way-cheaper-than-Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut spread. That would score me major whuffie points at home…

    As a long-time TJ’s addict (there was one across the parking lot from my High School in the late 80s/early 90s) I’m a bit blessed, there’s one 2 blocks from my office on Bay Street, and two within 10 minute drives of my house.

    I feel bad for folks in places w/o a TJs. :(

  21. phillamb168 says:

    So.. The TJs at Union Square doesn’t have these silly “no photography” signs – is this a west-coast thing?

    …Although, they also have the wine in a different store next door because of stoopid NYC package laws.

  22. Joel Johnson says:

    I have been frequenting the Eugene TJ for a few months almost to the exclusion of the Albertson’s across the street. Very rarely can I not get everything I want. It is snack central.

  23. DrJen says:

    Here’s something I don’t understand…I mean, I really don’t. Why is it that the checkout staff at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are so much more, um, er, caucasian, than my regular, non-fancy grocery store? Geez, I know I’m opening this up to a bunch of potential flameage, but it seems weird to me.

  24. EllisGL says:

    @rfenno: I moved to the DFW area about 16 years ago from the bay area.. Now if they could actually sell liquor in them….. =(

  25. Howlsthunder says:

    I really wish we had a Trader Joes in Alaska somewhere. The TJs on SE 39th in Portland really saved my butt when I was on food stamps. I could buy twice the amount of groceries (meal stuff, not just snacks) than I could at Fred Meyer or Safeway. And there was an organic produce store adjacent called “Limbo” where in most cases the veggies and fruit, all organic and often local, was also cheaper, though not always.

    I really miss the goats milk, the Hawaiian potato chips, fruit leathers, and the steaks wrapped in bacon and stuffed with spinach and feta. :D I didn’t live off Trader Joes long enough to have favored products go missing, though.

  26. stosh machek says:

    dead-on accurate …the scene w/ the cart’s wheel’s locking up in the background is edited masterfully, & BTW: WHY DOES EVERY TJ’s SEEM TO HAVE THOSE IMPOSSIBLE PARKING LOTS??

  27. taumeson says:

    yeah, astroturf? i can’t be the only one to notice.

    come on guys — how’d you like those fades? where he ripped off the price sign and got rid of the items, leaving a nice space? or how he got the checkout girl to disappear while the background continued like normal? or he had items he could no longer get spinning around the center of a fade.

    sure carl makes films and he’s good at it. that explains the technology. but pulling it off without being a douche? in the same trader joes that previously told him to ditch the camera?

    i call shenanigans.

  28. LuvTJS says:

    So many people are making comments that are in correct, the store is in San Francisco, organic bananas are 29 cents regular ones are 19 cents, the reason prices are low is because the locations rents are usually cheaper so parking is not the greatest. So a little inconvience for better products at great prices are worth it. Most products from China were discontinued. The ignorant comments are made by you guessed it ignorant people. I find Traders a great place to shop with great people and truly great products.

  29. Brainspore says:

    @ DrJen #68:

    Here’s something I don’t understand…I mean, I really don’t. Why is it that the checkout staff at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are so much more, um, er, caucasian, than my regular, non-fancy grocery store? Geez, I know I’m opening this up to a bunch of potential flameage, but it seems weird to me.

    Wow, that doesn’t sound like the TJ’s I shop at in Oakland. Where is yours?

  30. FoetusNail says:

    I’m hungry.

  31. jdo says:

    @Mark #10…one of my favorite songs, ever!!!! I especially like the version that you provided the link to because of the great interaction btw Jobim and Elis Regina! She was such a great singer and passed waaaaaaaay before her time. :(

  32. jdo says:

    …another great version of this song from Elis Regina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRqI5R6L7ow&feature=related

  33. ConsiderThis says:

    Was hoping to see my favorite – Mandarin Chicken – in the song. Just had some last night and it was delicious.

  34. soulbarn says:

    The parking lot situation is actually easily explainable – part of their strategy: TJ’s often doesn’t build new stores. Instead, the reoccupy old spaces. The one depicted in this video is on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. It used to be a car dealership – which meant it had enough room in the lot for a bunch of new cars that sat still, but nowhere near enough space to accommodate (either physically or logistically) shoppers flowing in at the rate of dozens upon dozens an hour.

    Same thing at the Silverlake TJ’s a few miles down the road. That one occupies a space that once housed a medium-sized grocery store called The Hub market. That place was sleepy; the lot was just right for the low-key traffic that cruised in and out. But once TJ’s moved in, it pushed the lot beyond capacity – again, both in terms of how many cars it can fit, and in terms of the logistics of traffic coming in and out. The addition of a traffic light at the intersection adjacent to the store has barely helped.

    In Silverlake, this was compounded by the fact that the neighborhood itself was booming at the same time – which was the reason the old, dusty hub closed; the supermarket across the street went way, way upscale; and the TJ’s itself opened (and even the addition of an extra parking lot a few doors down hasn’t been enough.)

    Contrast this to the TJ’s in La Canada, which was built as part of a developed mini-mall. The parking lot is always crowded, so you might have to walk a bit to get to the entrance to the store during peak hours, but there’s almost always parking, and the chaos is simply the normal Los Angeles car-culture fare.

  35. dofnup says:

    Soooo cute and awesome!!! I love it!! For me, it’s the can of organic hearts of palm for 99 cents, w00t!

  36. Dr Jules says:

    @#21: I’ve got some in the oven RIGHT NOW. It gets bought almost every time I’m in TJ’s. That, and edamame. And everything pretzel slims. And, well… a lot of other favorite things.

  37. soulbarn says:

    Addendum re: parking lots – I don’t mean a conscious “part” of the TJ strategy – I mean a by-product of their strategy.

  38. fbrusca says:

    Coca-Cola used this song for one of their commercials.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR7Wj9qnwaM

  39. Anonymous says:

    This song is the famous “Aguas de Marco” done in the mid-60′s by Antonio Carlos Jobim. You can buy it on I-Tunes.

  40. Suburbancowboy says:

    My top two things they don’t make any more for TJ’s would be:
    1: Roasted Corn kernels (they were like corn Nuts, only healthier)

    2: Strawberry Soy-Yum. (it was like Strawberry Quik, minus all the sugar and dairy)

  41. whatisart says:

    A cute inside job I’d agree. I’d be interested to know if that reversing black car at 0:52 actually hit that other reversing black car one second later.

  42. cerement says:

    Now if they could only stock items that weren’t 3 months past the expiration date. Or the same brands from day to day. Or had checkout lanes that weren’t flat up against a wall. Lack of variety, flavorless, bland, and stale describes every shopping experience I’ve had at Trader Joes … but the fan-made ad above certainly captures the stereotypical whiny baby-boomer that’s their main customer base. I’ve yet to see the “cute” checkout girls in any of the stores around here, unless you find anorexic, sickly-pale-green skin to be “cute” …

  43. usonia says:

    The one on 39th & holgate in Portland had an excellent parking lot, but I think that’s probably because it was made from an old Safeway. It also rocked that 1) it was 2 blocks from my house and 2) there was an amazing organic produce store (with a triply-amazing wall of spices) taking up 1/3 of the building. Now all I have is the stupid Hadley store, 30 minutes away, overrun with Umass douches & uptight rich Amherst soccer moms. And thanks to Massachusetts liquor laws, they don’t carry wine.

  44. bobbcorr says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t include:

    “it’s the monkey you find to get some fruit leather”

    Our local store hides a tiny blue plush monkey up in the rafters – somewhere different each day (perhaps multiple times a day) – and if a kid finds it they get a treat (90% of the time its fruit leather). It’s pure genius that keeps our kids occupied and looking up while we rush around grabbing things and praying they don’t see the treats that would normally drive them mad with desire.

    Pure. Genius.

  45. akbar56 says:

    So sad I live in a state where I can have trader joes but can’t buy real booze there.

  46. Nawel says:

    I don’t know this store, but the video is all kinds of awesome. The song they use, the lyrics, the images: all. Actually makes you want to buy there.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @ #64 posted by Anonymous

    I work at a Trader Joe’s, and I’ve heard that there is a Trader Joe’s scheduled to open in Florida in 2010. People are already putting in their requests to transfer there.

  48. Remez says:

    Mimi Pond did a cartoon in the LA Times about TJ’s parking lots.
    cartoon

  49. Anonymous says:

    They’re owned by the people who own Aldi. Much of their food is imported from China. That’s why it’s so cheap.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are incorrect, Trader Joe’s is not owned by Aldi and they stopped carrying products from China over two years ago.

  50. Anonymous says:

    UGH, I have to echo all the people who hate it when Trader Joe’s discontinues things they love.

    For me the biggest disappointment was when they discontinued their thai tuna curry pouches.

    Delicious, easy, and CHEAP! What’s not to love?!?
    I still can’t believe they discontinued it.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Friend of Filmmaker Correction: The parking lot is not on La Brea. It is at the TJ’s on Masonic, near Geary in San Francisco. It has a notorious snake of traffic out onto Masonic. It is exacerbated by the fact that you can’t turn onto the lot coming north on Masonic, only south, so if you miss your chance, you’ve got to go all the way around the block and get in a long line again.

  52. hectorinwa says:

    They are in a brand new space in Ballard. (seattle) It’s opening this coming weekend I think…

  53. Anonymous says:

    oh these cute yoga moms… here in germany i just have to find a trader joe’s equivalent – most likely a “BIOSUPERMARKT” – and there they are, cute and all, so concerned with their little ones health, ready to yoga away.

    ironically the owner of trader joe’s runs the infamous discount grocery store chain “aldi” here in germany.

  54. rfenno says:

    Don’t get me started.

    I moved to Texas 12 years ago, and I didn’t realize how much I’d miss Trader Joe’s and Vin Scully. Now when I have a gig in a TJ’s town I travel with an extra suitcase (thanks Southwest!) and fill ‘er up for the homeward flight.

    Aldi, the German grocery chain which (yes!) bought TJ’s from TJ is opening a distribution warehouse in Denton, TX this summer. Then we;ll see if they’re piggybacking TJ’s for Texas.

  55. NidSquid says:

    Silly Philly, no booze allowed in our grocery stores. :-(

  56. alect0 says:

    As a former Traderjoeite, I have to say that the video is a good one. To everyone reading this, here are a couple TJ facts for you:

    LOST ITEMS: Yes, you may say that you miss certain products from the store and I feel your pain. I miss particularly the Dulce de Leche chocolates, which you could freeze and enjoy chilled. But as a business, TJs try to put new items on a regular basis. Some succeed (Orange chicken, chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels) and others fail miserably (Tabouli salad). But you have to be very aware that if nobody buys it, it will be discontinued. That is why TJs doesn’t need publicity, as it is a word-of-mouth store. You like it, the TJs crew wants you to share it with your friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances at church and even that guy called Carl that you don’t like at your local dive bar. A product can come back. Ask the guys on the Hawaiian Shirts (called full-timers) and they will provide you the place where you can call and request a product for a comeback. Ask, and you shall receive.

    PARKING: TJs try to select very peculiar locations, but always medium to regularly sized parking lots. Why? To look busy! How many times you see a line and wonder what that is for? There is your answer.

    ETHNICITY: Frankly, it all depends of the area. I had the chance to work with a very diverse and eclectic crew. All with great personality and people who loved the store.

    PRODUCE: Ah! The mighty dragon called produce… I worked on that area and it is hard to maintain. No matter how much attention to detail you put, you had waste and some bad apples… and bananas… and cucumbers… and I could go on, but the main thing is that TJs tries very hard on this aspect. Every day they receive the shipments at 3-5 AM to get everything on order. Sometimes we got shorthanded and we had to patch up with anything we had. You think it is easy to put produce on the shelves? Buy a bushel of apples and please put them on a nice organized pile. Now ask your family members to pick one every 10 seconds. Lets see how long does the pretty pile last. Don’t like the produce? Support your local grocers and go to your local farmer’s market. Still unsatisfied? Be a farmer. Hydroponics can be done in small apartments also.

    PRODUCTS: TJs tries to appeal to a part of the customer that few understand. Your EGO! TJs tries to make you feel smart because you shop with them, showcasing that they are the intelligent and wise decision for the discerning customer. How many times have you defended TJs products as better? Bingo.

    NO PHOTOS: As much as TJs is a friendly place, they don’t like their media be distributed. There was a website that liked to publish TJs news and was made to shut down. Why? Control. TJs wants to be the only voice to be heard about their products, so they act very severely about it. Is this correct? Who knows, but in a world where anything can be used, captured, remixed and re-imagined, this approach isn’t an intelligent one. A wiki approach with recipes, feedback on the products and customer’s videos would be a more modern and pleasing approach. Almost like “What’s your TJs story?”

    MOVING OUT: Do I miss TJs? Some things. I’m in Austin and I crave from time to time the Challah bread. I was out of my favorite MINTZ, but my dearly beloved got me 3 boxes she found online. 2 buck chuck makes awesome clericot and here the cheapest wines are around 6 or 9 bucks… Yeah, parts, as always in life, are amazing.

    TJs is a store which tries to be a family. Would you at one moment invite one of the guys at the store for dinner with the family? That is their aim.

  57. Ernunnos says:

    Peanut butter puffins cereal. It’s good enough to risk salmonella.

  58. moustache says:

    Dude! Peanut butter filled pretzel bites and 2-Buck-Chuck are staples in my house. Trader Joe’s rules.

  59. Guesstimate Jones says:

    The only thing he missed was the bewildered senior citizens, reading all the labels…

  60. Stefan Jones says:

    #39: There’s a Fred Meyer grocery in downtown Portland that has those cart-stopper devices.

    One of the wheels has a boxy gadget that engages a break when you try to leave the parking lot.

    (There’s a large population of crufty bums in the
    area, and Freddy’s is the only large grocery nearby.)

  61. A former race mechanic says:

    @ Usonia #29

    Reedie by chance?

    I remember when they opened the 39th and Holgate store in ’94. Much better than going to the Fred Meyer on Hawthorne!

    We just moved to Vancouver, BC; now the closest TJ’s is in Bellingham, WA — an hour away if the border cooperates.

    Having lived much of my adult life within a ten minute walk or bike ride of a TJ’s, I never thought that I’d need to use my passport just to pick up some mango-lemonade or triple-ginger snaps. But we make a point to get down there every couple of months at least.

    Plus, Limbo – hells yeah! We stock up on chili powders and other spices whenever we’re back in Portland.

  62. theWalrus says:

    My local TJ’s has such a bad parking lot that the staff have sweat shirts that say “I survived the Encino parking lot.” It’s beyond me why they don’t move to a better location, although I’m glad they don’t because it’s walking distance from my house (so I don’t have to deal with the parking).

    You get to fill out a raffle ticket when you bring your own shopping bags, which I do. I won the raffle one time and got a $25 gift certificate, another reusable shopping bag, and (the best part) my photo on the wall. I think, though, they’d do better to have a raffle for people who walk or bike to the store.

    The L.A. Weekly once had a cover story entitled “The Cult of Trader Joe’s”–and a cult it is in many ways. Regulars can all tell you their favorite items (and how sad they are that they don’t carry this one or that one any more).

    Some in this discussion have suggested that they make this video into a TV commercial. TJ’s doesn’t need it. You just have to shop there once, and it’s more than likely that you’ll find an item or two that you just have to go back for.

  63. soulbarn says:

    @Kento – the “ball of ice cream covered in flour” is a Japanese-inspired ice-cream treat called “Mochi.” Mochi is actually a sort of rice-flour confection that’s absolutely delicious; it can be a super-high end delicacy available in tons of flavors. This version wraps that confection around ice cream, and it is AMAZINGLY GOOD. The manufacturer is in Los Angeles.

    What’s really great is that Japanese restaurants used to offer the exact same product from the same manufacturer as their own home-made dessert – all over town. TJ’s put the lie to this: you get six for about four bux. My favorite treat.

    @ARLOPICKENS: The “futuristic ghetto” is the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, just west of Hollywood and east of Beverly Hills. If you had a good throwing arm, you could almost hurl a hunk of the aforementioned mochi ice cream from in front of the TJ’s in the clip, right into the La Brea tar pits.

  64. soulbarn says:

    Oh, and I think the “force field” is less to prevent cart theft than to keep the carts from cluttering the lot. The parking situation at that particular TJ’s is unbelievably fuckdickulous. The worst I’ve ever seen. Sometimes you simply can’t get in – even when they’ve assigned two or three employees to air traffic control. I’ve seen multiple fender-benders and near fist-fights break out between the narrow stripes. A few carts and the whole thing could erupt into a peanut-butter filled armageddon.

    Now that would be something to film.

  65. mikeee says:

    Why do I have the funny feeling this is, yet again, a real advertisement masquerading as a “surprise hit by a nutty fan.” The YouTube account has all the hallmarks as such (recently created, etc). Sure there is some arguably negative stuff in there (i.e. the smoking) — but it’s all presented in a very endearing way.

  66. Pipenta says:

    Trader Joe’s in New England are very different from the ones in California. They suck, actually.

  67. Bionicrat2 says:

    Very fun and as bittersweet as the Trader Joes experience. They get so much right but what they get wrong is so vexing.

    Regarding the overall frustration with products coming and going, a fine fellow in a Hawaiian shirt told me 9 months or so ago that TJ’s has changed to being much more “nationally” oriented. So even if the Southern California stores couldn’t keep the Boylen’s Ginger Ale in stock it doesn’t matter if nobody buys it other parts of the US. That seems correct in that I’ve noticed the beers just recently started to become consistent. Previously, I’d go to a Trader Joe’s in AZ and there’d be a totally different selection of beer than our LA stores have. Now they seem to be the same (and very similar to what Target carries now, as well???).

  68. fenderbasher says:

    TJs rocks! Their Peaberry coffee was (sob!) the best!

    Those damn cart brakes drive me nuts; they are primarily to prevent theft. I lived across the street from a Fred Meyer store (think “Kroger’s” for all you east coasters) that had this system; not only does it lock up a wheel but makes an odd bi-tone noise. All night long was a chorus of “BEEE-boop” as the carts were left at the painted line demarcating the limit they could go. Weird and kinda sad, as it sounded like they were lost and lonely. Metal calves lost in the parking lot…

  69. Anonymous says:

    I met a guy at a hotel bar last month in Palm Beach County, FL who claimed was looking at real estate for Trader Joe’s. He told me he was looking at Boca and Gardens locations.

  70. Frau Blucher says:

    @46 grimnir: very well said indeed.

    but personally I don’t think their prepared foods are very good at all. and at least here in LA the produce is gawd awful.

  71. kento says:

    Incredibly charming! About a year and a half ago I interviewed the lady that runs the company that makes the “ball of ice cream that’s covered in flour!” I wish I remembered more about it now. I also wish I could go to Trader Joe’s….

  72. arlopickens says:

    Woah! A magnetic field that stops your shopping cart? All the stores I know about where they don’t want to lose their carts just have giant metal poles sticking out of the carts so they won’t fit through the door.

    What kind of futuristic ghetto does this guy live in?

  73. Anonymous says:

    bring back sugar people cookies!!

  74. spasticllama says:

    He is just missing one thing… “It’s the raffle you can win, if you bring in your own bag.”

  75. Anonymous says:

    trader joes should be in every city. they rock. miss them after moving away from one..

    :)

  76. nehpetsE says:

    In the boston area Trader Joes, all the employees are part of a cult group marriage thingy. Kinda like Heavens Gate, but hipper and better looking.

    And of course with Hawaiian shirts instead of black nikes.

    This video had to have been an inside job.

  77. querent says:

    big ups to yoga moms and charles shaw

    “fat weasel” needs props. (they still make that stuff?)

  78. phillamb168 says:

    @#28 Cerement I’d think their main customer base would be “people who would like to eat food,” as opposed to whiny. Also, where is there any green skin in the ad? Or your Trader Joe’s?

    I’m really surprised at the negative comments about Trader Joe’s – I’ve never had a bad experience there yet (the line doesn’t count, in my book) and everybody I know who knows about Trader Joe’s, shops there.

    Caveat: it is entirely possible that the west coast Trader Joe’s stores are awful. If that’s the case, move to the east coast. It’s better here anyway.

  79. Shelby Davis says:

    I don’t shop there–but I encourage all my sharing-inclined friends to do so.

  80. ornith says:

    Most of the grocery stores here in Philly have those stupid carts. Even the Whole Foods. The Trader Joe’s here has awesome prepared foods but mediocre produce (most supermarkets here have terrible produce for some reason). But no wine, because PA has the most crackheaded liquor laws ever. Restaurants and a handful of corner stores can sell take-out six-packs of beers, special distributors can sell cases of beer, and only state run stores can sell wines and liquor.

    I love those dark-chocolate-covered orange candies TJ’s has, and the dark-chocolate-covered cherries aren’t far behind.

  81. standingstill says:

    Yeah, that’s all pretty much right on the money. All true, all true!!! Including the cute yoga moms and the check out girls :) Btw…it’s the TJs on Masonic at Geary in S.F.

  82. kingzilch says:

    @TAUMESON: Shenanigans? Or maybe just that the store was cool with it? The U-District store in Seattle is pretty laid-back.

  83. sixister says:

    I don’t understand. Does he like or dislike Trader Joe’s? A Devil’s Advocate commercial?

  84. mgfarrelly says:

    I saw some of the super bowl commercials and they were a parade of misoginistic, misanthropic and violent attempts at comedy. Nothing in the ads informed me about the product or made me interested in learning more. In some cases, the paticularly vile floral service ad where a woman is screamed at by a box of flower made me actively dislike the company.

    I’ve never shopped at Trader Joes, but now I’m interested. Cute, wryly funny and actually featuring the product and or service. This should not be ground-breaking.

  85. jennybean42 says:

    @54
    I know people who have actually done this
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-shopping-cart-locking-force-field-OF-DOOM/
    But instead of making it into a portable thing, they just put the mp3 on their boomin’ stereo and blare it around the parking lot, getting them all to lock up at once. Heh

  86. Anonymous says:

    Great song. Seems to be based on melody of “Waters of March” by Luciana Souza. MK

  87. lecti says:

    I love the scene where the lady’s cart gets stuck. It *looks* subtle enough to be unstaged, and cute.

  88. danfan says:

    Lest anyone be confused about the creativity of the creator, this is a Jobim song, “Aguas de Março”. Kinda funny. I’m sure Tom would approve.

  89. franko says:

    best fan commercial depicting the love/hate relationship with trader joe’s EVER.

  90. kaykhanittha says:

    Hello,

    Do you know where to find different Snake wine ? I already own this one:

    http://www.asiansnakewine.com

    Thanks for help.

    (by the way I found your website on Google when looking for Snake wine bottles)

  91. Anonymous says:

    I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the tune he’s singing to, can anybody fill me in? It’s something by Joao Gilberto or Jobim or somebody. Help?

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