My fellow Dukes who grew up down the street from one of these probably don’t even realize how much they miss it. For those who have never experienced the magic, here are 11 reasons you need the adventure of grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s in your life. Fresh, friendly, and always changing, this place is pretty much perfect for the Burg. Here’s why you need it, and fast.
1. Low prices
Trader Joe’s buys in volume from direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to the customer. They don’t charge suppliers for putting products on shelves to keep prices low, so shoppers (including we broke youngsters) can enjoy tapping into their wide variety of products without having to tap into our savings.
2. Exotic Imported Products
Arguably, the best thing about Trader Joe’s products is how freaking random they are. You’ll stroll through the coffee aisle, and come across a row of coffee from Ethiopia, then another from Colombia, then another from New Mexico.
The best thing is, their stuff is always changing, so you never know what far-off place their products will take you next, like your own mini version of Eat Pray Love.
3. Stuff for Adventurous Snackers
Didn’t know pineapple salsa was a thing? Willing to give it a whirl? Way more where that came from here. One store’s weird is Trader Joe’s wonderful. You can pick from rows on rows of unusual options to munch on, from candied sunflower seeds to “popcorn pickles.”
4. Better Frozen Options
Here in the great town of Harrisonburg, the “frozen section” of your average supermarket features superstars like Digiorno’s pizza or Dinosaur Nuggets. Although near and dear to our hearts, their weekly performance in your kitchen can get monotonous.
Trader Joe’s offers a mind-blowing selection of frozen dinner options, from authentic Asian dumplings, to chicken curry, to fettucini alfredo with grilled chicken. Best of all, they’re easy to whip up, so you can cook for your roomies like the Top Chef you were meant to be.
5. …And Fresh Ones
Take a walk through Trader Joe’s produce section and it’s like you’re on a tropical island. Their fruits and veggies are always fresh, ready to be made into your favorite salad or chomped on right there.
6. Their Awesome Organic Beauty Section
This store is also a paradise for the classic shopper who wants to hide out in the product section and smell everything. You won’t be disappointed. The perks of their hair/skin/hygienic products range from 100% organic to non-animal tested.
It would be perfect for the Harrisonburg inhabitants looking for something a little earthier than the Beauty section at Walmart.
7. Inspo for the Budding Gardener
Ever want an herb garden in your apartment window like the cool, trendy hippie character on every TV comedy always has? You starting point: Joe’s. They’ve literally done all the work for you. And with tons of varieties that change all the time, you can keep your mini-garden interesting.
8. Epic Wine Section
I would just let this picture do the talking, but I feel that I should add that the average Trader Joe’s typically has another aisle-and-a-half worth.
9. Not to Mention Beer
Nothing wrong with the college classics, but if what if you just want a taste of something a little more interesting? If you had a Trader Joe’s down the street, you could check out the latest thing other countries are putting in their funnels.
10. Options for Every Dietary Restriction, Ever
Harrisonburg may be the friendly city, but if there’s one thing it’s not all that friendly to, it’s dietary restrictions. If we had a Trader Joe’s, Harrisburg inhabitants would have access to plenty of options that fit vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, kosher, (and so plenty more) guidelines.
11. Friendly, Fun, Personal Vibe
You’d think the exotic selections and interesting products would make Trader Joe’s a snooty, more-organic-than-thou type of place, but really, it’s just a chiller than the frozen section. The staff wears Hawaiian shirts and is always helpful and friendly to customers.
There is nothing better than a laid-back, carefree shopping experience so you can quickly rush home and munch on banana chips while you study for your four finals.