Trader Joe’s Mystique – UCSD Guardian
Do you remember going to the grocery store when you were little? The long shelves of sugary cereals, the plethora of produce, chips, crackers and cookies, fridges and freezers with Lunchables and too many flavors of ice cream to count, and best of all, the bakery with cakes, donuts and bread costs.
Now, grocery shopping is another chore on our long lists of adult things we need to do to survive. The intrigue and joy of grocery shopping is long gone, and in its place, an arduous task that takes up too much of your busy schedule. Or so I thought…
Enter Trader Joe. You might think Trader Joe’s is just another American grocery chain; however, I’m here to tell you that it’s so much more than a place where you buy food.
Before college, I had never shopped at a Trader Joe’s. I always thought this was a place for hipsters or millennials who only buy expensive cage-free organic vegan pickles. But now, as a promising young adult, I’ve decided to take the plunge and buy my groceries from a place where the cashiers will apparently flirt with you to get you to buy more hard cucumber and durian seltzers.
To my surprise, their products were more interesting than fancy. Sure, they had produce, bread, milk, and eggs, but beyond the basics, a variety of flavors and artisan foods exist in this bohemian environment where it seems interior decor is just as important than the food on the shelves. .
They have plenty of maple, cinnamon, and pumpkin flavors to satisfy even the most dedicated fall lover, snacks that made me nostalgic of my childhood, and florals that would make any house a home. .
After I finished shopping, I headed to the checkouts, where I inherently stood in line with the cutest cashier. I was interested in seeing if the flirtatious energy was real or made up of lonely singles looking for relationships in the smallest places. Immediately the cashier asked for my plans for the day, gave personal anecdotes, laughed at my jokes, looked me straight in the eye, and healed my soul with just their gaze. So, we can say that the rumors are true: Trader Joe’s is a place full of unspoken and extreme sensuality. Who knew grocery shopping could be sexy?
Finally, the presumption that Trader Joe’s was expensive that I had cemented in my mind was quickly dispelled. To my surprise, their products were affordable; I left with a week’s worth of groceries for less than $30! And while some frozen meals and bags of chips only feed one, there are big bags of vegetables, frozen dumplings, and jars of cookies, to name a few.
However, I found myself in need of basic necessities after my adventure. Condiments, spices, sauces, cereals and cooking utensils always seemed to slip away when I entered this magical space. I knew this tribulation: many before me had to do real shopping after buying only pasta and pre-made brioche loaves. Anyway, I got things that I couldn’t get anywhere else for a better price. And if anything, the experience made up for the trip I had to take next door to Ralph.
At the end of the day, I believe the Trader Joe’s mystique is real. There’s something about walking into this store and walking out with pumpkin seeds, strawberry, mango and guava lemonade, eggs and a new boyfriend who brought the grocery store magic in my life. So, I implore all broke young adults to rediscover the grocery experience at Trader Joe’s.
Photo Via Raul Gonzales on Unsplash