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Surprising secrets about Trader Joe's

Utterly Surprising Secrets About Trader Joe's


Trader Joe's has locations in nearly 40 states with hundreds of locations ... but how much do you know about the grocery store chain? There is a lot more to the specialty store than low prices and hawaiian shirts.



Many Trader Joe's hide a toy in the store for kids to find.

They have sold more than 600 million bottles of 'Two Buck Chuck.' That's a whole lot of drunk, cheap people.

Every 'Trader Joe's' has its own artist, making each store unique.

80% of Trader Joe's products are their own brand. But 100% are delicious.

Its founder, Joe Coulombe, came up with the idea for the store on a Caribbean vacation, and the employees wear Hawaiian shirts because they want to take you on a culinary journey.

Prices are so low at 'Trader Joe's that there are never any discounts. How do you like them apples? Cheap? Good.

Did you know that you can try anything in the store? For Real. A Buzzfeed correspondent asked an employee, "I want to see these horseradish chips ... Is it possible to try them?" The immediate response was "Sure!" Spoiler Alert: They tasted great.

They also have a 'No questions asked' return policy. Not a fanana of those bananas? No Problem! You can send them back to Trader Joe's.

Lastly ... each store reportedly has a plastic lobster hidden somewhere.

Join the discussion

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ExAZtential June 16 2014 at 8:07 AM

I lived in Phoenix (Ahwatukee) in 1993 the year TJ's expanded outside California. It is amazing how they have expanded nationally over the last 20 years. Trader Joe's was founded by Joe Coulombe in 1958 and has been owned since 1979 by a German family trust established by Aldi Nord's owner Theo Albrecht. Some Trader Joe's products are sold in Aldi stores in Europe. Thanks AOL for the infomercial on Trader Joe's.

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3 replies
s June 16 2014 at 7:22 AM

I regularly hide a plastic lobster in my pants, I find it to
be a good conversation starter and the chicks dig it.

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20 replies
cal3301 June 16 2014 at 7:43 AM

Trader Joe's groceries are not that cheap!

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9 replies
jlsjoyce June 16 2014 at 7:53 AM

I go to Trader Joe's every time I am near the store. I love it there. Everyone is friendly and helpful. If the check out lines are long, they call more people to help out and someone takes care of me quickly. If I bring in a bag for my groceries, I can enter a drawing for a bag of groceries which will be given to the winner on a regular basis. I love the samples and the friendly person who gives me a coffee sample. I purchase those things that are priced well, and or those thing that are better quality than at the regular grocery store. Do not take my Trader Joe's away from me... Love it! Check out the variety of cheese, and indeed, do try the two buck chuck wine (Charles Shaw). It is good, although it is now $2.99..

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Margaret Ann June 16 2014 at 9:12 AM

In regard to the person who said T.J.'s food isn't healthy...............HELLO......!
There food is most definitely healthy. And If you have a prob. with the sodium, just tell the manager and call or write headquarters. I am amazed how much Trader Joe's listens to their customers AND makes changes for us !!!!

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1 reply
recordpete Margaret Ann June 16 2014 at 10:15 AM

There are too many things I'd like to try, but they have soybean or canola oil in them. I don't eat GMOs or hydrogenated oils. They should definitely modify those ingredients. They also seem to discontinue some of our favorite items. They tell me the decisions are made on a corporate level according to how well they sell all across the country. Oh well. Otherwise I love Trader Joes!!

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4 replies
dlong0930 June 16 2014 at 5:49 AM

I don't know how I have lived so long not knowing any of this information !!!!!

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2 replies
kritteracres dlong0930 June 16 2014 at 5:40 PM

Ahahaha dlong, how did so many of us survive without a Trader Joes? They suck!!!!!!!!!

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Doc Rhines dlong0930 June 16 2014 at 6:41 PM

Never heard of 'em ~~ Will I survive :-(

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obie2422 June 16 2014 at 7:39 AM

This was posted as a "lifestyle" article...Should have been as an advertisement.

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cuscusu June 16 2014 at 9:26 AM

First TJ’s visit was long ago in CA & AZ. A positive experience. Sent numerous letters asking them to expand to NY. Many years later they did, and of course, I take credit for it happening. My TJ’s experience has always been exemplary and am always impressed with their helpful, courteous crew and diverse products. More than 2 or 3 customers on a checkout line --- bell rings and more checkouts open up. I’ve yet to experience better customer service anywhere. Excellent products, good help, what else can one hope for. Actually there is, NY should allow them to offer wines keeping step with their other stores in other states. That would add perfection to an unquestionably marvelous unique store.
Albert P.

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1 reply
suzannji2 cuscusu June 16 2014 at 1:08 PM

Trader Joe's do have at least one store in New York that sells wine. It is on 14th Street near Third Avenue and it is separate from the grocery a few doors down, because of New York State law. I don't know whether there are any other TJ wine shops in New York--it would be great to have one in the Albany area. I think I'll google it because now I'm interested. And thank you for urging TJ's to expand to New York!

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1 reply
dorothy.moulton suzannji2 June 16 2014 at 10:02 PM

They're expanding like crazy in the City -- 72nd and B'way, 6th Ave. & 21st, the original 14th St. store (located on the ground floor of an NYU dorm. An Upper East Side store, I've heard, is coming soon.

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beemerboxer June 16 2014 at 7:40 AM

One recently opened in our city and after one visit, it is over for our family. We have Whole Foods, (whose $2.99 a bottle wine is at least drinkable), and Fresh Market whose fruit and vegetable line up is superior if a tad more expensive. Our local supermarket, rated one of the best in the USA, also offers fair value for money and good merchandize. The hype behind Trader Joe's seems to be it; it reminds one of a so-so grocery store in the Islands so it did at least succeed in that image.

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8 replies
hpycmpr155 June 16 2014 at 6:19 AM

Went to the one in our city once.
HATED the place.

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10 replies
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