Skip

Your morning coffee in a cup this big.
January 29, 2009 3:40 PM   Subscribe

If I made a commercial for Trader Joe's.

Before anyone asks... the song is Águas de Março.
posted by miss lynnster (65 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
i liked it
posted by Addiction at 3:46 PM on January 29, 2009


This was fun! It wrapped up all my favorite things about Trader Joe's without having to actually deal with going there.
posted by waitangi at 3:50 PM on January 29, 2009


Cute. I love their training video (slight NSFW)
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:54 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nothing happens when i click the pictures. This the link location: "javascript:;" -- halp?!
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:55 PM on January 29, 2009


I have to say the biggest drawback of shopping at TJ's in Pennsylvania vs California is the no booze situation. At least in New York you could still get wine from them.
posted by piratebowling at 3:55 PM on January 29, 2009


Enjoyed it.

But after watching the long version, the whole covert, rule-breaking, I'll-shoot-this-on-my-phone-instead story just doesn't ring true.

see what I did there?
posted by defenestration at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2009


Wait, what TJs has those electronic cart-stoppers? Is this something that happens in New York?
posted by hifiparasol at 4:01 PM on January 29, 2009


brilliant.
posted by krautland at 4:01 PM on January 29, 2009


the whole covert, rule-breaking, I'll-shoot-this-on-my-phone-instead story just doesn't ring true.

Yeah -- if he had to shoot it with his Treo, what did he shoot the Treo with?
posted by hifiparasol at 4:02 PM on January 29, 2009


Yeah - the manager was totally in on the gig.

But I wish they had TJ's in Austin.
posted by Pants! at 4:03 PM on January 29, 2009


Wait, what TJs has those electronic cart-stoppers? Is this something that happens in New York?
I was just at the one in Sherman Oaks, CA and they have it in their parking lot as well.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:08 PM on January 29, 2009


Wait, what TJs has those electronic cart-stoppers? Is this something that happens in New York?

Maybe. In San Francisco, where the store in the video is, yes - electronic cart-stoppers.
posted by rtha at 4:09 PM on January 29, 2009


Quicktime. Pop-up. Kill kill kill.

Call me when one of those things isn't true. No amount of cute is worth either.
posted by abulafa at 4:11 PM on January 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you can't get the links to work, here are direct links to the short and long Quicktime .mov files.
posted by zsazsa at 4:12 PM on January 29, 2009


I liked. Would favorite this post again A+++
posted by Hands of Manos at 4:12 PM on January 29, 2009


Somebody tell these geniuses not to make their videos operate through popups, then beat them nearly to death until they agree to never ever never never post quicktime movies. Seriously - quicktime?

I just got done wrenching quicktime off my machine because no matter what I did, it endlessly, needlessly, and mercilessly kept associating all kinds of innocent and productive files with the hell that is quicktime. Fuck you Apple, fuck you very much.

Sorry - had to vent. So, if you got past the terrible popups and quicktime debacle, was this funny?
posted by Muddler at 4:13 PM on January 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wonder why supermarkets don't allow photography in the first place. Is it to prevent competitive research?

Oh, and I love Águas de Março/Waters of March - and am a little partial to the David Byrne/Marisa Monte version despite Byrne's ululations.
posted by ooga_booga at 4:14 PM on January 29, 2009


Flaxseed and soy tortilla chips.

They are my crack.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:15 PM on January 29, 2009


I have to say the biggest drawback of shopping at TJ's in Pennsylvania vs California is the no booze situation.

Yeah, I was spoiled in California. Then I moved to NC with its %@*# ABCs (where your government decides what you get to drink and how much you get to pay for it) so the TJs in NC can sell you beer and wine but not hard liquor. Still we do have a TJs which is a relatively new development. I had to rough it here for about 5 years without (oh...the horrors of not being able to buy a quasi-ethnic sauce in a jar on the cheap.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:15 PM on January 29, 2009


To the Quicktime complainers: just install VLC already, sheesh.
posted by zsazsa at 4:16 PM on January 29, 2009


What a bunch of link crumudgeons: its the goods, you lazy bastards.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 4:16 PM on January 29, 2009


I was all grumpy until "ten kinds of soy milk that all taste the same."

Those handles on the paper bags, though, don't rip. My big cat is over 20 pounds, and I can carry him all over the place in one of those. He loves it.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:21 PM on January 29, 2009


The one near me in CT recently started selling beer. I'm not really sure what the point is. It's a bit more upmarket than the Stop & Shop beer selection, but that's not saying much.
posted by smackfu at 4:23 PM on January 29, 2009


Um. VLC only installs its web browser plugin if you tell it to, it's not the deafult. If you still have Quicktime it will happily hijack any .mov file that shows up regardless.

All that is irrelevant.

They don't make it so I can just save the link. They make me do other stuff. It is silly. I want to watch their movie and they are making me think - what's more, making me annoyed.

And lazy? After posting here, emailing them to suggest a better way and then checking back here... yeah I'm pretty sure that's the very opposite of lazy.
posted by abulafa at 4:28 PM on January 29, 2009


After that seitan post we had a few months ago I searched every store in my area, from WalMart to a natural food place to Trader Joe's so I could try it. (Sideline: Never did find it.) But this was the first time I'd ever been in a TJs. It was freaking TINY. Pretty weird.

(More sideline: At the natural food store, which has vegetarian this and vegan that, I was in front of the "meat" locker and the woman asked if she could help me. "Seitan?" "Oh" she said with a little grimace, "we don't carry that." I'm too far ahead of my semi-rural curve? Or is it icky?)
posted by DU at 4:35 PM on January 29, 2009


It was freaking TINY.

It really is a good thing most shoppers at Trader Joe's are pretty friendly. I've cart-assed more than one person without trying.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:52 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved this! I'm in Houston now and there are no Trader Joe's here. My best friend goes to this very store nearly every night to flirt with a cute checker and to buy Two Buck Chuck. He calls me from there and describes what he's buying for dinner.
posted by shoesietart at 5:00 PM on January 29, 2009


They replaced the Safeway here with a TJs.

No shoe polish or sewing needles any more.

Just a lot of booze & Little Things to Eat while Drinking®.
posted by squalor at 5:14 PM on January 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


What? You can't find seitan? I only tried it after we had eaten every other faux-meat on the soy shelf at our local health food store. Huh. Oh wait - I'm thinking of tempeh. Yeah, I only ever get seitan at restaurants. I guess it doesn't keep or something.

Also, yes, we love Trader Joes but it's kind of a weird store that isn't quite enough for a week's worth of groceries but you want to go there anyway.
posted by GuyZero at 5:18 PM on January 29, 2009


This cute commercial makes me ask, who do I have to blow to get a TJ in my town? Seriously. I will degrade myself. Do freaky shit to get this little slice of heaven back.

You listening Joe?
posted by munchingzombie at 5:32 PM on January 29, 2009


I wonder why supermarkets don't allow photography in the first place. Is it to prevent competitive research?

Retail stores in general do not allow pictures or videos inside the stores. They are protecting trade secrets (how they display merchandise, etc.)
posted by silkygreenbelly at 5:36 PM on January 29, 2009


There is, I think, one Trader Joe's in my state, and it's about a three-hour drive away. So I have never been in a Trader Joe's, or even driven past one on my way to somewhere else. I hear about this mythical food store all the time, from people who live on the coasts or in Major Metropolitan Areas. Good things, bad things, snidely superior things. Scientists have actually found that every twenty seconds someone types the words "Trader Joe's" in a comment field on a blog or message board.

And now, for the first time, I actually know what the inside of a Trader Joe's looks like.

So, uh, what's the big deal? Really not all that impressed.
posted by bookish at 5:37 PM on January 29, 2009


I've never really figured out the point of trader joes. Again in PA so no 2-buck chuck. So basically it's a tiny little store full of snack food and glorified TV dinners. And then you still have to go to the Giant Eagle for t-paper and cat food.
posted by octothorpe at 5:48 PM on January 29, 2009


bookish, there are a lot of frozen goods there. What's not to like...I mean it's frozen goods!
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:03 PM on January 29, 2009


Yeah, I only ever get seitan at restaurants. I guess it doesn't keep or something.

How can that be? It's just gluten and...pixie dust.

I have yet to try the Asian markets. The funny looks I've gotten in the "regular" natural food outlets have made me shy.
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on January 29, 2009


Videos don't load.
posted by Zambrano at 6:14 PM on January 29, 2009


I dunno, it's really wet and probably keeps as well as a ball of dough although I do buy balls of dough at my local Safeway. Probably it just has limited appeal. It is pretty out there for most westerners. People who eat it probably know how to make it at home. And you have to eat it with sauce. It's all about the sauce.
posted by GuyZero at 6:15 PM on January 29, 2009


Octothorpe, they have TP and Cat food. People either love the store and basically shill for it all the time, or they go huh? and never come back. It seems to me like it fills a very precise niche on the value/quality spectrum. I like it for nuts, dried fruit, almond milk, and anything but produce/meat.

I can't find the version of Waters of March that Miss Lynnster sung a while back. My Google-Fu is weak. I like the Jane Monheit version a lot.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:20 PM on January 29, 2009


I don't get the entire cultlike thing about TJ's either. Friends of mine were all OMG! when several opened in the Twin Cities. I do shop there a lot for very specific things, like the 4-packs of chocolate soymilk and microwaveable rice (for the lazy) and apricot-flavored beer but if it wasn't 3 blocks from Cub Foods and actually in the city I normally shop in, I really wouldn't bother.
posted by Electric Elf at 6:51 PM on January 29, 2009


When I go to the local big super market, there are d of people looking at coupons the clipped to see if they can save money. When I go to TJ's, hundreds of people holding up goodies to check for transfat, sodium, bad shit to make sure they live a healthy life. The nice thing about TJs: narrow aisles and you can "accidentally" bang into carts when they get in your way. I sometimes drop an item into a cart near where mine is.

No booze (wine) at my Ct TJ's but that is because of booze lobby in the state. Mass, next state over, has two buck wine that is great! at TJ's...
My view: prices good. Food clean and fresh. a lot to choose from in meat and poultry but no canned goods to speak of so you need a trip now and then to a supermarket. Folks are wising up in my area that they bet better deals at TJ's so store drawing more and more people.

They also give balloons to the kiddies so you can take some home and pretend it is for you child and use as a rubber if you run short.
posted by Postroad at 6:53 PM on January 29, 2009


People rave about TJ's because they sell tasty food that's quick and easy. Ready to heat chicken lasagne - yum; thai tuna - yum; flat bread with caramelized onions - yum. There's nothing comparable at Safeway and even if Whole Foods carried it, it would cost way more. The frozen desserts are excellent. Plus lots of regular canned, boxed and frozen foods that are leaps and bounds beyond what can be had elsewhere. And the wine selection is decent and reasonable and goes beyond 2-buck-chuck. I also like the meat and produce. Although the produce is a litter steriley? (sterile-like), the quality is sometimes better than Safeway and doesn't get picked over so I don't mind the 4 wrapped tomatoes.

Where I live now in Houston, my culinary choices are Taco Bell, KFC, What A Burger (which I do like but you can only eat there so often) and every other chain plus a WalMart. And while neither my current WalMart or old TJ's has a meat department, I could buy a rack of lamb at the TJ in the video; I can't do that at my crappy WalMart.

I'm on board with munchingzombie for doing some freaky shit to get a TJ in my hood.
posted by shoesietart at 7:30 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


but if it wasn't 3 blocks from Cub Foods and actually in the city I normally shop in, I really wouldn't bother.

posted by Electric Elf at 8:51 PM on January 29 [+] [!]

Cub Foods is probably one of the more depressing grocery stores I've been in, or at least the one in Beloit, WI was. Now Woodmans, on the other hand... My college friends and I, after moving away from Wisconsin after college, still talk about Woodmans like one would a friend who has died. We miss it so.
posted by gc at 8:16 PM on January 29, 2009


I can't find the version of Waters of March that Miss Lynnster sung a while back. My Google-Fu is weak.

Wow, I forgot about that!!! Your google-fu isn't weak, though. My friend Robert killed his resoldo.com project, so that recording isn't online anymore.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:18 PM on January 29, 2009


Octothorpe, they have TP and Cat food.

Yea but not any that I would buy.
posted by octothorpe at 8:24 PM on January 29, 2009


As for TJ's general appeal -- it sells interesting packaged food that's generally free of hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors & flavors. And the prices, while not rock-bottom cheap, are much better than Whole Foods & its ilk, or even Safeway-type chains. (I suspect TJ's $4.50 no-cheese frozen pizza is identical to the $7.50 Amy's brand I find elsewhere.) Plus, free samples all over the place! Plus it has good, fairly priced cheese, and its selection of weird dried fruits is impressive -- dragonfruit? pummelo? freeze-dried rambutan? Yum.

It's not the best place to go for fresh produce, spices, bulk products, or cooking-from-scratch supplies, and I wish more of their things were organic. But for its decent prices and general cheerful ambience, I like it.
posted by lisa g at 9:41 PM on January 29, 2009


The only reason I don't go to TJs is because Whole Foods is two blocks away. I know it costs more, but I am lucky enough to be able to afford it and I enjoy walking to the store.

If there was a TJs 5 blocks away...
posted by flaterik at 11:16 PM on January 29, 2009


In the summer I stop by TJ's as I walk home from work. In the winter I hop off one bus, do some shopping, and hop on the next one ten minutes later. I make little sliders out of their frozen buffalo burgers and take & bake rolls, and a can of their cuban black beans mixed with jasmine rice? Heaven. They sell a $4.99 chardonnay that I prefer over any $30 bottle. I could go on and on. A Trader Joe's just up the street. God, I'm fuckin' blessed.
Couldn't get the linked video to play tonight, though.
posted by Floydd at 11:26 PM on January 29, 2009


Damn, I'm really missing LA now, watching that video on this freezing, seaswept rock I currently inhabit. I would have starved as a student if not for the TJs on Overland & National (west LA).

Aside from prices being really reasonable, I loved being able to pick up imported food in a very normal sort of environment. If I had a craving for something I'd discovered overseas, odds were I'd find it (or something similar) at TJs. No pretentious shop in Beverly Hills (with BH prices) if I wanted Caprice des Dieux. No scary pseudo-Brit guy to deal with at the counter if I wanted some proper cider or some stilton (frozen, ick). Go to TJs, and I could pick it up with the rest of my shop for a quarter of the price I'd pay otherwise. When you're pinching pennies as a student, that camembert is a stretch, even at the TJ price. Being able to consider occasionally picking up a culinary bunch of hyacinths for the soul was wonderful.

Back in the day, before TJs decided to make space for fruit and veg, there was even more weird and wonderful stuff on the shelves. More friends of mine became vegetarian or started eating things like wholewheat pasta because of the yummy, cheap, and completely accessible food at TJs.
posted by Grrlscout at 11:38 PM on January 29, 2009


All you folks missing a Trader Joe's are welcome to come get the one in my town.

I will miss their little flyer though, some of their product names are quite punny.
posted by madajb at 1:42 AM on January 30, 2009


And lazy? After posting here, emailing them to suggest a better way and then checking back here... yeah I'm pretty sure that's the very opposite of lazy.

You're right: I should have said "you people who expect everything to be posted to social video sites where other people can make money off your creative efforts." How wrong of me. Perhaps the author should email you back and suggest you create something for free that they can crap on when their princess-like expectations of "format" doesn't jibe with your favorite toolset.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:49 AM on January 30, 2009


The first time I went in one I thought it was an American ripoff of communist grocery stores. Seriously. Non TJs branded products compose maybe 15% of the total. Later I started to care about what I eat more and found them to generally be ahead of the curve. They had the low salt thing down pretty well. High-fructose corn syrup fears kicked in at one point and, yes, checking the labels I found they'd largely eliminated that too. Nina Planck's book Real Food came out and sure enough, suddenly they started carrying grass fed products. I loved discovering my favorite cheeses were always grass fed though. TJs has them, of course.

So why are people fanatics? Because we care about these sorts of things, have for quite awhile now, and know most supermarkets are only now catching up. My blood pressure is very sensitive to salt. I was eating things that were giving me headpain as a result. TJs helped stop that. It's that gray area where food starts to become medicine. And they keep the prices down too.

The produce is usually scary though. We hit farmers markets for those, a dairy just to get local milk, and one of the mainstream supermarkets for house favorites TJs doesn't carry like Swiss Orange & Choc Chip icecream.
posted by jwells at 6:18 AM on January 30, 2009


Fairsley is gonna shut'em down! They've always got apples!
posted by orme at 6:46 AM on January 30, 2009


Good coffee at good prices, freeze-dried mangosteen, and cheap paranno are enough to earn my undying loyalty. Throw in frozen cheese-and-green-chile tamales, multiple grades of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, and the amazing sweets they have around the holidays, and I don't know what's not to love about the place.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:20 AM on January 30, 2009


I've been going to the one in Carroll Gardens after I hit up Fairway for staples and produce (the joys of family life, yes?). Luckily I usually go stupid early in the morning, once I walked in and the line for the registers started at the door. People need their frozen convenience food man. Wow. Get the frozen mushroom turnovers, those things are crazy good.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:42 AM on January 30, 2009


What I like about Trader Joe's is how it seems to be set up to make me simultaneously feel like I'm getting a great deal and also indulging in a really wasteful luxury. Basically, most everything in there is a little bit cheaper than I'd expect it to be -- w00t! great deal! -- however, almost nothing in there is anything that I really need to have.

For some reason, I find this pleasant.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:49 AM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about those coffee chews? I could live on those. And their made in Italy frozen pizzas - only Italians get that crust right. And the frozen cakes imported from France? For under $7 a pop? That's my kind of grocery store.
posted by Dragonness at 8:17 AM on January 30, 2009


My cats got addicted to TJ's holistic dry cat food and now sneer at anything else. For a while they got hooked on TJ's Tongol in a can and that ended up with all of them in rehab. If they hear a can opened being used they all assemble because the dream will never die.

Oh, and Joe-Joe's, the oreos with no trans fat or corn syrup, that's crack for humans. This store is evil incarnate.
posted by Ber at 8:23 AM on January 30, 2009


My aforementioned loveable fatass of a cat was recently, per his vet, put on a wet-food diet so that he might lose some weight. From his early days, he refused to eat any kind of canned food, so he always got the (reasonably-high-quality) dry stuff. In the last few months, I've tried every brand, style, and flavor of decent wet food I could find; some of this stuff was $1.79 a can, and recommended that I feed 2 or 3 cans a day! Thankfully, the only stuff he'll eat is the 49-cents-a-can stuff from Trader Joe's which, while it's not ideal, at least isn't made with wheat gluten and soy protein and what have you.

He's happy, I'm happy, and hey, 49 cents a can.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:39 AM on January 30, 2009


The only thing that TJs seems to fail at is the dearth of local goods. But many of the supermarkets in CA import a lot of food that could have been gotten from local suppliers.

I suspect TJ's $4.50 no-cheese frozen pizza is identical to the $7.50 Amy's brand I find elsewhere.

I'm not sure either way on that one, what I've noticed over the years is that there are a lot of name brand foods repackaged under the TJs label. They'll carry something for a while, say Gordon Biersch, and then it will suddenly be TJs brand bohemian lager. Howerver, the cap will have the same wheat sheaf logo as GB, and I suspect it's so they can sell it at a lower price than GB negotiated with other supermarkets.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:50 AM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love Trader Joe's and I love this video. Thanks, Miss Lynnster!
posted by exceptinsects at 9:53 AM on January 30, 2009


The beautiful moms in their yoga clothes.

I love Trader Joe's. I loved this.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:46 AM on January 30, 2009


One of my classmates is driving 200 miles from Goose Creek to Charlotte, NC tomorrow because his wife found a Trader Joe´s there. When he told us, there was a definite difference in reaction between the people who´ve been to one and those who haven´t. I can´t think of another store that people would understand doing that for.
posted by concrete at 1:50 PM on January 30, 2009


Whoa whoa whoa... someone explain these electronic cart stoppers...
posted by spec80 at 5:01 PM on January 30, 2009


Whoa whoa whoa... someone explain these electronic cart stoppers...

For reals? Google cart retention. Basically there are a variety of systems that don't let you take the cart outside of the parking lot. Which would probably be especially irksome at the TJs depicted in the video, as the lot has a wait to get inside because it is so small.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:47 PM on January 30, 2009


For real. I don't have a car and if I bought a cart of stuff, I would... well, I would be an idiot because I can't carry that much. Thanks!
posted by spec80 at 6:13 PM on January 30, 2009


« Older Nuclear Proliferation Has A Home on the Interwebs   |   Dear Deer Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post