About

Please note, this is an independent blog, unaffiliated in any way with Trader Joe’s®) 

Thanks for checking out this site. First, the full name of the site is actually “Trader Joe’s RANTS AND RAVES“. Three words was just shorter for typing but you will see for the most part, most of the reviews are RAVES (plus the occasional RANT, mostly about Discontinued Items).

Since you are checking out this website you may like Trader Joe’s. For the most part, I really like Trader Joe’s with a few exceptions (see “Discontinued” again). Discovering something you like only to find out later that Trader Joe’s decided to discontinue it is the reason I started the blog in the first place. Argh!!! That is so frustrating but the reality is TJ’s has limited space and limited stock compared to a regular supermarket and each item they carry has to sell well and “earn its place” to keep it in inventory. They add 15 items a month and get rid of 15 items a month. Hence the “Discontinued” headaches for us customers.

This site is intended to be a place where you can learn, share, add comments with your own raves, your own rants,  likes, dislikes, recipes, stories, experiences,… absolutely anything and everything you might want to say about our friendly food emporium “Trader Joe’s”. So feel free to comment, rave, or rant, and I’ll post it to share with the world.

I have a small business in New York City (ProMacNYC) where I am a freelance computer consultant. So this blog is basically just for fun, it’s not a business endeavor for me. I got all the products listed here the exact same way as you did, just bought ’em.

My TJ “background”: New York City is a place that had zero Trader Joe’s stores until 2006 when the first store opened in NYC. Before then I knew little about Trader Joe’s other than what I read from time to time in the media, the main thing being about some $2 wine they sold called “Two Buck Chuck” which was actually drinkable (I heard)

It took years for TJ’s to open a location in NYC but New York City did finally get a Trader Joe’s store (East 14th Street, near Union Square, right next to an NYU dorm around 2006. It was always packed (mostly with NYU students?) and I used to see people on line going around the whole store then sometimes out the door. I assumed they must give away free food, otherwise why would a line be that long?! I didnt go there as the lines were insanely long all the time. Finally in late 2010 TJ’s opened a store not too far from my neighborhood (Upper West Side) on 72nd Street and Broadway. The store is not exactly next door to me, but not as far away as the two other TJ’s (in Union Square and Chelsea). At first I admit I didn’t get the whole Trader Joe’s thing…? What was so special about this grocery store? When I went to the first NYC TJ’s (E. 14th St) I just saw these endless lines that went on and on from the cash registers literally curling around the entire store right to the front doors! Hundreds of people waiting on line! I just could not fathom WHY all these people would wait on line for about 30 mins to buy groceries? (The 14 St. TJ’s is notoriously always jammed with long checkout lines)

So to start with, I went to the East 14th Street TJ Wine Store next door. I had heard about “Two Buck Chuck” (which actually sold for 3 bucks in NYC). I tried a bottle. Great no, but honestly for the price it was not at all bad, in fact I have bought wines at 2-3 times the price that were worse. Frankly I still think Two Buck Chuck must taste better when its $2 and not $3! Now I’ve bought similar wines in France, called vin du table (everyday table wine) for about the same money especially from a French wine vendor called Nicolas, the kind of shop in France where you can even bring your own empty bottles for refill which they fill from an enormous wooden barrel with a spigot! Actually in France and many European countries being able to buy a drinkable vin du table for around $3-4 is completely normal, folks!

I began to get intrigued about Trader Joe’s. I tried some other wines from the Trader Joe’s Wine Store next door to the main store on 14th St in NYC. All the selections at the TJ wine store seemed reasonably priced and good selections. Staff? Great. Helpful, knew their stuff, and give no attitude, in fact were super friendly, unlike the typical wine store. I liked the handwritten notes on display with very personal & informative descriptions of the wine, written as if a friend were telling you about a wine they tried and liked. They even had a drinkable Port (from Portugal not California) for something like $7. Decent Sherry for $5. “Good wines” for $9-10. I started to get it. Trader Joe’s is interesting!

(…to be continued)

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy Beltrandi
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 22:28:16

    Staff is certainly polite and helpful. If they could only move the customers through the line at a pace similar to Fairway! The California culture doesn’t always fit in with the New York way of life. The first few times it was refreshing but I soon found myself hungering for the rude and speedy check out line in Fairway. Please don’t ask me how I am or start a conversation about how I seem to be in a rush. Puhleeze – you’re wasting time.

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  2. Soy Nuggets
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 15:21:30

    SIGN our Online Petition to BRING SOY NUGGETS BACK!!!!!

    Trader Joe’s has discontinued the delicious Soy Nugget in favor of the inferior and distinctly unpalatable Chickenless Nuggets. This is a crime against Trader Joe’s shoppers everywhere.

    For more info visit us on FACEBOOK (http://on.fb.me/ojo67h) and TWITTER (http://twitter.com/#!/SoyNuggets911)

    Like

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  3. S.E. Limbu
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 11:56:04

    Always enjoy reading this blog. Keep up the good work!

    Like

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  4. Lauren O'Neill
    Jul 02, 2019 @ 12:08:20

    Hey Trader Joes Rants & Raves! How can I contact you?

    Like

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  5. John Yorke
    May 16, 2021 @ 15:00:35

    I wish to talk about Trader Joe’s Seville Orange Marmalade. First what a shock to find out that you had discontinued it.
    I immediately got on the phone and informed all my family and friends. Their response at first was silence and then a gasp!
    Do you have any understanding of cultural heritage? Do you know what Seville Orange Marmalade means to so many British and Irish ex-pats and their American descendants.
    Let me explain! Breakfast consist of a soft boiled egg a hot cup of tea and a slice of toast buttered with your SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE. To us it is our cultural identity and the perfect start to ones day!
    So with that in mind do you know what you’ve done by discontinuing your SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE?
    A mainstay of any good Irish or English men’s day has been ripped away.
    You guys made many products disappear over the years but this is really unforgivable.
    Is it possible That’s Trader Joe’s thinks that it’s loyal customers both foreign and domestic
    don’t have a discerning pallet!
    Please with all that secret to this community bring back your SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE.
    It is of great concern to me as an Irishman that you pick a product that has been a tradition and a main stay in my family for hundreds of years.
    OH! By the way as far as your address is concerned S.Shamrock Rd.
    You need to find a new street address you don’t deserve to be on S. Shamrock Rd.!
    John, Henry, Yorke the Irish with a English sounding name who’s day you have just perfectly ruined!

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  6. Beverly Mutchnik
    Jul 15, 2021 @ 17:03:24

    Am so disappointed that Trader Joe’s has seen fit to discontinue its own brand of Seville Orange Marmalade. It was the best marmalade and reasonably priced as are most of Trader Joe’s merchandise. Please rethink and continue selling a fantastic product.

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