Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trader Joe’s coming to Portland…

Maybe you’re already familiar with Trader Joe’s - “a unique grocery store.”  And if you are, there’s a 99.9% chance that you love the place, and have wanted one within your reach for years.  We’ve sure wanted one nearby.

If you aren’t, I’m here to tell you the likelihood you’ll love the place once you shop there is 99.9%.

And now we’re finally in luck.  Trader Joe’s will be opening soon in Portland on Marginal Way in a former health food store location whose name I can’t recall at the moment.  (Was it Royal River?) They are now hiring for the location.

We’ve been devoted TJ’s patrons since the late 60’s/early 70’s when they were established on the west coast.  They’ve come a long way since then, and every store they open is an immediate success.

I confess a personal interest – my son is “First Mate” at a store in Massachusetts.  It’s a fun business, and a great place to work.  It’s not a  huge place like Whole Foods with a fresh butcher department, but you will be pleasantly surprised by their variety of unique products and their prices.

We have numerous ‘staples of our existence’ that we purchase from them, including my favorite “Pound Plus” dark chocolate bars, of which I consume two squares virtually every day.  Others include their Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, cereals, etc.

If you like picking up interesting snacks and creative items for a party or buffet, you’ll get lots of inspiration.  We did an Italian party several months ago, and found a great selection to come up with an antipasto platter.

They have mostly private label stuff.  In those stores that carry wine, they have a huge, value priced selection, and they became nationally known as a big distributor of “2 buck Chuck.”  I’m virtually certain the Portland store won’t carry wine, but you never know.

All I can say is get ready.  To get a feel for TJ’s fun and irreverent atmosphere, go here.

And be sure to look at their “Fearless Flyer,” which is mentioned here:  It doesn’t look like you can sign up for one yet, because they are location dependent, but if you know a MA zip code, you can punch it in, and get the one for that area.

In what may be the most definitive indication of how meaningless the Poppycock’s lives are, let me just say that this is the most exciting news we’ve had in the area in a decade or more.

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