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Aug 25, 2008 07:02 AM

[DFW] West Coast Transplant ISO substitute to Trader Joe's

Hi all,

I am desperately searching for a store like Trader Joe's. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. There really isn't anything that really compares. Central Market would carry the same types of specialty foods, but not at a trader joes price.

    1 Reply
    1. re: irodguy

      that's what i figured.... thanks! i really trully wish they would just go ahead and open one here......

    2. what is it about Trader Joe's you're looking for? I've never been to one, but my understanding is that it's a lot of frozen food and prepackaged produce? You should be able to get that at any area grocery store.

      3 Replies
      1. re: luniz

        Well, Trader Joe's is a step or two above the frozen food and prepackaged stuff you'd find at a regular grocery store.

        Their famous flyer
        explains their product a little better, it was something we always looked forward to receiving when I lived in SoCal.

        The bad news is that I haven't found anything like TJ's out here in almost 4 years, the good news is that Trader Joe's might be the only thing I really miss.

        1. re: healthyscratch

          well healthyscratch - i couldn't have said it better myself. thanks for posting the link to the flyer - i haven't looked at one in a while.

          love the flyer, love their products and especially love their prices.

          1. re: gastronomic indulgence

            <<love the flyer, love their products and especially love their prices.>>
            Couldn't agree more and their stores are understated and lack the full frontal marketing assault of CM and WF.

      2. There is nothing like TJ's. They offer value and interesting domestic and ethnic foods like no place else. I fill in the gap as best I can with the occasional trip to the sublime (and super expensive) Central Market combined with more frequent trips to the wonderful ethnic markets (Chinese, Mexican, and Middle Eastern) that are more prevalent in my Richardson neighborhood than they were in any place I've lived in Southern California.

        2 Replies
        1. They don't call it Whole Paycheck for nothing! I very rarely shop there, I like CM much better. I tend to spend a lot there because they have such a great selection of fancy foods that I am much more apt to buy them. I could really do some damage there if money was no object.
          Their meat is very expensive.. check out their lamb rib chops. (also possibly the tastiest meat I've ever cooked, ah well.)

          If you shop CM right, it's not bad at all though, I do agree. My usual shopping cart will be full of beautiful produce, and spices and dried fruit from the bulk section. The spices and dried fruit are MUCH cheaper than Kroger etc. You can fill a jar of basil up twice for 25 cents.

          I really miss the gorgonzola I used to buy at TJ's all the time. You could get a decent sized piece for $2-3, costs me $7-8 at WF/CM or anywhere else.

          1. re: Chile Pepper

            i couldn't get enough of the "just chicken" and "just salmon" in the refrigerated case. super fresh, super convenient and tasted awsome..... still haven't found a comparable product for the price.

            not to mention their soy and organics for the price TJs was known for.....

        2. I recently replaced TJ's soy protein and wheatgrass with Natural Grocers' bulk counterparts. TJ has the BEST price on soy protein, but NG's is very close. (Until now, I had an associate ship them from SoCal whenever she was there! She never lived in CA, but is hooked on TJ.)

          I substitute TJ's packaged and frozen foods with stuff from here and there.

          Someday TJ might get here...

          1. I don't understand why we don't have TJ's here. If you go to their website there's a way to make a request for a new location. Maybe if enough people do it they'll listen. I think Dallas would be a great market.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Christnp

              i've been requesting (as well as others) for a locaiton here for years...don't worry, it is coming, albeit slowly...aldi's is coming first...not the same as TJ's but related company, so it is coming. someday. hopefully soon.

              1. re: Christnp

                I don't understand it either. They have expanded to the midwest and northeast, but have skipped over Texas. Could it be because of WF and CM competition? I know Dallas has a lot of ethnic groups, Calif. transplants, and upscale communities. I keep hoping they will enter the Texas market.

                1. re: Christnp

                  I just placed my request on their web site. I HOPE OTHERS WILL DO SO, LIKEWISE! You can find the request form on the CONTACT US site page.

                  1. re: mdelno

                    My understanding that the lack of TJ's basically in the middle of the country, including Texas has more to do with the middle of the country lacking a distribution facility, they have to keep their fabulous frozen foods frozen after all.
                    They need the proper infrastructure before they can add stores. And of course with so many transplants to Texas, given our current economy, they will have lots of takers!
                    Still, here's hopin!

                    1. re: aurala83

                      In addition, Trader Joe's is looking for a certain demographic. There are wide areas of Los Angeles that do not have a Trader Joe's because it's not the yuppified neighborhood profile they're looking for. On the other hand in some parts of town there are two stores a mile apart. Look how gingerly they've moved into New York City, with fewer than a handful of stores, despite the roaring success of the existing stores where people have waited 15 to 30 minutes to check out.

                    2. re: mdelno

                      cool - i just did too! maybe if enough requests go thru...... maybe.... one can only hope!