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Oct 18, 2008 07:35 AM

Trader Joe's Brooklyn?

So, it's my understanding that this branch opened on the 26th of last month. I'm surprised to have seen no posts on this...any reports? Is it as slammed all the time as the Manhattan outpost? I may go today, and will report if I do.

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  1. It can get fairly crowded but they move lines through the check out pretty quickly.

    Though the meat section is small (and pre packaged), we've had some great luck with their NY Strip steaks and pork loins. Wouldn't replace the local butchers for me but a good option when we're trying to do all our shopping at once.

    Good TJ's brand yogurts.

    Veg section is too packaged up for my taste and makes you buy more than you want (i.e. 8 onions, non sold single).

    1. I've been quite a few times now at a bunch of different times of day, and even when the lines have seemed crazy, they move fairly quickly, as they should with 18 - count 'em - 18 cashiers! One line is for 12 or less, which helps too. Fully agree about the veg (and fruits). Much better to head to Pacific Green or the place next to Sahadi's, depending on which way you're going next. Also agree that their meat section wouldn't replace the butcher, but it can be nice to have something pre-seasoned sometimes, and they have things the local supermarkets don't, and at pretty good prices.

      As other have said, they don't necessarily replace every other store in the area, but are a nice supplement, as they carry things others don't, or at lower prices.

      1. To repeat what others have said, the lines move so quickly, even when they look long, they really are not. The space itself is beautiful & the staff really friendly. Big fan of affordable cereal, dairy, grains. Have been weekly since they opened. To give just one example of why I am a fan: cereal alone is about $2 cheaper/box than the Met.

        1. There are a massive number of cashiers. What has been the effect on Sahadi's and other Atlantic ave retailers?

          20 Replies
          1. re: Geo8rge

            It doesn't seem to have hurt them at all. The things you find at Sahadi's (excpet for maybe the nuts) and Damascus cannot be found at TJ's. If anything, I think business has increased at those places, due to increased foot traffic in the area.

            1. re: jdf

              Do you know this as fact or are you just basing it on what products they sell - just curious? I do agree with you about the foot traffic, based unscientifically on the amount of people who have stepped on my feet within in a two block radius of TJ, and I’m curious to see what they’re building next door.

              1. re: MShapiro

                I don't know what you mean by facts (i.e. I haven't stood at the threshold at Sahadi's with a number counter :)), but as someone who has lived in the neighborhood my entire life, the stores I mentioned seem just as crowded as ever.

                1. re: jdf

                  What I meant is did you shoot the breeze with anyone at Sahadi's or any other retailers on Atlantic to see how they're doing; business is good, not good, sucking wind, etc? Even without TJ I’d be curious to hear how they’re holding up?

                  1. re: MShapiro

                    No. No conversations. Just from seeing how busy it was while either walking by or shopping there.

                    1. re: MShapiro

                      For Charlie and Bobby, business is always "great.. Thank God, no complaints", their usual comment. Same at Damascus, where they actually hand make their Pita Bread.

                      TJ's to me is just another Yuppie store where almost everything is hype, marketing and packaging.

                      In a neighborhood where everything is available fresh from local family businesses like Fish Tales, Staubitz, the aforementioned Sahadi's, Damascus, the Korean Grocery near Sahadi's, I don't see the big deal about TJ..

                      Mass produced goods sold by personnel with hokey titles and outfits to match . Personally I would rather buy my food from local merchants, not mass chains, from real people, not Captains and First Mates.

                      MMW, the novelty will wear off.

                      1. re: Fleur

                        I'm glad to hear Sahadi's is doing well, even with the new TJs open for a month. I agree about supporting the local places -- we are blessed to have so many fresh, high quality options available from local merchants.

                        On the other hand, for pre-packaged items like boxed cereal, nutrition bars, ready-to-cook refrigerated/frozen foods (where TJs shines), etc. I have no problem giving my business to TJs over a place like Key Food. The prices are generally better, the employees (real people, mostly real Brooklyn people, despite the funny titles) are generally more pleasant, and the store is about 10 times cleaner. I think the best side effect of TJs' arrival has been that the Key Food on Atlantic has finally started to clean up its act to compete.

                        1. re: Fleur

                          I've never thought there was a "big deal" about TJ. Esp since I lived in SF for 7 years, where there were many of them. It's a supermarket, like any other, just a somewhat niche one.

                          That said, I've found myself surprisingly enjoying having a one stop shopping place in the area, esp with a newborn at home. It's very convenient. But doesn't need to replace all the wonderful local merchants. And the prices, as JMH pointed out, are very good.

                          1. re: Nehna

                            I agree. I don't know why the mere mention of TJs always seems to result in angry posts from some people. Of course it doesn't replace the local merchants. For me it's an inexpensive source of certain items.

                          2. re: Fleur

                            Im fond of TJs (I shop at one in NJ) for certain items, fresh cream (non-ultra), their excellent greek yogurt (a bargain), very well priced frozen veg, key limes and meyer lemons in season, some of their private label goods, etc. Our store here sells Lyman Orchard (CT) apples in season, vs. the massmarket channels of ordinary supermarkets. No way would I view it as replacing local stores, or the farmer's market but it poses a real challenge , on price and service, to the local supermarkets if they have the smart, upbeat customer-oriented staff that most TJs do. Their packaged and seasoned tri-tip beef is pretty good too.

                            1. re: Fleur

                              You don't see the appeal of TJ's, and shop regularly at Staubitz? Then slam "Yuppies"? You clearly have a "yuppie" income, or family money, if you buy your meat at Satubitz. Yes it's nice, but we're not all rich. Sahadi's of course IS a bargain, but speaking personally, I've gone to Sahadis more since TJs opened because I hit both places. I rarely trekked there specially before. As to this romanticism of local merchants, many ARE wonderful, but i've received some of the WORST service from my Pk Slope "local, family-owned' hardware store, just for one example

                              1. re: bklynbiker

                                amen to that's has been around long before the word yuppie was even invented, just as an fyi. all i know is if it weren't for tj's, i wouldn't have been able to eat half as good as i did when i was sporadically employed (then and now)!

                        2. re: MShapiro

                          I’m curious to see what they’re building next door. - I think the building nex tto TJ is going to be rental units. They have a rental office open.

                          1. re: Geo8rge

                            Next door on Court or next door on Atlantic? I meant next door on Court which has a lot of foot traffic.

                            1. re: MShapiro

                              Next door to TJ's they're supposedly opening a Brooklyn outpost of Turks and Frogs, the Manhattan restaurant/wine bar. I havent been to the original but I hear its very good..?

                              1. re: MShapiro

                                next door on court is definitely rental apts.

                                1. re: seb

                                  I think you mean next door on Atlantic, Seb. That's a big new rental building.

                                  Next door on Court is where the UPS store used to be and definitely does not look like rental apts. That is where I believe Turks and Frogs is opening.

                                  1. re: Nehna

                                    yes, of course you're right. just a typo.

                                    1. re: Nehna

                                      Didn't the empty UPS store have some sort of assinine sign saying that they were "closed forever" only to open up down the block a few months later?

                                      1. re: MShapiro

                                        Yup. The sign, I think, was still there pretty recently, long past when the UPS store opened between Book Court and Starbucks.

                                        This is off-topic for this thread, but I want to put in a plug for that UPS store. The people who work there are the nicest, most courteous, most helpful workers in pretty much any retail establishment I've ever been in. I am not affiliated with them in any way other than to be stunned at how great they are. Please consider them for all your shipping needs. End of commercial.

                                        (To get back to the topic - TJ's is certainly crowded at prime times, but the lines move, and I'm a big fan of lots of their stuff.)

                        3. I went Sunday and found the place to be fairly empty (by union square TJ standards). There was no line snaking around the aisles, so i was actually able to reach the cheese section. Only problem was that the entire freezer section was empty because of some warehouse fire. Oh well, i'll have to wait til next time for Indian veggie burgers.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: SrulyLaz

                            Thanks SrulyLaz. This is the answer I was looking for!!