I moved here from Los Angeles, where Trader Joe's was truly our corner grocery. The prices were great and the quality and choices were outstanding. It was a true alternative to the big chains.
I went to the TJs in Bethesda, and spent over $100 on 2 bags of groceries! I didn't even buy any wine because they don't sell it in their Maryland stores!!!! The only unique thing I bought was simple syrup, for drinks.
On top of that, the produce was old and dirty, and the selections were mediocre. I'm better off shopping at Safeway and Giant.
Why do you shop or like Trader Joe's? Give me a reason, because I would love to shop there again.
Where do I s tart? I love love love TJ's. I shop at the one in North Old Town in Alexandria. Apparently I'm not the only one--the store is expanding to more than double its current size, though the former store was quite small. I can fill one of their reusable bags for less than 40 bucks-- including whole grain bread, brown jasmine rice and whole wheat couscous, fruit and veggies, chicken and eggs (the "happy" kind, organic and cage free), yogurt ,milk, morningstar products, frozen fish and shrimp, and yes the occasional bottle of wine. And don't forget the English Toffee. Yum.
Store may vary in their quality but I am consistently amazed at how TJ's can keep their prices so low for quality food, at least the Alexandria branch! And no I don't own stock in TJ's.....maybe I should. Hmmmm......
To be honest, the produce is a fairly new addition to the Bailey's Xroads store, and I haven't checked out the quality too much, but I have a standard list of stuff I buy there on a regular basis; most everything I can buy elsewhere is cheaper there, and they always have a good selection of interesting frozen items & treats. I wish they had a better beer selection; all of the TJ branded ones I've tried are terrible, and they don't have much else.
You might want to check out the one in Silver Spring. It's new--open only for a year or two. It's definitely clean and bright though it's one of several places I shop--there's not enough there to be the only place I shop.