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trader joes in SWFL

so they even announced it on the local news....SWFL will be the first area of Florida to get a Trader Joes....

but the local paper called it a "foodie" destination...
so is it Foodie or Chowie?

should i even care?

should i just wait and decide for myself?

all i know about them is the few posts i have read here on CH....

but i doubt publix is quaking in their boots either...
since they just opened a "hybrid" publix store here last year..
which i have been to a few times...

so is Trader joes the Apple of grocery stores?

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  1. Why not just wait until it's open, have a wander through a couple of times and see what it's like?

    They're not out to replace Publix, and Publix knows it...

    But it's a cool concept, nice stores, and a nice source for things that just don't appear on "regular" grocery stores from time to time.

    9 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      How different is it from Whole Paycheck?

      1. re: rhnault

        It's very, very different than Whole Foods -- there isn't much of the "washed in the tears of angels" b.s. that is a transparent excuse to double the price.

        Some of it's expensive, some of it's surprisingly cheap -- but a lot of it is things that you simply can't find anywhere else.

        I don't think it would be a replacement for a regular grocery, but rather a complement.

          1. re: sunshine842

            "the "washed in the tears of angels" b.s. that is a transparent excuse to double the price"

            maybe that's why TJ's hasn't made it to South Florida yet? i hate having to go to Whole Foods for stuff i can't find at Publix, etc. i avoid it like the plague until the need arises :(

            1. re: crowmuncher

              Agree, THe lighting, staging, and overall food porn merchandising of Whole Foods does not warrant the high prices.

          2. re: rhnault

            It's basically a grocery store taking on the Pier 1 concept. I'm pretty stoked about them finally coming to Florida, especially so close to home for me.

            1. re: bagofwater

              that's actually a really good description...

          3. re: sunshine842

            i probably will wait and decide for myself anyway...
            just wanted a few more opinions...

            also where its going to be is halfway across the county...
            its not very convenient to shop at ..not when i have 3 publixes on the way home and one just down the street..plus the super walmart is 2 minutes up the road..(yes its 2 minutes i timed it)
            plus theres a place called Wynns market (that also does prepared foods) 2 blocks away from where i work..
            so unless TJ is some knock me down awesome stuff...its only going to get an occasional visit

            1. re: srsone

              Just a fair warning, Trader Joe is addictive. Once you go, you're going to return--not competitive with Publix but a special place on its own. You will really enjoy shopping there. Not sure if they will allow wine to be sold, but they have a terrific wine selection. You can skip Trader Joe for the produce part but concentrate elsewhere. Their prices are super low on items that cost a good deal more elsewhere.

          4. Trader Joe’s grocery store coming to North Naples this year
            Updated September 7, 2011

            I'm so excited! I hope I'm not working on their Grand Opening day.

            5 Replies
            1. re: FunCal

              Where is the distribution center going to be? I am in MI during the summer and love TJ, miss it so much when I come down to Sarasota for the winter. Hopefully Sarasota will be in their future.

              1. re: Mother of four

                yes i wonder about that as well...
                the last report i heard said that TJ's wasnt coming to florida anytime soon because there was no DC this far south...

                1. re: srsone

                  That is exactly what I heard. Was in TJ a few weeks ago and asked when in FL and the answer was that they were now going to Texas, so this is a big surprise....if it is in fact true.

                  1. re: Mother of four

                    TJ's website shows new stores "coming soon" in Naples, FL, Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Athens, GA. There are currently 7 stores in the state of Georgia, so I'd imagine they'll figure something out with regards to a distribution center.

              1. re: overrice

                As stated above Publix is "Probably not quaking in their boots"; but if I were Whols Foods Markets, TJ is more directly targeting the same customer, only at lower prices, a lot lower!!!

                1. re: ospreycove

                  To me, the Whole Foods customer and the TJ customer are are at two different ends of the spectrum!

                  1. re: Mother of four

                    When I look at TJ, they seem to have a definite bias towards organically produced foods ie their excellent private label chocolate and the Niman Ranch organic meats, the bbq ribs, (frozen) are very good.. I think the target consumer for both outlets are people who know what they are looking for in quality foods organic and/or conventional. TJ is similiar to WFM in their gluten-free, vegetarian,vegan, and wines assortments, even though TJ does an extensive private label mix of quality wines. Also both stores have professed not to use hfcs, artificial flavors, trans fats, colors or preservatives, GMO, and MSG. The one area where TJ took the lead over WFM was they announced about a year ago they would not stock any food products from CHINA. A very bold and smart move. TJ sells only fair trade certified coffee where John Mackey, Chairman of WFM is opposed to fair trade buying, must be his Libertarian philosophy showing! For those marketing similiarities I think TJ is more likely to take a piece of WFM's biz than a mainstream supermarket like Publix.

                    1. re: ospreycove

                      You know a whole lot more then I do, my only comparison was price wise. WF is so pricy and TJ is the complete opposite. I defiantly would shop at TJ, not so much at WF. I do like their very inexpensive wine that is at the front of the store when you walk in, at WF, have never had a unpleasant bottle, on the other hand the Two Buck Chuck is very unreliable , one time not bad and the next time awful. Well, maybe there is hope that they will be in Sarasota in the not too distant future. After all, if we can get a Ooh La La maybe a TJ is in our future!!

                      1. re: Mother of four

                        Mom o'4....You had to mention the O L L words now I will be thinking of how I can justify a trip today to get some goodies!!!!!
                        I think you will be pleased at the assortment comparison between WF and TJ. TJ has very high quality and lower prices....My kind of place!!!

                        1. re: ospreycove

                          Mine too. Now, we have to mount a campaign to have them come to Sarasota! We also have an empty Borders store. In a good location with lots of parking too!

                          1. re: ospreycove

                            I've been thinking about the Naples location for the first TJ in Fl, and the more I think the stranger that location seems to me. First and foremost Naples has four months, at the most, when the population is at it's peak, after that the city is like a morgue. Why wouldn't they open in Tampa, Orlando,Sarasota if we're talking about the west side of the state? Those cities have a more permanent population, yes it goes down in off season but nothing like Naples. Just asking!!

                            1. re: Mother of four

                              I think after they get rolling, you will find them in the other cities that you mentioned.....At least its a start..

                              1. re: Mother of four

                                I had that thought, too, but figured the Powers That Be have their reasoning.

                                I've seen "that reasoning" be as inane as some muckety-muck has a winter place in Naples, so they're putting the first store there so he can keep an eye on it.

                                That would be counterintuitive for the way I've seen TJ's operate, but stranger things have happened.

                                1. re: Mother of four

                                  @Motheroffour, like I said in my post, I live in Naples...we have a GLUT of grocery stores...this isn't New York or San Fran! We have Publix, WF, FM, Bravo, Sweetbay, Costco, Sam's and a bunch of smaller independent health food/ethnic food stores. I think it's crazy to put TJ's here...hope I'm wrong but there's only so much $$ to go around...I can't imagine a TJ's making through our desolate summer with far less shoppers. Then, again, maybe they figure Naples is the land of millionaires, no problem. heh.

                                  1. re: Val

                                    There is a Bravo in Bradenton; WOW what a store for Latin products, only butcher dept. that carries goat, whole and in cuts. I understand the TJ in Naples is in an old Border's location.....There is a vacant Border's on S. Tamiami in Sarasota, that would be a great loc. for them (meaning me!!!).

                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                      TJs (Aldi) are the most secretive companies. Last year one of the owners Theo Albrecht passed away. The USA stores would not even confirm the news. Aldi now has over 1100 stores; TJs close to 400. Maybe they work together, maybe they do not. Aldi has a huge distribution center in Haines City; very convenient to the Tampa and Orlando areas. So far they have not opened another center for the Miami area (where they are opening more and more stores). TJs generally have very little warehouse space and it is still a mystery where they will store the merchandise. The Naples store (ex Borders) is much larger than the typical TJs Maybe that is one reason they have chosen the location. Most TJ shoppers still use the super markets for their regular purchases. TJs and Aldi pay much higher wages than Publix, but they expect more (and you do get far better service). You will see cashiers sweeping the floors and re-stocking. Managers too, must be top flight or they don't last more than a few days..

                                      1. re: ospreycove

                                        Ah, the Bravo here in MI is a chain restaurant,so I got excited when I saw Bravo Bradenton...guess not huh!!! It is a chain, but have never had a bad meal there. I agree about the Borders in Sarasota, in fact I think that I recommended it in one of my earlier posts...would work for me too!

                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                          Three years have passed since ospreycove wished for a TJs on S Tamiami in Sarasota. I'm glad to report that wishes do come true.

                                          4101 S. Tamiami Trail (somewhat south of Bee Ridge)

                                        2. re: Val

                                          It's truly amazing that all those stores make it there. I didn't realize that you have both a Sams and a Costco. We have had a Sams in Sarasota for quite a while, and hopefully Costco will be opening here. If and when it does it will be very close to my home..yea! They also will be having a gas station..more yeas! That is if it ever gets off the ground. I would be twice as excited if the TJ's came.
                                          Love to shop at Jamie's for clothes when I am in Naples!!! Much better shopping then Sarasota.

                                2. re: Mother of four

                                  I disagree. Here in Western MA they are right next door to each other , practically, and most people go from one to the other on shopping day.

                            2. Trader Joe's is a trend setter. They took advantage of the glut of wine and marketing Charles Shaw wine at a rock bottom price creating the wine phenom: Two Buck Chuck.

                              Prices are very fair and they mainly private label their merchandise. I've gotten great cheese in other stores and would be happy to drive there any time. I'll be in line the first day. Immokalee Rd isn't that far. LMF

                              1. I'm thrilled. Usually I drive back and forth to New York about every other month and there are always bags from Trader Joes in the back of my suburban. As I look around my kitchen, there is a bag of their Lemon Heart Cookies, a box of their dried green beans , a bag of their butter almond thins and a box of their dark chocolate and pistacio nut covered English toffee (um, yum). The brown rice medley is good and I am crazy for their harvest grain blend. They have a great selection of grains, rices, flours and so forth, at much better prices than Whole Foods or Adas.
                                As you can tell by my rambling, yes, I will be there on opening day.