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Trader Joe's-I don't think Central Mrkt has anything to worry about

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Had a chance to first visit a Trader Joe's last w/e in Orange County (Aliso Viejo). They had a terrific Ca wine selection (there at least) not sure how it'll translate here. The rest of the food/mrkt items were moderately priced goods. I'd rather have my Bookstop back!

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  1. It will be interesting to see. So many people point to the frozen and prepared foods when talking about the store, which is not a market I am in for the most part.

    1. I completely agree. I visited Trader Joe's for the first time on a visit to Chicago a couple of years ago. I really do not see why everyone thinks they are so special. Then again just like Lambowner I buy very little frozen and prepared foods.

      1. Totally agree. I have shopped at Trader Joe's before in several states. It is a nice store and has some items you do not see at other stores. Nice selection of West Coast specialty items. Nice cheese selection but no where near CM's.

        They have been very successful in creating an aura and everyone wants one. Will go and shop there occasionally but CM is still my favorite indulgence.

        1. Having lived near a Trader Joe's most of my life I will be happy to have one in the Houston area. It means I will be able to pick up some of the refrigerated/freezer items that I like to have on hand. I'll also not have to pack some of the other items that I'd bring back on a regular basis. I would not however compare the store to Central Market nor do I believe they advertise themselves as such.

          It will be included in my list of markets to hit every few months....sigh, I live in Clear Lake.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tlegray

            I hear you tlegray -- I lived in CL for 18 years, and made the hajj to CM about once a month. I think TJ would be a wonderful addition to the Bay Area, and would draw from Galveston, Texas City and the Friendswood areas. I will be excited to see what TJ has to offer (I've heard they're somewhat more affordable) and I think it will breathe new life into that strip on Shepherd.

            1. re: Cheflambo

              Chef, I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I love TJ but even when I lived around the corner from one it was never my primary market. I might have gone once a month. They offer a limited selection of good quality items at a reasonable price and prepared foods. When I first started experimenting in the kitchen I could find the foodie items I was looking for at a lesser cost then my grocery store or gourmet market. It was also the store I used when delving into wine. I still have some favorites. It is no Central Market.

              1. re: tlegray

                Oh Im sure its NOT trying to be a "Central Market" ... I've heard TJ's prices are quite good on many items. (I've ony visited one -- in New York City -- so I would not judge them based on the prices I saw there). Since the TJ in the Woodlands will open first, I suspect a lot of us will make a trip up there to check it out, and expect to find basically the same things in the new stores on Alabama, and Voss.

                And. as much as I love Central Market, they've seen a lot less of me since the opening of the HEB @ Bunker Hill. They are equidistant from my home, but when shopping with a budget for basics, the HEB gets my business -- same food, same source, but usually at least 15% lower prices. When I just want the foodie "experience" I'll visit River Oaks.