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Trader Joe's Coming - Seaholm

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  1. Finally! They started talking about this last year.

    1. Now if we can only get an in-n-out burger, then our city will finally have made it. (sarcasm intended)

        1. Inconsistent inventory and gourmet frozen food, can't wait!

          1. Personally, I've never been overly impressed, can't really think of anything new or original they'll bring to town. Yawn!!

            4 Replies
            1. re: whoalilponie

              Maybe they will have better parking. That may be the difference between them and Whole Foods. Regardless, maybe the prices will come down.

              1. re: rudeboy

                don't count on it. I've never been to a TJ's that didn't have horrible parking on either coast.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  That's one thing I WOULD be impressed about...if they can pull off decent parking at Seaholm. It's a location that will be tricky to get in to no matter what time it is.

                  Prices will no doubt be lower because virtually all of their products are private label. So they get companies to remake their products slightly different, then put their own branding on it. Cheap isn't my priority, quality is.

                  1. re: chispa_c

                    But the rent there is likely to not be cheap. And the parking horrible, counting on plenty of Green foot traffic." Their target demographic is the "urban high-income resident", after all. Maybe we low-income suburban dwellers can start a short term dog-sitting service outside for $.50/minute while they shop. That would keep us funded and give us easy access to the Two Buck Chuck [hic]. (Mental note: invest in corkscrew)


              2. I get the TJ cynicism but admittedly miss a few items from my east coast days as a solid blend of value, convenience and taste. Some of the standouts for me are the tomato / red pepper soup (frozen), breaded eggplant cutlets, nicely skinny haricots vert, greek yogurt, ahi tuna steaks, feta / onion tarts, creme fraiche + ham tarts, DHEA eggs, rosemary marcona almonds. Just sayin' ..... also their pine nuts may be the cheapest going.... toasted or straight. We that have ever frequented probably need to list our favorites for newbies. Friends of mine rave over their frozen lamb racks, but I've not tried them.

                7 Replies
                1. re: slowcoooked

                  Wholeheartedly agree. Like any store there are some items that I like and some I don't. They have the best non-dairy chocolate chips around and the best price on dried cherries which i love. I don't compare them with Whole Foods [ which I almost never shop at] since to me the stores are radically different.

                  1. re: mkfoodie

                    And dried wild blueberries! Much cheaper than anywhere else.

                    Great cookies, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc. at great prices. Some surprisingly good frozen items. Inexpensive tea, coffee, and wine. Convenient meats that are ready to cook if you don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner at night.

                    A lot of their products are things you can find elsewhere if you do some sleuthing, but with a new label slapped on the front and a lower price. It's just a nice little place to shop for some of the things you might get at Whole Foods or Central Market without spending a ton of money. I'm a fan.

                  2. re: slowcoooked

                    Yes, they're not a place for 1-stop grocery shopping, but they do have fresh nuts of all kinds for not a lot of dough. My other usual grabs--we load up the car when visiting Santa Fe--are chocolate, grains, pasta, and wine (not 2 buck chuck, which doesn't taste good and gives me a real hangover). Their produce never really looks good. I stick to pantry staples and am happy with prices and quality for those.

                    1. re: slowcoooked

                      They have the best peanut butter-filled pretzels. I go out of my way to visit stores on vacation so I can bring back pretzels and peppermint jojos. Obviously neither of these are staples of my diet, but I can't get anything like them elsewhere. It's also a good place for inexpensive animal- and eco-friendly home and personal care products.

                      1. re: slowcoooked

                        my sentiments exactly.

                        i'm really excited because it's the one national store i've missed since moving here.
                        will i buy all my groceries here? no.
                        will driving all the way downtown from NW austin be a huge PITA? yes.

                        but, i will stock up on the great value items they carry, and get to try some new stuff whose whole food or more upscale equivalent will be out of my price range.

                        usually my shopping there has been condiment and frozen food heavy, with some of the refrigerated convenience items and bakery stuff thrown in. i'm not a huge juice drinker, but their flavors and prices on that are great. heart of darkness juice? yes, please!

                        and you cannot beat TJ's for party food and nibblies, both on price and selection.

                        and i am stocking up on non fluoride toothpaste, which i have to use for medical reasons.
                        it's about 1/3 the cost of the tom's of maine or nature's gate equivalent.

                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                          I'm hoping that this is just the first store announced in Austin. They're opening multiples in Dallas and Houston, so what's stopping them from opening up a few here? I think the Arboretum would be a good spot (perhaps in Whole Food's current location after they move) and the new Trails at 620 shopping center would grab the upper middle class suburban crowd from Steiner Ranch, Avery Ranch, and 4 Points.

                          1. re: verily

                            those are all perfect spots for them, just based on my experience of watching them come into the boston market, which had worse parking problems than downtown austin.

                      2. Agreed ^^^. They have great snacks (my friend left me some peanut brittle for xmas... excellent), good produce that's cheaper than WF, good wine. Somewhat lacking meat dept if I remember correctly. Non-frozen, bake-em yourself pizzas that cost like 2 bucks. I will not complain about any of that... sure, it's not ideal, but no grocery store is, and I must say that I'll be happy to have a cheaper alternative to WF downtown. Every time I go to WF, I leave with usually one bag of food that costs between 75-100 bucks. Oy.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: popvulture

                          they used to have awful produce at the brookline, MA location-- lotsa pre-packaged type stuff. although, they did sell bags of lemons and avocados at fabulous prices. i'm hoping this has changed. there wasn't a meat department per se, but lots of options in the frozen section and the refrigerated area.

                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                            Yeah, I've found their produce to be unimpressive for the most part. I would stick to Fiesta/H-E-B/Whole Foods for that kind of thing. Sometimes TJ's will have something like a bunch of Meyer lemons for a great price, though.

                        2. It's been 13 years since I've shopped there (Pruneridge/Campbell and Sunnyvale stores - San Jose area) but every time I went I'd always buy the gyoza (potstickers), ciopinno, cashews, and Chinese chicken salad. Our cats loved the tuna at first, but that was short-lived.

                          1. Argh! I wish it was going to be north(around the Aboretum, like verily said) instead of downtown... but I'll make do. I've always wanted to check out a Trader Joes!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: GulaSocordia

                              I hear ya. It always feels like we Northerners get the shaft. But it's Trader Joes, and by God, I'm willing to make the sacrifice. Two Buck Chuck, HERE I COME!!!

                              1. re: tdombrow

                                The third store is slated for the former Saks location across from the Arboretum. No timeline yet that I'm aware of.


                            2. Trader Joe's Bee Cave store is set to open Friday September 20th.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sqwertz

                                i am on staycation that week and am unreasonably excited to drive all the way out there and stock up on some TJ's love.

                              2. Tons of pre-packaged produce which isn't really something I like.

                                Only their store brands promise no artificial ingredients but that doesn't translate to any other brand they carry.

                                I'm fine with having a choice but I do want to know what their about so I researched:

                                They appear to be a small, family owned store but they are a very large, private, German company.

                                Competition is good. Hopefully we'll all see the benefits of that.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: chispa_c

                                  Last night at Whole Foods one of our reusable bags was a Trader Joe's bag, and the checkout girl asked if we were excited about their opening soon. She then proceeded to give us an earful about who owns them (a giant German company!), where their products come from (no one can tell!), and how (poorly, presumably) they compare to similar 365 branded items. The woman working one aisle over joined in as well. They're ready for war.

                                  1. re: hlk

                                    Hopefully war means more competitive pricing for both places. If that's the case then consumers get the win.

                                    1. re: chispa_c

                                      They already co-exist in many other markets, so I imagine most of those types of benefits have long been put in place, but I hope so too.

                                      1. re: hlk

                                        Understood but when TJ's comes to WF's hometown, perhaps the competition will be elevated. Maybe WF will go to Germany and return the favor to TJ's.