Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trader Joe's is Greed

Hey did you hear, Trader Joe's is finally coming to KC with 2 locations, Ward Parkway Center and 119th and Roe. I like Trader Joe's and I'm somewhat excited about it coming to town. But, it seems to me the excitement is a little much and mostly from people who aren't fans of the very trait that allows Trader Joe's to exist, nay thrive, greed.

Want of a Trader Joe's is greedy. I've lived in KC for nearly 10 years. Not one time, not once, was I unable to find a food item that Trader Joe's carries. I'm not talking about something with the Trader Joe's brand, just the food item. If I want linguine, I can get linguine. If I want trail mix, I can find trail mix. Not only that, but I lived over 20 years in Wichita, I never couldn't find something I wanted in Wichita. WICHITA, a town dominated by one grocery store chain. So, wanting Trader Joe's, a store that sells food, seems greedy to me when we already have so many food choices.

But, these same people who have pled, plotted and petitioned for a Trader Joe's might just as likely complain about banker's greed or taxing the hell out of rich people or say things like "how many boats can you ski behind". It's the exact same thing, we're all greedy, but, to paraphrase Milton Friedman, it's only the other guy who's greedy.

You may say, I might be greedy, but I'm just happy to get cheaper food and wine. But, that's the exact same greed as someone who doesn't want to pay higher taxes. We all just want to pay less for the necessities in life. But, Trader Joe's people are a little more greedy because they want to be cool while they save their money. They wouldn't be caught dead buying their groceries at Wal-Mart (even though Wal-Mart has better produce than most every grocery store) or Aldi (which is the exact same company as Trader Joe's). But, Trader Joe's is their kind of people, and the people who check the same box on their voter registration cards shop there and none of the pesky poor people with their ill fitting, badly matched clothes with more than 1 child will be there.

Like I said, I'll be happy to shop there and I have no problem saying I'm being greedy. I just prefer my excitement to be hypocrisy free.


KC Wort Hog said...

That's not true. TJ's carries some items I can't find anywhere. Like seaweed chips (seriously. They are SO GOOD), chocolate-covered dried blueberries, these popchip type things, these itty bitty peanut butter cups...

Plus, it's a different shopping experience. It's not Hy Vee, it's not whole foods (although I'd love to have a WFM on the MO side so they could sell alcohol), they have some fun stuff there and their stock frequently changes.

Actually, speaking of whole foods... to be honest, I'd rather have a Whole Foods in MO than a TJs. But I'll take what I can get. :)

Alex J. said...

I, for one, happily shop at both Trader Joe's and Wal-mart.

Xavier Onassis said...

Excellent post!

I've never shopped at Trader Joe's and probably never will.

I have a Price Chopper and a Hy Vee near by that meet 100% of my grocery needs.

Not driving to Mordor for seaweed chips.

JH said...

I guess I don't know what the hell seaweed chips are exactly, but it sounds like something you could get at one of the Asian markets in town

Timothyb said...

Trader Joe's and Aldi are owned by different branches of the same family. Similar to Commerce and UMB in KC, owned by Kempers, but by rival branches of the family.

Mar said...

Trader Joe's isn't a typical grocery store where you can get 10 kinds of American "cheese". They carry 2000 different item compared to a regular grocery store's 50,000. TJ's is for the foodie who no longer has to drive to Whole Foods or Cosentino's to get unique, high quality food that actually tastes amazing and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. If someone thinks HyVee is all they need and don't want to try new places and new food, so be it, that is their choice and thankfully we have so many choices. Ppl are allowed to use their dollars to represent their opinions and beliefs. If that means you ban TJ's or I ban Wal-Mart b/c we don't support their practices, be my guest, welcome to consumerism-based society!

And it happens to be decently priced food, I would love to see people of lower SES in there, getting healthy food for a good price. That is true equality in my opinion.

jill said...

i agree with mar, 100%. has anyone seen the price (and quality!) of the organic produce at hy-vee - blech, it's sick.

TKC=Sad Clown said...

I never understood the TJ's obsession, even though I visited one in Chicago once. So I stopped in on a recent visit, and I get it: Where else can you get a 1-pound bag of chicken tenders swimming in curry sauce (or chipotle, mole, etc.) for $4 or so?

jill said...

on a recent vacation in CA we stopped in a TJ's to save some cash on snacks/lunch - bought 5 organic apples, a large bag of sunflower seeds (shelled), medium sized bag of bagel chips AND a bottle of wine for later. $11. organics don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

Anonymous said...

Good. I get tired of dirty poor people who use all their EBT to buy junk food and then spend cash to buy booze and cigarettes. And that's no joke.

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Aimee said...

Hrm. I am not sure I agree with you completely. I am excited for trader joe's not for the hip factor - but for the green curry simmer sauce. DELICIOUS. A friend is heading to St. Louis this weekend and picking me up some. I haven't ever found it here in town - not that level of quality and deliciousness anyway. I don't shop at WalMart - I have issues with their business practices. I have shopped at Aldi and found some terrific items and great prices. Hello Milk for $2 a gallon cannot be beat.

I am not a hipster. I am not going to seem cool. I just like what they offer and it is easier to get it all in one place rather than go to 50 places for each item.


bahua said...

Uh yeah. Greed is the want for things that we don't need, but would still appreciate and enjoy. I'm not seeing the problem here.

You're trying to deconstruct the human desire for better things, and the human desire to improve one's situation by just throwing a buzzword around.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that this post made sense. But I've had some wine. And after TJ's comes in town and I can buy more wine for my money and that is why I'm excited they are coming. So sue me. (wow, I don't think I've used that phrase since junior high)

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