Colorado foodie dreams were realized when Trader Joe's finally decided to open two stores in this state in 2013: one in Denver at the southeast corner of East Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard (with an adjacent beer and wine shop) and one in Boulder at the Twenty-Ninth Street mall. Construction is under way at both locations, and it will be race to see which opens first. But either would be fine with eager fans of TJs, who have been lusting for local access and in the meantime, products from the specialty grocery chain on Amazon or taking road trips out of state with empty coolers.
Here are the top five reasons Colorado will benefit from having Trader Joe's. Finally.
See also: - Trader Joe's begins building its first Denver store - Trader Joe's finally breaks ground on its Boulder store - Twenty-three products that are trending at Trader Joe's -- and might show up here
5. J-j-j-jobs It's no lie that the economy got rockier than our mountains five years ago, and there are still folks who need work. Any thriving business that comes to Colorado offer employment. Judging from online employer evaluation/blogging sites, the majority of current and past Trader Joe's employees seem to love the company and feel they were treated well.
Although there's been some chatter about TJ's becoming more corporate than it used to be, the overall vibe is positive.
4. The jolt to the existing retailers One of the greatest benefits when a new store comes to town is that competitive outfits -- in this case places like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Cottage and King Soopers -- will hustle to keep their current customers from defecting. And since Trader Joe's already has a reputation for having a good selection of inexpensive specialty foods and drinks, these other stores will likely have some sales and offer new items.
Today TJ's fans love to show off their rare and beautiful Trader Joe's reusable grocery bags at other stores -- but when TJ's opens in Colorado, those other stores don't want to see people using their own bags at Trader Joe's.
3. The customer service Trader Joe's was rated number one as North America's favorite grocery-store chain based on customer satisfaction, according to a survey by Market Force (a customer intelligence firm); the study asked 6,600 consumers to rate their satisfaction with their most recent grocery-store experience and their likelihood to recommend that store to friends or family. I wasn't polled, but every time I've shopped at a Trader Joe's, the experience has been pretty f*cking awesome. The employees always seem to be upbeat, cheerful and knowledgeable about the products, the handwritten signage is fun and frisky, there are usually samples of eatables and drinkables at stations manned (and wo-manned) by smiley workers, the stores are clean and everything is easy to find. The common thread here is the high level of customer service, and you don't find this often enough at grocery stores.
Trader Joe's employees are just like everyone else with their good and bad days, but it's a refreshing change to shop at a place where the workers don't always look like they want to beat customers in their faces with shopping baskets.
2. The prices Trader Joe's has the magical business model of offering specialt products for cheap, in a fun and laidback environment. The company has tapped into the rich vein of an American cultural habit -- understanding that customers, especially food nerds, always want more for less. Access to inexpensive, multi-cultural foods, drinks and alcoholic beverages is exactly what foodies want, and I've found the sales at TJ's so good that it takes far more self-restraint than I possess to spend less than a hunny there -- especially if the Two-Buck or Three-Buck Chuck wines are available.
Getting champagne items for beer prices will never, ever be unpopular, especially when food prices overall go up, while grocery budgets stay the same or get squeezed.
1. The food Trader Joe's has a crazy cult following of ardent, enthusiastic customers, for all the above reasons, but at the end of the shopping day, the big draw is the food. Folks here in the 5280 have been hoping, praying to various gods and petitioning Trader Joe's to open stores here for years, and it's about time we get to stuff our mugs with organic olive oil wheat wraps, Trader Jose's Mildly Spiced Vegetable Burritos, Organic Mango Passion Granola, Heat & Eat Falafel, Parmesan Pastry Pups, Trader Joe-O's cereal and Trader Joe's famous Speculoos Cookie Butter.
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Thank you, Trader Joe's, for finally setting up shop in Colorado. We'll display our gratitude by showering you with our hard-earned cash.