Wednesday, June 14, 2006

TJs, We Need You. Now!

Douglas Rauch, Pres.
Trader Joe's
800 S. shamrock Ave.
Monrovia CA 91016

Dear Mr. Rauch:

Please note the nice store pictured above. It is empty; has been for some time. Location: west side of Prescott AZ. Suitable, I'd say, for a Trader Joe's. Even with a west side location, I'm willing to bet that this store would draw from the Verde Valley, Sedona and even Flagstaff (no one wants to drive down to Phoenix in the summer, you know.)

This area has waited a long time for its own Trader Joe's. With 9 stores down the hill in Phoenix, even reclusive, old-time Prescott residents are pre-sold on TJs. And now, with the influx of Californians, you would find a dedicated customer base.

You may recall that several years ago, Trader Joe's topped an informal poll to determine which retailer was most wanted in the Prescott area. Since that time, we've been subjected to periodic rumors that we will be blessed...then that we're too small a market... or that TJ has other, more important markets to tend to, such as Times Square in NYC. We are very frustrated but remain loyal.

Besides, my mother is running out of dried Blenheim slab apricots and her friendly contact down in the Valley is getting tired of wrestling 10-15 1-lb. packages to the post office to make sure Mom gets her fix.

Yours sincerely,

Granny J

If any readers want to nag Mr. Rauch directly about Mom's apricots, the company phone number is 626-599-3700; here's the web site. There is no email address.

A little background: "Trader Joe's actually began in 1958 as a chain of convenience stores called 'Pronto Markets' in the Los Angeles area. In 1967, the founder, Joe Coulombe, the original Trader Joe, wanted to expand the stores' offerings and enhance their image. He doubled the floor space and offered hard-to-find, boutique domestic and imported wines and gourmet food items at outstanding prices. He decked out the stores with cedar plank walls and nautical d├ęcor and garbed the Captain (the store manager), the First Mate (the assistant manager) and the Crew Members in colorful Hawaiian shirts. 'Trader Joe's' was born.

"Currently Trader Joe's has expanded to over 200 stores in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington."

All the above info from the company website. What is not mentioned is that Trader Joe's has been owned by a German firm, ALDI, since 1979.

Trader Joe's rates its own Wikipedia article, not to mention a couple of dedicated blogs (Tracking Trader Joe's and Trader Joe Fan.) There's even a TJ message board.

By the way, the TJ dried apricots are really the best I've ever eaten. Tart, not overly sweet like Mediterranean-style apricots.

Later: Sorry, it was Union Square in NYC; don't really have a feel for where in Manhattan that is. And -- pleading for your very own Trader Joe's is apparently a nationwide phenomenon: check here.


Karen of Scottsdale said...

I like Trader Joe's. They have really good canned chicken which I use for making chicken salad sandwiches. I also like their dark chocolate covered almonds with the cocoa powder. That's reserved for a Christmas treat otherwise I would be eating them all the time and look like it too.

Jack said...

Trader Joes is OK; however, my vote is for AJs. I just load up every time I get to the Valley. They would do well in Prescott.

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