Cary >Trader Joe's
h5mind = whole foods plant. h5mind must be a Whole Foods plant, because in 15 years of shopping Trader Joe's in CA, and few more here in NC, I've NEVER encountered the problems he did. While I do think they are a bit over rated in the value category, they have a number of exceptional products that no other retailer can touch for the price. See for yourself!
Great Concept, Poor Execution. Being an ex-Californian myself, I was initially a big fan of the new Cary Trader Joe's. Quirky brands, surfer ambience, low priced organics make for a hip business model. However, after numerous negative experiences with questionable food quality, our family no longer shops there. It began innocently enough with a few bags of putrid fruit, quickly returned. Next came problems with chicken and beef being spoiled right out of the package. Then the wheat bread that came packed with a load of fungus gnats, which turned our house into the Amityville horror. The final straw came in the form of T.J.'s Organic Cereal Bars. Our entire family of four became so sick after eating them that it knocked us out of comission for two days. Headache, nausea and throwing up are never fun in the best of circumstances, but what really burned us was the store management's indifference to our plight. We even wrote corporate in California. We were likewide brushed off, albeit in a hipper fashion. We have since discovered our experience is not unique. To reiterate, these problems only cropped up after shopping there for months, so there's no way to know whether these problems stem from poor quality control or contamination at the suppliers, most of whom are overseas. Proceed at your own risk.
Best store in Cary.
Trader Joe's is great!
The prices are much lower than Whole Foods or HT.
I am looking forward to getting more stores in the Raleigh area.
Trader Joes isn't for everyone..
Especially those of us who don't like to be around out-of-control children who don't know how to act because their parents are not watching them or teaching them how to behave in public. This store gets REALLY crowded and there is plenty of opportunity for rudeness and annoyance without adding spoiled brats to the equation. I have yet to visit this particular store, and I'm there at least once a week, without observing carts being tipped over or run into other customers, displays being knocked over, products dropped on the floor, and/or tantrums being thrown. This is a Cary problem though, not Trader Joe's fault.
With that off my chest: I was beside myself with happiness when I found out Trader Joe's was coming to the triangle. They had been a road trip destination of mine for two decades, at least. The food is great and the prices are amazing. I can't fill my bag with organic or specialty foods at Fresh Market or Wellspring without feeling guilty about the cost. I am always amazed at how little I've spent at TJ's. Take your time and go aisle to aisle. It gets extremely crowded so patience is necessary to get through the store and the checkout with your sanity intact at the best of times. Now that it's as close as a Harris Teeter or a Food Lion, I'm able to buy more perishables in addition to the pantry supplies that traveled and kept well.
Just don't get into any head-ons with your cart!. I've read some pretty negative comments on TJ, two in particular on the prices and the clientele. I guess I do have to admit that it is a little "weird" in there. The stores have an unmistakable west coast, tofu, Jerry Garcia, ultra-left, happy cloud, vibe to them. And yes I will also admit that I have encountered some rude, pushy people in there too; look I'm pretty left leaning myself but even I have to admit that the liberals can be some of the rudest, nastiest people I have ever seen, especially when you have so many of them in one place. A accidental cart bump can cost you an earful. Most times when I go it is very crowded and the store is poorly organized with tight aisles and oddly placed floor displays and bins; so navigation is a bit of an issue. So why did I give TJs 5 stars? Because they have the best food, the best selections, helpful staff, and absolutely reasonable prices. One person said their prices were outrageous...huh? Harris Teeter I can understand, but not this place. The value is, I think, terrific for the quantity and quality you get. The pre-packaged foods are amazingly good, you would not know it's frozen. Excellent selection of organic anything, all of their products are expectionally fantastic, I know how hyperbolic that sounds but I'm a tough critic and I mean that word for word. I have yet to be disappointed with anything I have brought home from TJs. But the best is the $2.99 Charles Shaw wines (3 buck Chuck) we buy by the case. The foods are just better for you, cheaper than Whole Foods, and no other store has staff who actually come up to me to ask if I needed help finding something. So even though it's not my kind of atmosphere it's still my favorite store. Weird or no.
Utter nonsense. My daughter and I have celiac disease. Both of us were recently diagnosed. I shop at Whole Foods for our gluten-free food because they have the best selection I've found anywhere. Then a few weeks ago, a woman I know suggested Trader Joe's. She said it might have more gluten-free options than even Whole Foods. So I went there one morning when my daughter was overdue for a nap. I needed to get her lunch food quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Unfortunately, going to Trader Joe's was a complete waste of my time. First, after going down every single aisle in this pretty tiny store, I found roughly two gluten-free items, both of which were useless to me. While perusing, what I found was that a) the people who shop there reminded me of my home--New York. They were rude and rushed, and unwilling to move aside when someone needed to get by them, and b) almost all the food is gourmet, overpriced, pre-packaged products. If I'd randomly picked up three items in the store to purchase, I easily would have spent $25. Unfortunately, I have to spend more money than I'd like on gluten-free food, but like most people, we live on a budget and seeing the amount of money some people drop on "gourmet" food is offensive to me. I know that sounds bitter, and it is, but my point is that this store is for the more financially fortunate people of the world. Those of us who don't have $20 to drop on a microwave meal are not intended to shop here. If you're looking for organic, healthy groceries, especially if you have celiac or allergies, go to Whole Foods. Their gluten-free stock is as good as any I've seen. Trader Joe's is utter nonsense. Their stock is pathetically small, and the prices are pathetically high. If you're an average-income person who lives on a budget, steer clear of Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe's weird vibes. Ok, I'll admit it. I am not a follower of the Church of Trader Joe's. I find the place kinda creepy. Maybe it has something to do with growing up with name brands shoved in my face everywhere and then not seeing any in this store. I personally find the strange offering of unique foods which is Trader's specialty to be gross (spinach tofu egg rolls??). As a native Carolinian raised on Southern food made from stuff bought from Piggly Wiggly and Food Lion, I'm probably not in the target demographic for Trader Joe's. I do however, expect it is very popular with the transplant crowd. I'd recommend checking it out at least once, but you definitely should go on a weekend or in the evening to immerse yourself in the Trader Joe's experience at its peak.
Won't go anywhere else!. I travel from Chapel Hill to Trader Joe's every two weeks, because it's just that good. I grew up in New England, and had family in California, so I've always been a stone's throw or two from a well stocked Joe's. Moving to NC from Baltimore was tough--all the high-end "natural" stores make it almost impossible to afford good food, and still get by. But Trader Joe's in Cary (in spite of the gas to get there) has the best prices around, and an incredible assortment of organic, natural, and conventional foods. Not to mention enough variety to get my epicurean side going. Whether it's their incredible cheeses (their own double-cream Brie is unbelievably good) or their wine selection (and wine *prices*)--every trip is a new experience. I really, REALLY hope they open one in Chapel Hill soon!
Never enough help in store. Not like the TJ's I grew up with out west. No "wow" the food is still great. I grew up with TJ's out west and was used to exceptional service and clean stores. Never enough help and no one knows the products. I cant beleive that the managers never leave their little office even when it is busy. I still love the food just don't go there as much. Guess they got to big?
Fresh produce and gourmet frozen foods sold at affordable prices..
Founder Joseph Coulombe started this L.A.-based convenience chain 34 years ago. Today, you can get exotic, prepackaged frozen foods, fresh salsas, huge portobello mushrooms, baby artichokes and heirloom tomatoes fresher--and cheaper--than at most supermarkets. Inexpensive meat, fish, coffees and teas, dozens of cheeses, grains and pastas cram the shelves. The frozen section features tasty treats, including barbecue chicken pizzas, mushroom risotto and salmon patties. Beer, wine and liquor sections are stocked with very affordable labels.
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