When I moved out of Southern California to Oklahoma, two things I missed (other than the beach and the weather!): Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. While I lived in Oklahoma City, they were getting ready to open a Whole Foods, but it was still being built when I moved away in July, 2011. No sign of a Trader Joe’s, though.
I found myself in Ohio in the wee hours of August 1. Did I go straight to my new home? Nope. Hims had been driving for 14 hours, but he knew… oh, the man knew… Instead of finding a nice patch of floor to flop down on to sleep, he drove me to the local Trader Joe’s. I danced in the parking lot, shrieking for joy. (I really did!) Then we went to the apartment to sleep a bit before unloading the van.
My kitchen has been “stapled” with Trader Joe’s items ever since then. We shop at the wonderful local store Dorothy Lane, and we go to the farmers’ markets for eggs and produce, but we are mainly a Trader Joe’s household. You have to admit – their packaging is fun and their food is great, and the prices are pretty damn good, too.
When Whole Foods finally opened its doors last week after being under construction for months, we had to go. Not because we are going to switch groceries, but because Whole Foods is that other little bit of California rememberings. The first thing to greet us when we walked in:
I had to laugh – it looked more like a cocktail party than a grocery store. It was Friday evening, and probably 4/5 of the people in there were dressed quite nicely and had a wine glass in hand. That’s great! They had little wine stations throughout the store, with samples of different foods for people to try. There was a jazz band playing, and people were sitting down and having dinner.
Just recently another healthier-alternatives grocery store opened up in the area. Fresh Thyme. Pretty much the same people showed up for their grand opening, too, though after the new wore off, they seemed to gravitate back to where they were originally shopping for the most part. I wonder if the same thing will happen to Whole Foods? (I sort of doubt it, at least not as much.)
At any rate, I’m really happy Whole Foods has joined Trader Joe’s (and Dorothy Lane and Dots) in the neighborhood. Always good stuff to be had there, and the more competition, the better for prices, right?