What’s all the hype around Trader Joe’s anyway? Well after a visit to their new store in South Florida, we now know why.
Trader Joe’s is a cool looking specialty grocery store with minimal displays and an overall ‘Hawaiian’ theme with bits of local nods that vary by store. All the workers are in Hawaiian shirts and usually sport a lei. The isles are set up like most grocery stores, but you have to be sure to keep your eyes open as they utilize every square inch of space. One example is if you are looking at the frozen foods in the bins, they have shelving above that holds more shelf stable items, like sauces and cookies. One thing to remember here is that all their items are ‘private brands’ and they try to have more natural and organic products than most grocery stores. We like the private label and find that it’s a lot of fun to discover something different. Sure, they have a cookie that resembles an OREO, but they are called Joe-Joes here.
The produce department has your staples, but most of that space is devoted to ready to eat salads and other items that are more grab and go. The bread area left me a little underwhelmed, but I’m rather picky when it comes to bakery items. Where Trader Joe’s shines is in the cheeses, nuts and snacks. Whole aisles are devoted to each and they have some of the most interesting flavors and combinations you’ve ever seen. They also excel in their frozen food area and prepackaged ready to eat items. The variety here is amazing and it’s really hard not to fill your cart up in no time with new stuff. They have fresh meats and the chicken was almost totally sold out when we got there. The wine department is legendary with most bottles in the $3-$5 range and a few we’ve tried were actually good.
The Wellington, FL location has been open for a few months and while the lines have slowed, it still can be really busy. We had to use the baskets as the carts were too hard to find and maneuver through the store. We tried to snap a few pictures, but with so many people it was really difficult. We suggest that you go as early in the morning as you can if it’s your first time. You will want to take your time and see everything that Trader Joe’s has to offer. While the store was really busy, the checkout lines moved quite fast. We liked that a lot.
We scored some fun items on this trip and this stash set us back about $66.00, which isn’t that bad. Most of the items we purchased were in the $3-$4 range. We might post a few reviews of some of the products that we purchased to get everyone ready for the Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton opening. We like Trader Joe’s and always look forward to a trip to stock up some things. By the way…Cookie Butter is amazing.
Here is a current list of South Florida locations ‘coming soon’ and to some…’soon’ is not soon enough. No dates are released, but we will keep you posted.
Boca Raton Trader Joe’s – Opening 9/26/14
855 S Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Fort Lauderdale Trader Joe’s – Coming Soon!
1590 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Wellington Trader Joe’s – NOW OPEN!
2877 South State Rd
Wellington, FL 33414
The perfect place for the next Trader Joe’s Broward County location? Can we suggest Coconut Creek? Sure, maybe we are a little selfish since it would be very close to our home base…but hey, it doesn’t hurt to throw it out there.
- Trader Joe’s is actually part of the same parent company as discount market Aldi Supermarket.
- Need help finding a product? Just look for an employee carrying six-foot, brightly-colored boat oar with a giant question mark.
- Shop early. It’s very common to see aisles and register packed with customers. Fortunately, the lines are very quick.
- On busy days, grab a shopping basket so its easy to navigate the crowded aisles.