If you are like me, a Canadian who has not been to the U.S. in a while, you may be wondering what the heck is all that great about Trader Joe’s? I have been hearing about it forever and there was even a Pirate Joe’s in Vancouver for a while that would buy inventory from the store and resell it to Canadian Trader Joe’s enthusiasts. So what is it that is so fantastic about this store?!
I have been assured that not all Trader Joe’s have been created equal so let me clarify that I was at the one on University Avenue in Berkeley, California.
Pumpkin Spice Season
This Trader Joe’s was pumpkin spice INSANE! Totally on trend with this contemporary foodie obsession. Check it out:
You could get Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins.
There was Pumpkin Spice Coffee!
And OMG, Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds. OK, that is getting a little ridiculous! And it did not stop there, it went on and on with pumpkin spice everything…
After walking past the alcohol section where you could buy a $5 bottle of wine (like, wow) there was the deli and cheese section…
This was our favourite section where you could pick up sandwiches and salads for just $5! Perfect when you are travelling and need to save money on food but do not want to live on pizza.
There were tons of cool foodie products for just $2 to $3 but yes, you can also get fresh produce there.
Among my favourite things from the store were Sweetango Apples! These were the crunchiest and sweetest apples I have ever had. Not cheap at $1.29 U.S. but totally worth it.
We were staying at an AirBnB close by so we would load up on food and put it in the fridge so we could eat in between family events.
I bought these Powerberries to share with my family and Reg when I got home.
“The juices of açai, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates are combined to make sweet-tart jellied pieces. Each tasty morsel is individually enrobed in luxuriously smooth dark chocolate.” Delicious!!! I do not think I have ever had anything quite like it before—an odd flavour combination but it worked brilliantly.
When Reg and I saw Martha Stewart recommend butter from Brittany on her Martha Bakes program (he happened to be walking by) we just laughed and laughed. Because that would be so easy to come by, right? Well it is if you can get to a Trader Joe’s! I could not believe it. Their Cultured Salted Butter From France is produced in Brittany and was only $2! I used it when I made everyone breakfast burritos. Yum!
I lived on their Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken during the trip and I was not alone.
For only $5 you got this huge deeply satisfying and filling salad and…
There was something special in that salad. An herb that tasted so familiar but I could not recognize it. My sister Jamie figured it out. Oregano! But not just oregano. I believe they used oregano seeds because they were so super tiny. Brilliant!
Their Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets are SUPER crunchy and quite large. They taste like cubes of corn, actually, even though there is no corn in them. They were great in my tomato soup!
The one thing I knew I HAD to buy was their Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend which was only $2 and came in a glass container. My friend The Happy Whisk had told me about it before I left and I saw mmmisformommy use it on chicken! Can not wait to start product testing.
I See The Trader Joe’s Light
Everything we bought at Trader Joe’s was delicious and fun. They really know how to tap into trends and make food entertaining.
Despite how the tall building is, this Trader Joe’s was only one level and smaller than I was expecting but wow, what a fun foodie place to shop. I also love that the clerks wore Hawaiian t-shirts and were incredibly friendly and outgoing.
I can absolutely see why people love to shop at Trader Joe’s. They have done a fantastic job at balancing pre-prepared food with top quality fresh ingredients. They make food fast and easy to purchase and consume without breaking the customer’s bank. Bravo Trader Joe’s. Bravo!