Sunday, June 05, 2005

Trader Joe's Rocks My Food World

With Central Market and Whole Foods going head-to-head, Austin has proved to be a pretty decent city for supermarkets. We don't have a Trader Joe's, though, and we are definitely poorer for that.

Trader Joe's is a California-based "natural" food store that doesn't charge elitist prices. They started out as a convenience store in 1958 and now operate about 200 locations in the West, Midwest and East. Their in-house brand line is huge and doesn't cost much more than we're used to paying for Hill Country Fare at H-E-B.

The Sun Harvest/Henry's Marketplace/Wild Oats family tries to do the mid-sized natural food thing, but their produce is often dog-eared, their prices aren't great and their selection isn't that impressive, either. If I were Trader Joe's, I'd think about taking over and improving Sun Harvest to gain a foothold in Texas and give Whole Foods a fight.

Just a friendly suggestion from a concerned shopper.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's is now owned by a couple of German Billionaires...

In 1979 Trader Joe's was sold to the Albrecht family. The two brothers from Germany, Theodore and Carl, also own and operate Aldi's. Aldi is a 4500 discount food chain in Europe and parts of the central Uniteds States. It also holds about an 11% stake in Albertson's, a national supermarket chain. The Albrecht brothers are often listed as one of the wealthiest families in the world. They were the 11th richest in 1997 Forbes "Richest People" list with $11.5 billion.

SM

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting article about Aldi...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/
content/04_17/b3880010.htm

Anonymous said...

There's one here in Ann Arbor. I refuse to shop anywhere else.

RKM

Leslie said...

I shop at Aldi here in Sydney, too. Gotta save where I can with 4 ravenous kids. . .

Kat said...

what is UP with no Trader Joe's in Austin? Could we exchange a couple of Applebee's and Starbucks for some chain stores that we LIKE?

TJ's recently opened in Santa Fe --and while we may not have as many rich art freaks and movie people here, we've got a healthy ratio of Californians... and a gazillion spendthrift foodies.

Hey, we're supporting the new Whole Foods' psychedelic Disneyland of overpriced organica. . . and Design Within Reach opened downtown... I demand Trader Joe's and IKEA!

Greg said...

Whole Foods and Central Market are great for being "destination" supermarkets, but what Austin needs are some neighborhood markets selling healthy, affordable foodstuffs. I think Trader Joe's would easily coexist with WF and CM.

I think I read we're supposed to get an IKEA in Round Rock in the next couple of years. I'm sure DFW will get one first, though. I've actually run into Austin friends shopping at the one in Houston.

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