Monday, February 04, 2008

Trader Joe's in Richmond: CONFIRMED

According to the Trader Joe's website, Trader Joe' s is "coming soon to Richmond, VA." Thanks to my coworker's sleuthing, I broke this story a week or so ago before TJ's updated their coming soon list (and before the Times-Disgrace).

My previous piece, and its fruitful comments section, brought up a lot of speculation about sprawl, consumerism, UKraps, ecstatic hooting and hollering, and questions about how far is too far to travel for a bargain. Let's continue that discussion, because we've got at least a few months until we need to further congestify Short Pump with our gourmet fetishism.

By the way, we're not the only ones on I-95 clamoring for our Trader Joe's fix with a side of Whole Foods. Another big box monstrosity called Central Park is lobbying hard in Fredericksburg. They say Charlottesville was supposed to get one too. Maybe Short Pump was a compromise. I'm wondering if it'll even be the same old Trader Joe's by the time we start seeing one between every Five Below and Kohls. Anyhow, just wondering. No more negative nancy from me. Back to the party.

(can you tell that my spell checker is broken?)

Update: The RTD has finally gotten the scoop: summer/fall opening, "fragmentation" of grocery store market, disintegration of civilized society, and healthy/tasty products at unholy affordable prices (sorry Ukrops).


  1. This seems to generate a lot of interest. Having never heard of Trader Joe's, I don't know if it is a restaurant or a grocery or both, but I definitely won't be going out to Short Pump just to go there. I'll suffer here in the city and wander as far as the Tan-A-Supermarket for my exotic foods.

  2. Okay, so my investigative journalism here is pretty superficial. Does anyone have any further details? Maybe there is timeline put forward by a real estate company somewhere?

    I really haven't found any murmurs about this elsewhere. Well, except this satirical bit:

    For those of you who are raring to go, visit and start making your shopping list from the best reviewed TJ's products. Or, start building a bicycle with a really big basket, so you can shop at TJ's in good conscience. Cheers.

  3. Whats all the hype about with Trader Joe's??

  4. Karen4:31 PM

    Trader Joe's is the best grocery store ever. You might want to go once and check it out for yourself before you decide that it is too far of a treck for you. Not only do they have really yummy food that you can't find anywhere else (tons of great frozen veggie meals) - but they try all of the products first to make sure they think it is good enough to carry. And most of the prices are really great (they have the cheapest pine nuts and avocados) so that might help make up for the gas. And have you heard of two buck chuck???
    It is actually more like $4 in this state but it is the best damn bottle of 4 dollar wine you will ever taste. We served it at our wedding. OK, I am starting to feel like a salesperson but there is a reason people are so excited about this store. check out their website to learn more:

  5. Central Park in F'burg is horrible, though it is lacking a grocery store. The area probably could use a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods and, really, there's not really anywhere else to put it other than the big box mess that's popped up just south of the city on Rt. 1 in Spotsylvania.

    Ah, home...

  6. Logarhythm10:13 PM

    Trader Joe's is quite good. I used to live in Philadelphia where I got hooked on them. They're a little weird because they only sell their own brand and one or two less-well-known brands, but for the most part their stuff tastes excellent and at dirt-cheap prices. Employees also tend to be genuinely friendly, fun people.

    I'll sometimes stop by the TJ's in Springfield on the way back home after visiting people up north (it's less than a mile from the Mixing Bowl). For someone like me, living in the City, driving out to Short Pump for all my groceries would be silly but I'll definitely be making occasional excursions out I-64 to shop there.

  7. In other Richmond foodie news: just got a postcard from Penzeys Spices that they're opening a store at 3400 W. Cary. Have never been to one of their stores, but spend hours reading their catalogs. Am drooling just dreaming of a spice store here in R-V-A.

  8. Ali, I've heard about this Penzys news from Veronica's Test Kitchen:

    My wife (Karen, above) has ordered from there. I'll be interested to see what they've got.

  9. I am so excited. When I moved from Los Angeles back to Richmond ten years ago I was unhappy that two of my favorite things would disappear from my life. One was a radio station called KCRW which only a few years after leaving became available to me via iTunes, and now this! Unbelievable.

    After hearing about TJ's previous attempt (does anyone have full, factual details of this?) I really hope Ukrops will suffer for their strong-arm tactics. Turning their previous ideal site into a Joe's Market is a slap in the face to competition. They'll get theirs in the end.

    To anyone who won't drive out of their way to go there, well, I'm sorry to say but you will be missing out. That $6.00 piece of cheese is available there for $2.50. Tired of paying $3.99 for a tiny tub of hummus? Try $2.00. Even the candy bars (Ritter Sport) that you see everywhere in town for $2.00 are $1.59. If anything, I really hope people wake up and smell the burnt expensive grounds that Ukrops and Ellwoods have been forcing us to ingest.

    BTW I confirmed this with an employee of the Springfield store when I was up there earlier this week.

  10. Anonymous8:01 AM

    We just relocated from CA to Richmond and the first thing I had checked was if Richmond had trader joes! It is the best grocery store for Vegetarians and all their stuff is excellent! I was beginning to suffer TJ withdrawals andwas sending location request emails too!! They have great stuff - good sizes.......good prices and excellent choices. All their produce is clean and lot of organic options available.WE did find Ukrops...kinda comparable but definitely more expensive..and their affordable wines are legendary and its easier to experiment with new wines and food..and driving from downtown richmond will be totally worth it!


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