Tag Archives: writing

A Christmas Story from Trader Joe’s

23 Dec Eucalyptus

EucalyptusI was headed to the 12-items-or-less line on a Saturday afternoon with a basket of four things. The woman in front of me had two items – a package of eucalyptus and a rosemary tree.

At first she rolled her cart back to let me through. I said, “I’m going behind you!” As I took my position in line, she held up the eucalyptus package to my nose and said, “Smell this!” Of course, it was wonderful. I thanked her for sharing the fresh scent. Then she had me smell the rosemary – again, lovely – and even broke off a little bit to share with me.

She was drinking a coffee sample. I was a little tired, and realized I forgot to get a sipper. She immediately offered to hold my spot for me to go get a cup, pushing my basket in front of her cart.

I west to get the coffee, and I chatted with the woman in charge of the sample station. She pointed to an envelope full of coupons and said that a woman left it there, and she described the coupon owner. The physical description was similar but not exact to the woman in line, but the sample woman said, “She was so nice.”

I went back to the line and asked the woman, “Do you collect coupons?” She said, “Yes!” enthusiastically, and then turned to realize her envelope was gone. I told her it was at the sample station, and before I could get it for her, she was off to retrieve the pack.

She got back and said, “See, if you hadn’t gone for a coffee, I wouldn’t have gotten my coupons!”

The line finally reached the check out. She insisted I stay in front of her. She said, “You have so little!” I pushed back, “But I have twice as much as you!” She wouldn’t relent.

I told the guy at the check out that the lady behind me was one of the sweetest people I’d ever met. The checker – Cory – turned to her and said, “I’ve been hearing some really good things about you.” She said, “You have?” Cory looked at her basket and said, “You know what, for being so sweet, I’m not going to charge you for the eucalyptus.”

She looked at me with a big smile and said, “Merry Christmas.”

I said, “Merry Christmas, to you,” and left.

Several times I started to introduce myself and ask her name, but then got distracted by something and didn’t. I hope I see her again. She may have gotten the gift of the eucalyptus, but she was a gift for those she talked with even for a moment.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! Wishing you that warm, fuzzy Trader Joe’s joy all year long.

“End of the line” at Trader Joe’s

23 Nov
Essay by Aaron Galbreath

The Man at the End of the Line / Narrative.ly

For your reading pleasure…

You’re in NYC. In a city that never sleeps, Trader Joe’s is faced with 24/7 people who love to shop and a flock of customers bigger than anywhere else in the U.S.

Enter the end-of-the-line sign. And the most important part, the end-of-the-line sign holder.

Why is there such a sign and such a sign holder?

With so many people in the store at any given time, it can become disorienting. That group of people in front of you – are they waiting to sample mini pies and coffee? Are they just making their way to the marinated tofu and unshelled edamame? Or are they the end of the checkout line?

That’s why.

Aaron Gilbreath has beautifully captured the swarming TJ experience. His essay, The Man at the End of the Line on the Narratively site, offers insights about TJ efficiency and the people who steer the crowds. It’s a great read.

Here’s a sample:

“The longest wait I’ve ever seen,” a supervisor says, “is fifteen minutes.” But that isn’t the longest on record. A crew member named Teresa remembers lines so long during both Hurricane Sandy and Thanksgiving last year that they snaked through frozen foods in both directions and out onto the street. A desperation filled the air on those days, a fog of tense hysteria that seemed to waft from the throngs of customers who streamed in from the street. “The honor guard had to close the front door,” Teresa says. “We had to let the line go and let people in, let the line go and let people in. It was a process, but we’re efficient.”

Happy reading!

[Are you in New York? Please share your end-of-line experiences and thoughts!]

Thanks to Narratively for permission to repost their content.

Recipe for a cool summer night

15 Aug

You have to realize that “cool summer night” is not a term we use often in August in Kansas City. In fact, could this be a first? Probably not, statistically speaking, but for me it is.

However, the stars aligned for my cooking sense this week, preparing me for just this sort of fluke weather.

onion and chicken combine to make soup. Water was an essential ingredient, too.

Hot soup on a cool August night

Recipe for a healthy summer hot soup:

1) Poach three or four frozen chicken thighs.

2) Reserve the water to use as stock.

3) Wait 24-48 hours for a chilly day in August.

4) Transfer chicken stock to pot, add:

  • three chopped onions
  • three minced cloves of garlic
  • a handful of chopped cilantro
  • slices of fresh lemon

5) Ladle into a bowl

6) Add salt, fresh lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste.

Enjoy and stay warm until the 90-degree weather returns in a few days.

This post is part of the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to write

Blog love for Trader Joe’s

30 Nov

Happy Friday, Trader Joes and Josephines!

At the table with Trader Joe's

At the table with Trader Joe’s. Serving up reviews, rants, raves and recipes.

I am honored to be among the Trader Joe’s blogging population. This special group includes Club Trader Joe’s, What’s Good at Trader Joe’s and Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I love these blogs. They’re great resources for raves, rants and reviews.

This week, I found some great tips and tastiness on their pages. Here’s a brief recap of Things I Love at Trader Joe’s faves:

Club Trader Joe’s offered a nice write up of TJ’s Spiced Apple Cider. I’m ready to buy a jug of the cider, a box of candy canes and settle in for a Christmas movie marathon!

Trader Joe’s Cocoa Drizzled Kettle Corn rates an 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons on What’s Good at Trader Joe’s.

Wow – Cooking with Trader Joe’s hit the jackpot with several posts of tantalizing food stuffs! Highlights include Lemon Basil Cake, Mango Lassi and ideas about how to make savory second meals with leftover turkey.

Thank you Trader Joe’s for providing us all with exciting, delicious things to write about!

And thank you, dear friends and fellow TJ lovers, for reading what we write!

Have a great weekend!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

The sweeping scent of cinnamon

5 Nov

I learn so much every day. Like during my last trip to Trader Joe’s. I walked in the door and the fragrance of cinnamon tackled me like a giddy child greeting her favorite aunt.

Just inside the door were baskets of brooms – cinnamon brooms. And smaller baskets of cinnamon whisks.

Cinnamon whisks from Trader Joe's

Cinnamon whisks from Trader Joe’s

Basket full of cinnamon brooms

Basket full of cinnamon brooms


Like any good aunt, I appreciated the exuberance of the aroma and wanted to express my love adequately, which, in this case, meant I bought one of each.

At home, they fill the room with cinnamon goodness, without even taking off the wrapper!

I wasn’t familiar with this item, but am learning the history, uses and significance of the brooms. So far, I’ve read that cinnamon brooms are an autumnal welcome in the home and a good luck charm.

I’m thinking I’ll be back for more before the season’s out.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Uses of the cinnamon broom

This Confetti Life asks, “How are you living without one?”




It’s frozen pizza Friday!

2 Nov

I’s the end of the week, and when I get home from work, my meal-time mantra is, “Easy.”

Am I the biggest fan of frozen pizza? No. Have I hoped against hope that the picture of gooey cheesiness on the package would be the spitting image of the heated product? Yes.

And sometimes, just sometimes, that hope is not lost upon taking the first bite, like with today’s feature – Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Barbeque chicken pizza from Trader Joe's

 BBQ Chicken Pizza from Trader Joe’s

I’d actually harbored this box for a couple of months, afraid of disappointment. Last week I decided it was time this freezer fugitive step up to the plate – the hot plate.

I liked it. There was ample chicken, the sauce was yummy and the cheese was cheesy.

Even reheated the next day, the pizza was tasty and the crust was still crusty. Is it a replacement for homemade or freshly made ‘Zza from the pizzaria? Well…no. But for my purposes – hunger, fatigue and frugality – it hit the spot. And, it will again.

Thank you for an inexpensive, quick and easy dinner, Trader Joe’s. Happy Friday!

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info

Trader Joe’s (mostly) BBQ chicken pizza recipe

BBQ chicken pizza recipe



Halloween pumpkin artistry at Trader Joe’s

31 Oct

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Pumpkinheads: Trader Joe’s creativity unleashed

Welcome pumpkin

Trader Joe’s is always welcoming. The pumpkin says it all.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Extreme pumpkins

Pumpkin carving and decorating ideas from Martha Stewart

Virtual pumpkin carving for kids


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