Trader Joe's opening store in LR. What should I try first?

Trader Joe’s opens in LR Oct 22. It’s in a convenient location. Just a couple blocks from Whole Foods. I’m in that area frequently.

I’m a bit confused by their store brands. I gather you can’t buy Bush baked beans or Smuckers jelly? Only the Trader Joe’s brand?

I’ll still shop at Kroger for many items. I love my Smuckers strawberry jelly. :wink:

What items are really special at Trader Joe’s? Their store brands are what I’ve heard praised for many years.

Trader Joe’s is for treats, not for food.

In a building that used to be “Toys R Us.”

Everyone at work has been talking about Trader Joe’s for weeks. There’s a Facebook page, Bring Trader Joe’s to Little Rock.

People have waited years to get one in Arkansas.

I’ve never been in Trader Joe’s and have no idea why people are so excited. I’ll check it out, but I’m pretty loyal to my favorite brands at Kroger.

I did find this article on products.

I’d still like to know the best stuff to buy at TJ.

I’m always looking for good frozen dinner options.

Good prices on beef and chicken.

Their frozen mac and cheese is really good, but really bad for you.

I like a lot of their frozen Asian meal kits for a quick weeknight meal. My favorite is the kung pao chicken. The Szechuan beef and broccoli is good, too.

Their “fresh squeezed” orange juice is pretty much the only bottled orange juice I really like.

Their store brand olive oil is high quality and inexpensive.

And of course there is inexpensive wine. The Charles Shaw, aka “Two Buck Chuck” is of course the best known, but there’s a huge selection of other wines that are only a bit more expensive and are quite good for the price.

DIL and Me are coming to LR just to go to TraderJoes as soon as it’s open. Man, we must be awful bored to make a little road trip just to go to a grocery store.
Hey, you have to have your fun where you find it:)

The fact that my house is walking distance from Trader Joe’s was kind of a selling point for me.

You can get plenty of real food there but snacks are the big draw.

My perfect Trader Joe’s shopping trip would include:
Bags of sesame and soy crackers.
Nuts, which are generally available raw or roasted and salted or unsalted.
Dried fruit, especially the unsweetened dried cherries and some of the dried mango. There is a dried mango I like and one I don’t. I can’t tell you how to distinguish between them.
Dried coconut
Ginger candy (it’s sweet but they are really big chunks of ginger, so I find it
Almond butter and natural unsweetend peanut butter
Wine: You can get their house brand Charles Shaw (jokingly referred to as “two-buck Chuck”) or other real wines. Two-buck Chuck is great for cooking and sometimes even drinkable. They usually have a cheap pretty good Cava for $12 the name of which escapes me.
500g block of dark chocolate (way less than it should be, and usable for baking or snacking)

Frozen foods are another big draw. I like:
Soup dumplings ($3 for a box of six). These are as good as the ones I buy at the really good dim sum place near me.
Marinated BBQ teriyaki chicken (in a red bag). We cook it with veggies to add fiber and dull a little of the sauce’s sweetness.

They have a wide range of frozen dinners but, in general, they are tasty but roughly 80% rice, so they aren’t really a great deal. Other people love the frozen burritos but, for my money, they aren’t cheap enough to be worth compromising for and they are too small and not tasty enough to replace a fresh burrito from a decent taco stand. When Mrs. Charming and Rested wanted to stockpile burritos, we just made a bunch ourselves instead of buying theirs. Their frozen enchiladas are disappointing. Some people won’t leave without a jar of the Speculoos Cookie Butter but I’m not a fan.

Bananas are sold by piece rather than by weight so big bananas at 19 cents per piece are a good deal. I can shave nearly 40 cents off my food bill that way!

English coastal Cheddar is better than any regular store bought type.

The frozen indian food is great, lamb, chicken korma etc.

Soups are decent. use the lentil soup as a base to make a bigger pot of homemade lentil soup. That will work best.

You can get a lot of dairy and orange juice and yoghurt products cheap.

Small watermelons are 3.99 in season

Their cereals are great. My favorite is the Oatmeal Flakes.
You’re opening at the prime time of the year for hundreds of pumpkin spice products. They pride themselves on the excessive numbers of pumpkin spice products.

Is TJ’s bakery and deli good?

Do they offer in store dining like Kroger? We often buy meals from the deli. Eat there or take home.

I’ll check out TJ’s cereal. The Oat rings sound good.

A good one. Trader Joe’s has a policy of having as small a parking lot as they can, so it’s always hard to find a space.

Parking won’t be a problem in LR.

It’s a huge shopping center. Barnes & Noble on one end and Petsmart on the other end.

Toys R Us was in the middle. It’s a good location for TJ.

They don’t have one.

Trader Joes isn’t meant to replace a traditional grocery store, it’s meant to supplement it.

I’m loyal to low prices. :slight_smile:

Do these guys carry Mexican frozen dinners? Kroger does not.

Ok. I’m starting to understand TJ better. Thanks

Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a deli in the sense that big grocery stores do. Same with bakery. They just have a section of bread and pastries that were shipped to the store, not an actual in-store bakery. You have to realize TJ’s is more like a small specialty store, not a big full service grocery store.

They do stock a selection of partially baked loaves that you can take home and finish baking in your own oven fairly quickly – stuff like baguettes, Italian breads, etc. Those are especially nice for when I want a nice warm, crusty bread to go with a stew or something.

No. Again, TJ’s is much smaller than the stores you are comparing them to.

ETA: I see I’ve been beaten to the punch while typing up my long winded answer.

You’re not alone. I recently read an article (and I’d supply a cite if I could remember where I read it) that said that living near a Trader Joe’s tended to increase the value of your home more than any other grocery store. Whole Foods was next.

I like the pre-made salads at Trader Joe’s.