Why Trader Joe’s Coming to Austin Matters

Well, I guess it would be more fair to say: Why Trader Joe’s Coming to Austin Matters to Me.

It is nostalgia. Trader Joe’s brings forth memories of time spent with my dad… weekends… the introduction to great beer options… the first place where I could get really good food and try new things… Trader Joe’s was the candy store of grocery stores. And it’s the only place people should be allowed to wear Hawaiian shirts without irony.

I grew up going to Trader Joe’s in Southern California. My dad and I would play tennis on Saturday mornings and then wander their beer section before going to the hardware store. At that time, in 19(cough!), Trader Joe’s was one of the few stores that had a truly eclectic selection of beers. If this had not been a part of our routine, I may have entered adulthood thinking Coors Light and Miller High Life were actually beer.

When I moved to Washington, DC Trader Joe’s came to Alexandria, VA. It was in the bottom level of the building where my dad worked – I sometimes wonder if he chose the building specifically because they were there. I would drive out to Alexandria to have happy hour with him. We would wander to the store, pick out a beer we’d never had, and sit on the patio.

When I visited California to drive a car back to DC, one of my best friends, her young daughter, and I went to Trader Joe’s to stock my car for the trip. Brooke’s daughter was very young and the two of them played a game of spotting the lemurs throughout the store. It was a genius game Brooke had started. While her daughter was happily engaged in searching out the many lemurs that resided in the store’s “decor” she and I talked about… um… I don’t remember, but it was fun. Trader Joe’s played a role in another one of my favorite memories – time with my friend and her daughter.

When I first decided to move to Austin, I joked that I couldn’t move here as there was no Trader Joe’s. So, Trader Joe’s coming to Austin matters to me… I have an irrational affection for the store – it represents family to me. And I am home, so I like that Trader Joe’s finally arrived.

Truthfully, I will probably not shop a lot there, I suspect by the time it arrives, I will try to avoid downtown. There are too many infrastructure problems, but that’s a post for another time.

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