Yesterday Chris and I attended an event that was a first for us. I’m not even sure what category of event it was. I think Chris sort of thought it was going to be a protest. I thought the word rally might be more appropriate, but it didn’t end up being quite either.
It was an event at a new local Circle K gas station requesting that Trader Joe’s open up a store in Goodyear. The mayor attended and gave a speech. Chris brought a sign and ended up being the only person with a sign:
He actually ended up being filmed by a few reporters and made two of the local news stations:
I am not sure what will come of it, but it was an interesting experience and I do really hope we get a Trader Joe’s. Goodyear is a very long city, so although there are stores in Surprise and Glendale, those are really quite far from Estrella Mountain Ranch in the south of Goodyear, which makes about half the population of Goodyear:
The one in Surprise is about 30 miles from us and takes about an hour round trip without the shopping part included. Glendale is a similar distance, but the traffic is much worse and the shop is a lot smaller, so we usually go to the one in Surprise.
One might wonder what all the fuss is about. Why do we want a Trader Joe’s so badly? Why would we bother driving 60 miles for groceries? Why would we take a few hours off work to go to a rally?
I had never really been to Trader Joe’s before I moved back to the US in 2015, and therefore, neither had Chris. We were actually living in Chandler about a year before we discovered it properly, but since we did, we have been there *a lot*.
Trader Joe’s is often compared to Whole Foods, but I think this comparison is completely wrong. Whole Foods does a lot of expensive items of varying qualities from a variety of brands that identify with being organic or similar. Trader Joe’s do mostly their own brand products and they are not especially expensive. A bag of Trader Joe’s brand coffee is $3.99, a few dollars cheaper than most bags of ground coffee, but tastes better or as good as most pricier competition. A bottle of Trader Joe’s Zonin Prosseco sparkling wine is $7.99, a few dollars cheaper than most prossecos, yet it tastes better than any we’ve tried that were even 5 dollars more. Trader Joe’s are also wizards at TV dinner/ready meals. Rather than just the usual “put it in the microwave 3 minutes, stir, do another minute or so”, they frequently have more detailed instructions that result in a much better product. I feel like more thought goes into their products than many shops and the quality is much higher nearly all of the time.
They don’t have loads of stores compared to other big grocery chains, but Goodyear is growing like crazy. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country. So Trader Joe’s, get your bums over here! I want to go back to going once a week like we did when we lived 7 miles away rather than once a month like we do now.
Here is a video of the mayor’s speech and Chris talking to local media. Apologies for some of the audio. There were a lot of the people and, naturally, I was filming off to the side so the TV people could get their shots and audio properly: