Dangerously organic!

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is coming to Gainesville, FL. What does that mean to local business?


(Thanks to Nick and Erin Dorman for giving me the tapestry I put the Trader Joe's flyer on for this photo. They got it on their honeymoon trip to Guatemala!)


Let's free associate. I love Trader Joe's. I always shop there when I can. They have products I love at low prices. They create jobs at living wages. I know at least one person here in the Zoobird community who works at Trader Joe's.

I also love local, independently owned businesses. In Gainesville, we have Ward's, a longtime, locally owned, mostly organic, locally sourced when possible grocer. And, I love Ward's! I'll travel way out of my way just to shop there.

What impact will Trader Joe's have on Ward's business, and vice versa?

Gainesville locals - you remember Mother Earth's? Now it's called Earth Origins.


No form of government or economy is perfect. Sure, capitalism promotes healthy things like competition and work ethic. There's a natural progression, though that can swallow up competition. What do you think? Will Trader Joe's and Ward's coexist?


Oh the other hand, look at Portland, OR. They have Trader Joe's and ... hmmm, I can't think of a name of a small independently owned grocer. 


Why do I associate that with "Taking The Hobbits To Isengard"? Who knows. It's early! Humor me.

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Comment by Tim Kinney on December 11, 2012 at 12:24am

I've been shopping at Wards for almost all my groceries since they took over the location from Normans. Before that, we shopped at the same location when it was Normans grocery.  Wards shoppers are extremely loyal.

I will check out Trader Joes out of curiosity, but I'll still buy my groceries at Wards because they meet my needs.

Comment by Saroj Earl on December 9, 2012 at 5:07pm

You might be interested in JonRappoport's blog regarding Prop 37 voter fraud and the possibility of a recount


Comment by Michael Levin on December 9, 2012 at 3:59pm
Saroj, for me, learning about nutrition is a continuous process as I discover more and more about nutrition and health. So, labeling is certainly important to our decision making about what and how much to eat. I haven't found TJ's stance on Proposition 37, but I learned a lot about pros and cons at SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Prop-37-Genetic-food-labels-defe...

This makes it look like there was pressure to get Trader Joes to support Prop 37, but I still have not found the answer: http://www.change.org/petitions/trader-joe-s-support-yes-on-prop-37...
Comment by Michael Levin on December 9, 2012 at 3:51pm
Awesome, Zach. That's what I hoped to hear.
Comment by Zach Lutz on December 9, 2012 at 3:06pm

FWIW, just from my limited time in Portland, I've discovered that both New Seasons and Zupan's are both locally-owned chains that serve the immediate region very well. This is in addition to the even smaller, one-off co-ops and stores -- all which exist side-by-side with biggies such as Fred Meyer (Kroger), Safeway, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. In other words, the arrival of a Trader Joe's certainly doesn't imply that local stores will be unable to survive and flourish. Hopefully you can enjoy both! :) Cheers!

Comment by Saroj Earl on December 9, 2012 at 1:10pm

I'll be faithful to Wards and Citizens Coop.  Trader Joes will be on a side of town where I seldom go, mostly because of traffic.  Trader Joes is just too corporate.  I wonder where they stood on Prop 37.  I understand that most of the food sold there is conventional "natural" and not GMO free.  But then, it's the same with Wards - but they're not corporate and they don't put themselves out there as a "health" food store.



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