So why is this store so unbelievably excellent? I think this sums up one of my favorite qualities:
Trader Joe's has also guided its customers into the world of prepared food and precut vegetables — what Mr. Rauch, the president, calls "speed scratch" cooking. "Trader Joe's customers are people who really care about cooking," he said, "but like everyone else in America, they don't feel like they have time to chop all the vegetables, cook the chicken and make the dessert — but they want to be in the kitchen." The stores stock lots of things like precut butternut squash and beets, "simmer sauces" that make quick stews, and marinated salmon fillets packaged with fresh herbs in oven-ready cooking bags.
It's packed full of home cooked, delicious meals that take a fraction of the time to prepare. A perfect example: Trader Joes sells fresh veggies, bags of mozzarella (and other cheese blends), and prepared dough in little plastic bags. You go home, roll out the dough, put as many (or as few) vegetables on your pizza, toss on the cheese, bake for 20 mins and -- voila! Possibly the best pizza ever, a hundred times better than frozen pizza, and you get the therapeutic chopping/preparing experience.
It's all genius and delicious. Another great thing -- it's affordable. Much more so than Whole Foods.
Alright, enough gushing. Go buy some good, healthy food folks.