Monday, July 31, 2006

Do you shop at Trader Joe's?

I admit, I do shop at Trader Joe's, and I like it quite a bit. The food is interesting, yet simple and fresh. But what is little known is that the store has plenty of regular store items at excellent prices. Plus, the wine section is one of the best around!

However, I do get the "lefty liberal" feeling when I walk into the place. I would try to explain it, but David Brooks (Bobo's in Paradise, New York Times columnist) does an excellent job describing the essence of that particular retail establishment in his book On Paradise Drive.

Trader Joe's is for people who wouldn't dream of buying an avocado salad that didn't take a position on offshore drilling or a whey-based protein bar that wasn't fully committed to campaign finance reform. Someday, somebody should build a right-wing Trader Joe's, with faith-based chewing tobacco, rice pilaf grown by school voucher funded Mormon agricultural academies, and a meat section that's a bowl of cartridges and a sign saying "Go ahead, kill it yourself." But in the meantime, we will have to make do with the ethos of social concern that prevails at places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

You get the impression that everybody associated with Trader Joe's is excessively good - that every cashier is on temporary furlough from Amnesty International, that the chipotle-pepper hummus was mixed by pluralistic Muslims committed to equal rights for women, that the Irish soda bread was baked by indigenous U2 groupies marching in Belfast for Protestant-Catholic reconciliation, and that the olive spread was prepared by idealistic Athenians who are reaching out to the Turks on the whole matter of Cyprus.

Yeah, but dammit I love their wine section!
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