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NorthernElf

Don't Get The Big Deal About Trader Joe's

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I was in New York last week and, being from Canada, was all excited to go to Trader Joe's and find some gluten-free food. Well, there really wasn't much. I bought some gluten free granola for breakfast and some gluten-free english muffins that molded fast. Most of their products have that old disclaimer on it - processed in a facility that processes wheat, followed by the statement that standard cleaning practices have been used to clean lines, or however they put it. Well, I got glutened all right, a couple of times. By the end of the week I found a natural organic store where I could buy true gluten-free products. It was more expensive buy by that point my intestinal tract was so raw I didn't care.

What the heck - it sure didn't help my holiday...sometimes I just get so darned tired of all this !

Ok, rant over. :angry:

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I live on Long Island, NY, and have 2 Trader Joe's close to me, and I am not impressed with either of them. To begin with, they aren't a very clean store, and all the gluten free products are shoved in with the gluten containing products. On top of that, there isn't much in the line of gluten free foods there.

I'm with your Northern Elf.

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they generally have good prices on food, and happen to have a lot of gluten free items because they generally stock things without massive ingredient lists. but because they work with a lot of independent food places, you'll get the "manufactured in the same facility" or "manufactured on shared equipment" stuff. not everyone chooses to avoid them, and it definitely is easier for those who don't to shop at TJ's. but, even if you're just looking for fruits/vegetables/meats/grains - they tend to have pretty good prices.

it's worth noting, however, that what each TJ's store carries varies GREATLY from store to store, not to mention the regional areas they serve.

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The only thing I buy at Trader Joe's is their acid-free coffee. I spoke with an employee one time who told me that their gluten-free stuff isn't really gluten-free. I have not found anything there that is truly gluten-free.

Earth Fare on the other hand rocks!!

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When I lived in the northeast and had access to both stores, I aways preferred Whole Foods to TJ's. I actually do my grocery shopping at the regular grocery store now--between HEB (Texas) and Kroger, I can get everything I need. In PA and NJ, the same was true of Wegmans.

I do still go to Whole Foods when I'm near one, but I don't need to for routine shopping :D

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In California, the Whole foods that opened recently in my neighborhood had tons of gluten free products. Now that I live in the Boston area, I have been to 2 whole foods here and they don't have anything! All I found at one was one loaf of rice bread and I walked around for almost an hour and asked 3 different employees about it. However, the Trader Joe's here has these awesome gluten free "french rolls" that actually taste like bread and toast up real crunchy and tasty! The TJs in CA only had rice bread (yuk!) as far as gluten-free breads. Both TJs have gluten-free pasta, pancake, and brownie mix. They also maintain a gluten free list for every store so you don't have to spend hours wandering around trying to find the things you can eat. As far as shelves, both TJs have their gluten free products on separate shelves (they do, however, store gluten containing product on shelves above and below).

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Southern CA? Mothers Market rocks for gluten free! They're in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach & Orange.

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I live in Canada too and was so excited to go down to Trader Joe's..the store manager handed me a thick booklet of "gluten-free" foods...most of which they didn't carry in their store.. It was a really big let down. I did find some good stuff at Fred Meyer, but really not much different from up in Canada! Safeway, Save-on, Choices, and SuperStore have all been pretty great.

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The three stores I've been to in Indiana and Arizona were very clean with helpful employees. I always liked their unusual food offerings and the fun atmosphere. I think they carry as much gluten-free as my local Kroger.

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I love TJ's prices. gluten-free specialty food (pasta etc.) is lacking, but so are most grocery stores. What I hate is 95% of the people that shop there. They are just down right rude. They cut you off with there cart, bump into you, etc. and then give you a dirty look for it.

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