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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Best grocery store: Trader Joe’s

A student and a Trader Joe’s employee share why they enjoy the selection and ambience at the beloved grocery store

Known for their unique snacks and ambience, 65.2% of students who participated in Best of Davis this year voted Trader Joe’s the best Davis grocery store. 

Callie Shiang, a second-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major, said that she appreciates the variety of unique foods that are exclusive to the store. 

“I think Trader Joe’s has a really unique selection of products that you cannot get anywhere else,” Shiang said. “They are pretty creative with what they decide to release, too. You always feel like you’re seeing something […] you have never heard of before.”

Some of her favorite items to purchase are the “To the Power of 7 Purple” juice, the ghost pepper salsa and the bruschetta sauce. If she could only have one item, however, she would buy the habanero hot sauce, which she stated is unlike any other sauce and can be paired perfectly with avocado toast. 

Anna Coleman, a Trader Joe’s crew member and a second-year psychology major, discussed some special items that she hopes customers will sample the next time they come to Trader Joe’s.

“Some really good items that I feel are underrated are the new frozen carne asada burrito, the garlic dip, the jalapeño sauce and the fresh bruschetta sauce,” Coleman said. 

One of her go-to meals is the Trader Joe’s Asian vegetable stir fry kit cooked with additions of tofu and rice. 

Shiang mentioned that her favorite meal from Trader Joe’s is a recipe she found on TikTok that combines their “Gnocchi of Gorgonzola” with mushrooms, onions and chili sauce. 

Beyond the selection of food, both students noted that Trader Joe’s provides a welcoming and fun atmosphere. Coleman said that working at Trader Joe’s is a lot of fun and that her coworkers are always there to support her. 

“I have great coworkers, and every time I go into work, I know that even if I am having a bad day, my coworkers will be there to lift my spirits,” Coleman said. 

Shiang also enjoys the store’s ambience since its warm environment is reminiscent of her childhood shopping days at the Trader Joe’s in her hometown. She recalled happily racing with her younger brother to find the hidden stuffed animal that is placed within Trader Joe’s and has fond memories of being able to enjoy grocery shopping, even at a young age. She mentioned that their customer service and curated store enables shopping to be casual and exciting. 

“I definitely think that they go out of their way to have good customer service, and I feel like […] something that Trader Joe’s values is having their employees really give the customers a reason to feel like they should be shopping there,” Shiang said.

Ultimately, Trader Joe’s combines a unique selection of goods, a comfortable environment and relatable customer service to provide an elevated experience, according to Shiang. She also noted that their well-curated store and rotating selection constantly inspires and influences her to try new items.

“I really love Trader Joe’s,” Shiang said. “I wish I could try every single thing that they sell because it all looks so good.”
Written by: Farrah Ballou — features@theaggie.org


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