I certainly congratulate Mayor Kepley and his staff for gaining Trader Joes for Kentwood, and agree with the notion in the article in M live that other grocers (except for Horocks) will not be impacted. The demographic of this kind if store is unique.
I’ve never been in a Trader Joes, but the chain is often paired with Whole Foods, and I did venture into one of their stores in Houston.
I was working an especially strenuous contract, 12-14 hour days and no time for dinner. One evening I hankered for chicharones and walked the few blocks to the Whole Foods in River Oaks. I could tell it was special, what with all the Beemers, Volvos and Acuras in the parking lot, but it wasn’t until I got inside that I discovered the meaning of “select.”
Very quiet shoppers, all in their 30s and wearing their hemp safari threads and fiber sandals. They all looked athletic and healthy, studying labels on the food on offer, quiet discussions. None of those women would ever bear children. (I’d guess that a lot of the customers had student debts and that the cars in the parking lot were rented, but maybe my intuitions are a bit jaded.)
I, of course, felt horribly out of place. I’m just another peasant, lumpy, bald, red faced, 70ish, and stuck with big spade like hands. I wear 20 dollar cargo pants from Sears and pocket T shirts, 3 for ten at Meijers.
I tried to find chicharones, after all this was Houston, a kind of northern Mexico.
Alas! Whole Foods would never, ever, sell fried out, salted pork skins; they are not considered “healthy.”
The reason I made the special trip to Whole Foods really was just hoping for a bigger bag, maybe 3 ounces for $1.29 instead of 2 ounces for a dollar. Nothing that cheap would ever be sold in such an excellent store.
I finally noodled all of that out and bought a 2 ounce bag of porkies as well as a pint of light beer for $2.25, total, in a service station on my way home. The beer, to help me blot out my tactlessness.