For the past year or so, there have been rumors of Trader Joe’s opening a store in San Antonio. We heard that they were eying a spot at the Quarry, perhaps in the location left bare by the bookstore that went out of business, but that fell through. I’ve only heard good things about Trader Joe’s, so part of me is excited by the prospect of having one of their stores here, but at the same time, I was very relieved that they wouldn’t be opening RIGHT NEXT to Whole Foods.
A week and a half ago, when the Engineer and I were actually pulling out of the Whole Foods parking lot, I noticed across the street that the building where West Elm used to be was empty. I thought that was too bad, because I liked their stuff – even though it was somewhat overpriced. This morning, however, breaking news: Trader Joe’s has acquired that spot and will be opening a store there later this year. The location is really trendy, and I suppose that as a foodie, I should be thrilled. But I can’t help but think they will be taking away business from Whole Foods, and that is something I really don’t like. Some experts think there’s room for both in the market, though. And it’s true that Trader Joe’s is mostly focused on stocking “innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods”, perhaps somewhat like Central Market, whereas Whole Foods additionally takes things further in the direction of ethical and natural products – though neither store sells products with artificial colors/flavors/preservatives, GMOs, MSG, trans fats, etc. Hopefully, each store will specialize in things the other doesn’t sell, which should help keep everybody well in the black. (Because I would sure hate to see Whole Foods suffer from this.)
For those of you who still don’t have a Trader Joe’s and have grown accustomed to products you now can’t find, keep in mind that there’s at least one delivery service that can ship Trader Joe’s goods to you (it is not affiliated with Trader Joe’s, and obviously will be limited to dry goods, but it might be worth it to some).