Trader Joe’s and Dallas

Robert Wilonsky at the Observer has been suffering greatly in the last week from something that I don’t wish on any reporter: Having to deal with Trader Joe’s, the California specialty grocer famous for its Two Buck Chuck wine and legendary following.

Wilonsky has been trying to get a Trader Joe’s spokesman to say, one way or the other, when and where the company is coming to Dallas. Because, apparently, it is. We think.

His travails, as well as vague story behind the paywall by a good reporter who usually doesn’t write vague stories, Maria Halkias in Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper, made me smile. I have been dealing with Trader Joe’s for more than a decade, and it is almost impossible to get a straight answer out of the company. I did a piece for a grocery store trade magazine once, and had some good quotes from a Trader Joe’s spokeswoman that were exactly about the story. The editor was so surprised to see them that he asked me if I made them up.

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Is Trader Joe’s coming to Dallas? It seems like it. Unless the company changes its mind, which it has been known to do. When I talked to them in 2010 and asked if they were coming to Dallas, they said no. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in Austin and Houston long before they finally got here.

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So how will we know when Trader Joe’s gets to Dallas? Probably only when the store actually opens.

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