Another Sign of the Apocalypse. We ARE Out of Dark Chocolate.

My wife sent me on a mission to Trader Joes who has notoriously good dark chocolate at a typically low Trader Joes price. She gave me the go-ahead to purchase some Orange Chicken and some Cauliflower Gnocchi. These are two of our go-tos we like to have in the freezer – especially at pandemic time.

Several years ago, Trader Joes stores were only in the far eastern and western U.S., and the only time a Southerner found one was in the Consumer Reports ratings of grocery stores where TJs always was rated in the top three. One year, I was going to an Effective Schools Conference in Phoenix, and Sandy was going with me to enjoy the sights of the desert. As it happened, she discovered there was a Trader Joes near the conference hotel. We, two rednecks, were in beautiful Phoenix in mid-February—I was in a conference room and, you guessed it, my lovely wife was enjoying the sights of the first Trader Joes she had ever seen! True story. And she went back every day. She didn’t really buy anything—after all, we couldn’t get much on the plane back Kentucky, but she did enjoy the sights and the atmosphere of this really unique grocery store.

……….

When I parked to get my dark chocolate fix, people were lined up outside the store as they were limiting the number of people who went in at one time. After all, Trader Joes is the size of a small neighborhood grocer. But, typical of TJs, they did not just make me wait in line. They placed signs with Trader Joe trivia (and some with CDC directions) on them every six feet.  By the time I finished with the Trader Joes/Barbasol Signs, it was time to step into the store where I was greeted by a young lady with a bottle of disinfectant spray, a buggy, an elbow bump, and a hearty, “Welcome to Trader Joes.” 

If you don’t have a Trader Joes near you when this pandemic is over, and you can travel, make sure you put visiting a Trader Joes on your bucket list. Go visit one so you, too, will understand why customers rate them so highly year after year. And their Orange Chicken ain’t half bad, either! 

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