Trader Joe’s has come to Kansas City. You’ve heard of Trader Joe’s, the grocery store with great prices and lots of unique goodies you can’t find anywhere else? It’s a smaller COSTCOs grocery where you don’t have to buy restaurant size amounts.
In fact, they opened two stores, one in Kansas and one in Missouri. Kansas City is divided by a state line so Aldi’s, who owns Trader Joe’s opened one in a fancy neighborhoods (Kansas) and one in a not so fancy neighborhood, (Missouri.) The Kansas store doesn’t sell liquor but the Missouri store does. Wine goes for around $2.00 a bottle.
Plan A was not to go the first day. My decision was based on a newspaper article that said one woman planned to arrive there twenty four hours early so that she could be the first one in the door. But my friend Janice couldn’t wait. We’d been to lunch with our granddaughters and while my granddaughter and I went across the street to Victoria’s Secret to buy a “Bride’s Essential Shower” gift for my grandniece, Janice and her heir scouted out Trader Joe’s. Later that day, I tasted the candy she’d bought, yummy enough to make me switch to Plan B: go immediately.
I went to the Missouri store situated in the midst of a huge shopping mall. There were hundreds of parking places, all full. I was about to revert to plan A when someone pulled out right in front of me and slick as a whistle, I whipped my car into the spot ahead of all the oncoming traffic.
Feeling pretty smug, I headed for the door where a seemingly dazed greeter motioned me inside. “Where are the carts?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Maybe if you stand right by the exit door someone on their way out will take pity on you and give you theirs,” she said numbly.
Right then, I should have turned around and left but I couldn’t make myself do it. I was trapped in Trader Joemania. I managed to snag a cart and shove my way past the beautifully displayed fresh flowers. The aisles were clogged with shoppers. I didn’t mind. That gave me time to peruse all the merchandise. I struggled through the store, an inch at a time, bumping into others as determined as I. We picked from an array of gorgeous fresh fruits and vegetables to frozen foods including dinners and desserts and mass displays of inexpensive (otherwise known as cheap) wine. Hard to believe, but in the crowded frenzy, I missed the chocolates and nuts stacked over the frozen foods. I braved the masses and went back to pick out a few delicious treats for the bridge bunch.
The six checkout lines were so long it was hard to find an end to one, but with the feel of a county fair, total strangers became best friends. Your children became my children, your territory mine territory. It took forty minutes for me to get to the head of the line and another five or six to be checked out by exhausted but gregarious employees. Someone grabbed my cart even before I could snatch up all my stuff and getting out of the parking area took a lot longer than getting in. It was fun but next time, I’ll stick to Plan A.