Florida Welcome’s Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe fans aren’t hard to find but living in some states such as Florida it might be hard to find a Trader Joe’s. That’s because the ever-popular small-store grocer just hit the Sunshine State opening its first location in Naples, Florida. Judging by the large crowd in the store on a sunny and warm President’s Day the opening was long over due. (Trader Joe fans will note that the store opened on February 10 but this writer and fan had to wait two weeks to visit the new store).

First impressions of the store reveal a tight parking situation as the store features just a few rows of parking in front with additional parking in the back. Many customers were seen walking from a nearby shopping center across a small but busy street to reach the store. Parking aside, the next obstacle is finding a cart and during peak hours you’re better off finding a cart in the lot yourself as you walk up rather than finding one in the totally empty cart corral.

Inside the store many people were stocking up on Trader Joe staples such as the ever-famous Charles Shaw Two Buck Chuck, chocolate goodies of every imaginable creation, frozen meals, and everything else a Trader Joe fan could want. With the unbeatable Trader Joe branding that cuts out the middleman and passes the savings to the customer one can find many reasonably priced top-notch treats.

So why all the fuss? Here’s a look at the top five Trader Joe treats:

5. Everything Crackers. If you are a fan of everything bagels and you like crackers well you can see where this is going. Super snack fans will enjoy these with cheese, peanut butter, or even cream cheese if for some reason you might be missing the bagels you love.

4. Dark Chocolate covered Almonds. Nuts are always a classic snack but nuts and chocolate are nothing less than snack time Shangri-La. Why eat a tasteless protein bar when you can have just as much protein and energy in just a handful of these nuts. Not a fan of dark chocolate than pick up some milk chocolate ones. Better yet get a package that has both milk and dark chocolate.

3. Trail Mix Bars. Reaching for one of these bars is like eating a rice crispy treat with a whole lot more. Of course there’s nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, and that tasty rice. You could keep one of these in between the cushions of your couch and forget about them for weeks and they’d still taste great.

2. Frozen Blueberries. Most people buy frozen blueberries wherever. If that’s the case you are missing out. These blueberries aren’t the blue chunks of ice that somewhat resemble blueberries-they are the real deal. If you’re a fan of smoothies and you make them at home you’ve got to try these. As a bonus they are dynamite in Trader Joe’s pancake mix.

1. Sea Salt Peanut Butter. Not your father’s jar of Jiff. Valencia nuts seem to make the best butters plus sea salt give it that nice salty flavor you look for in a snack. There are lots of peanut butter fans out there but only a true fanatic of peanut butter will go out of their way to score a jar of their own.

Folks in Florida can also look forward to a second location opening in Sarasota according to local news outlets in Florida. No doubt Trader Joe executives took note of the large crowds in Naples and are busy planning other locations in Foodie places such as Tampa and Orlando.

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