All the Lonely Shoppers
am not involved in any lobbying campaign on behalf of Trader
Joe’s [“Bull Market,” July 9]. In the unlikely even that my
own political preference—anarcho-communism with flourishes—ever
prevails, Trader Joe’s will deservedly find itself in what
Trotsky called the trashcan of history (which is where Trotsky
is now to be found.) Meanwhile, I will report on my own experience
with Trader Joe’s.
In March, I spend eight days in the San Francisco Bay area,
visiting friends and attending an anarchist conference. I
stayed with a family in Oakland. The refrigerator and pantry
were crammed with Trader Joe’s products. The wife, my former
lover, took me to a Trader Joe’s. It was not a big store,
but it was amazing how much stuff it had. I don’t know if
the staff was especially friendly but it was certainly efficient.
The store did not bother with carrying kitchen equipment,
or meds, or paperbacks and magazines.
What interested me, as a lonely bachelor, is that Trader Joe’s
catered to singles and couples in the size of many of its
products. Nobody does that around here, not Price Chopper,
not the Honest Weight Food Co-op, nobody. All the lonely people
have needs to be met.
For as long as I can remember, every year or two, Metroland
has run a story about how wonderful Honest Weight is. I once
had a letter here criticizing Honest Weight, which elicited
more rebuttal letters than I have seen here on any topic (obviously
the same sort of organized campaign that Stephen Leon sees
being run on behalf of Trader Joe’s). I suspect that a protective
attitude may have colored his story.
But I don’t think Trader Joe’s would take much business away
from the food co-op. One of the highest quality products I
bought at [Trader Joe’s] was a beef concentrate. You are as
likely to find a beef concentrate at Honest Weight as at a
Hindu temple. Trader Joe’s would probably take a lot more
business away from Price Chopper and Hannaford—or force them
to raise their standards, which would tend toward the greatest
happiness of the greatest number. So, welcome, Trader Joe’s!
you for naming me “Best Public Servant” in the Best of the
Capital Region 2009 issue of Metroland [July 16].
Many other public servants could have received this recognition,
so I am doubly appreciative that I was chosen for this honor.
It makes one feel good that the time and effort put into making
Albany a better city does not go unnoticed.
Common Council Member, First Ward
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