Saturday, June 16, 2012, the first Trader Joe’s opened in Houston (Okay Woodlands, TX but let’s not split hairs)…Kuykendahl and Woodlands Pkwy to be exact. Yes, DEEP in the Woodlands. So I’m driving and driving and wondering how many more miles do I have go before I reach Kuykendahl, like damn…But I digress.
I finally get there and the parking is insane! I parked at the 24 Hour Fitness next door and walked over, which was not that bad. I walk in there are people everywhere. It is absolutely bananas! It’s 2:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday, and the grand opening, so it’s to be expected. I find a basket that is randomly left in an awkward spot and I grab it. At this point I’m just trying to see, not where want to go but where CAN I go. So I spot an employee at the end of an aisle giving away some samples of the sweet tea, which I indulge in later on. As I begin to venture over into the wine section, I’m noticing the lines for check out…O_O WTH? They are stretched AAALLLL the way back to the back of the store. Now mind you the store is not that big, but still. THAT is craziness. People are in line in the aisles which makes it impossible to shop AND navigate a shopping cart. At one point I found myself trapped in a shopping cart traffic jam…I couldn’t go left, right, back or forth lol. Imagine yourself on the bumper cars, surrounded by other bumper cars with no way out! Exactly. A mess, yes, but I forged on and made my way down a crowded aisle trying to get a glimpse of their hair products.
Crowded spaces can make my nerves bad, but I’m feeling adventurous, and I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to roam this freakin’ store no matter what.’ I’m mainly looking at prices and browsing different products. Trader Joe’s does not carry the traditional name brand products. All the products carry the Trader Joe’s label. The store employees were super helpful and courteous, wearing their colorful Hawaiian themed t-shirts. I sampled wine, some cheese, some cookies, the ice tea and the Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese. So yeah I’m feeling pretty satisfied lol. The prices were pretty reasonable. Not nearly as expensive as Central Market or Whole Foods. They had a wide array of granola and nuts which I personally liked and the fruit and veggies looked fresh. As crazy as it was on opening day, I like the vibe and energy of the store.
Did I buy something? Uh, no. There was NO way I was going to stand in the long line for a couple of items. This was not the day to do some real browsing or shopping…at least not for me anyway. I took a couple of pics and squirmed my way on out the door ’til next time…say like, a day during the week where I won’t be bumped into or have my toes stepped on. Yeah, that sounds better. 🙂
Hope this doesn’t discourage any of you…It’s definitely worth checking out…but pack a lunch for the trip if you’re going to the Woodlands location.
For more information about Trader Joe’s, click here.
Peace & Blessings,