Tonawanda News


October 17, 2013

KEPPELER: What's the fuss over Trader Joe's?


Tonawanda News — I couldn’t get near the produce. Regretfully, I circled over to the cereal and drifted on from there.

This almost-vegetarian was intrigued by the many vegetarian and vegan options — and even more by the sheer difference of the fare. Apple cinnamon goat cheese? Check! Coconut cashews? Check! Pumpkin croissants (indeed, pumpkin everything)? Check! 

I felt like I had to read every label, to keep looking for the next quirky thing. With that congestion, that was tough. It was like a treasure hunt.

I walked out with some granola, some chicken stock (which I’m told is fabulous), some artichoke ravioli, some ginger mints (which I haven’t been able to find for years) and a few other items. And as I sit here at my desk eating Trader Joe’s coconut cashews, I can see the appeal.

I can’t see doing the weekly Keppeler family grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, not with two small bottomless pits to feed. We already have a store we’re quite faithful to, and we’ll stick with it, thanks. 

But as a treat every once in a while? Oh, yes. That, I can see.

KVIS has taken some flack for how its years-long campaign to bring the store to Kenmore instead ended in Amherst, and how its joyful announcement that a store was, indeed, coming to Western New York wound up being construed by some as claiming credit for a store in the village. (Which, actually, was never the case.) And that they’re still celebrating a victory as the store opened in another municipality.

But, frankly, I say, good for them. We talk all the time about how Western New York needs to think in a more regional manner. It’s not like Lockport residents never visit Niagara Falls, after all, or North Tonawandans never drive into Orchard Park for a Bills game — or the denizens of Kenmore never drive to Amherst.

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