Waco needs a Trader Joe’s

By Madalyn Watson | Print Managing Editor

Does Santa’s favorite seasonal treat “Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s” ring a bell? What about the deliciously easy Indian feast comprising Chicken Tikka Masala and Garlic Naan from the frozen food section? Or even the perfect lunch: the Caesar Salad or Organic Greek Salad Kit?

Are all of these groceries just making you hungry or do they remind you of some place lost in your memories?

Finally, if you’ve never had speculoos cookie butter slathered on a piece of toast, smeared on slices of granny smith apples or simply by itself with a spoon, you probably didn’t grow up near a Trader Joe’s.

And if you did grow up near one, like myself, you’re probably pretty mad that I’m reminding you of what you’re missing out on.

According to the chain’s website, the closest Trader Joe’s to Baylor is approximately 82.07 miles away in Fort Worth. Other closest stores are in cities like Dallas and Austin, which are too far away to go grocery shopping.

We need a Trader Joe’s here in Waco for more than just students nostalgic for home, but for healthier grocery options.

The grocery options in Waco leave a lot to be desired. H-E-B, Walmart and Target are really the only places you’ll find your peers filling their shopping carts. They get you by, but they don’t offer as many healthy and unique options as their competing health food stores.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found some gems in the international foods aisle at H-E-B, but it’s never really enough and makes me long for the choices I’d find at Trader Joe’s.

Although a trendy Whole Foods could easily fill the gaping hole in Waco’s landscape, Trader Joe’s is more affordable and is just all-around superior. The low prices and the interesting array of products offered at Trader Joe’s makes shopping fun rather than a stressful outing and a strain on the wallet.

The produce section is a healthy college student’s dream. With a range of delicious prepackaged organic salads as well as colorful, premade wraps and sandwiches, spending a day in the library no longer means only eating from Starbucks and the vending machines.

Trader Joe’s offers a wider range of dairy and meat alternatives than most other grocery stores. Even though their Vegan Chorizo is the most popular, they offer several meatless meat options for vegans and vegetarians.

Other dietary restrictions are provided for, with several kosher and gluten-free options filling their shelves. Their Wild Rice and Mushroom Sausage-less Sausage, Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Cheese Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust and their Spicy Cheese Crunchies (basically, Hot Cheetos) are just a few of these options.

Although a majority of their items are seasonal and most of these items listed may be missing from their shelves from time to time, Trader Joe’s offers options for everyone.

So many citizens of Waco know how much we need this wonderful store in our presencethat a Facebook group called Bring Trader Joe’s to Waco was created in 2014 and currently has 1,457 likes.

But I know more people want this store in Waco, so here’s your call to action. Like the Facebook page or Tweet about it, but most importantly: recommend Waco as a location on the Trader Joe’s website so we can get a store here as soon as possible.