If you have ever longed for all-natural foods at lower prices than Whole Foods and the atmosphere of a summer lounge, look no more, Trader Joe's is opening their first store within the Houston city limits tomorrow.
The Woodlands location opened just a few months ago to local acclaim, but tomorrow, September 20, 2012, the first in-Houston Trader Joe's will open its doors for business.
Why should you shop at another Houston-area chain grocery store when we already have several that offer both standard items and all-natural products? Trader Joe's fits a unique niche in the market that others cannot fulfill.
One of the draws people have to TJ's is the low prices of their house-brand items. These include everything from chips to salsa to soy cheese. Greater than 80 percent of what you find on the store shelves are under the Trader Joe's label, but unlike store brands from other grocers, the items from TJ's are of high quality and unique. You will likely not find products exactly like some of theirs at other grocery stores in Houston.
For long-time Houstonians, the new Trader Joe's is located in a familiar place. Those who have been here for the last 20 to 30 years may remember the site as a Bookstop bookstore, but before then, it was the Alabama theater. Rather than completely gutting the building to create a hollow space inside for their products, Trader Joe's took pains to maintain the look of the theater by keeping the marquee out front, the balcony inside, the ceiling medallion above and the art deco-styled floor tiles at the entrance. You may feel tempted to ask when the next movie showtime is when you walk in. (Or maybe not.)
Trader Joe's also has produce, in addition to their house-brand items. Much of what they sell in the produce aisle and else where is organic or all-natural, but their prices and the exuberance of their staff will keep you coming back, even if you don't always buy organic.
If you would like meal inspiration before or after you shop there, visit their website's recipes page, which has many recipes using the unique products sold under the Trader Joe's label.
Whether you like to cook or like to eat, Trader Joe's in Houston is big news. Be on the lookout for another location opening on Voss near Woodway later this year.
Trader Joe's Houston
2922 S Shepherd Drive
Houston, Texas 77098
Hours: Mon. to Sun.: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.