Trader Joe's fans unite


Honk if you want Trader Joe's

A guy named Jason stumbled upon this message in an area parking lot and passed it along to AOA. The site is part of a movement to bring this awesome alternative grocery store to the Capital Region.

We might need one of those bumper stickers.

(Thanks, Jason!)


I'd be all for Trader Joe's, just as long as TJ's doesn't take business away from the Honest Weight Food Co-op and the new Troy co-op.

I'd personally much rather see a Wegman's in our area!

Wegmans is consistently on those lists of the best American companies to work for, it's a family owned company and they have a reputation of treating employees like family members.

I don't really see a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods taking away business from good local specialty stores. The products they sell are going to be different, and I think if anything, their presence could increase awareness that there are alternatives to Price Chopper, Hanaford, and WalMart.

Rock! I love Trader Joe's!

THANKS FOR NOTICING US "ALL OVER ALBANY!" OUR GROUP JUST STARTED THE BUMPER STICKER THING TWO WEEKS AGO! Come join 2,000 of your neighbors (our current membership level) in our quest to bring Trader Joe's to the Capital District and let others know as well!

Bruce Roter, President
"We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District"

P.S. If you want a bumper sticker, tote bag, or other wwtj item, they're at Buy one for yourself and send one to that special local news reporter, politician, and Trader Joe's executive in your life!

Hi Bruce,

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bumper Sticker since shopping at Trader Joe's is one of the things that I miss from when I lived on Long Island. A "Trader Joe's Run" is one of my wife and my Must Do items when go to Long Island to visit my parents. I've already sent in my request to Trader Joe's HQ. Here's hoping that we'll be able to shop in a Trader Joe's soon without a 2 hour commute to get there.

And to answer kmg, I would want a Wegman's here also. I got introduced to those by my wife's brother (who lives in "Wegman's Country"). From what I've heard, though, they plan on expanding West and South more and not towards Albany at all. It's a shame, really. They would wipe the floor with Hannaford and Price Chopper. (Especially Price Chopper. I can't be the only one disgusted when I find moldy produce for sale at my local Price Chopper!)

I have a Trader Joe's shopping bag that I use around here and people at the co-op ask with excitement where I got it and I dissapoint them with my answer "Virginia." I never really shopped there to begin with but I remember it as fun.

I'd like to see more support of the independently owned markets we already have in our area rather bring in a new chain store.

Why not shop at Eats in Stuyvesant Plaza, Andy's & Cardona's on Delaware Avenue, Honest Weight Food Co-op, Troy Pork Store, Rolf's Pork Store, Putnam Market, the new Le Marche Vert in Troy?

These off the top of my head...I'm sure there are more...please add to the list. Buy local. Support local!

Rumor has it that Price Chopper and Wegman's have an agreement with each other that they won't tread in the other's territory. Perhaps you could find out the validity of the rumor for us and report back.

Hi Meg. We're working on it!

Hi Mary,

Thanks. I and the members of my group would be interested to know what you learn, even as we continue to focus our efforts to bring Trader Joe's to the Capital Region!


Bruce Roter, President
We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District

I would buy local and support local if it did not break the bank. Most of the stores that JMc mentioned (aside from Honest Weight Food Co-op) are pretty pricey. In addition to this there are just items at Trader Joe's that you can not get at other location. If you are looking for kosher items Trader Joe's is also an amazing find.Trader Joe's is just not your typical chain store.

JMc mention Eats at Stuyvesant Plaza. Besides the killer sandwiches they make their reputation on, it's the only place around Albany I've found that sells the famous Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, made in beautiful downtown Wigan, UK, and the only thing I know of to come from there other than The Verve.

It's pricey at twelve bucks a can, but there are only three ingredients on the label: sugar, American peppermint oil, and cream of tartar, and somehow the simplicity makes them magical. You only eat one or two at a time anyway, so a can could last a while.

And if any retailer opens in the area that sells Steen's Cane Syrup ( they have my undying loyal patronage. You can't make a proper Nawlins style pain perdue without it. You can buy it direct online, but I would much rather have a local place that was cool enough to have it in stock. Maybe someone does have it and I just haven't found it yet? If so, please post where!

Dear AOA readers,

There is no apostrophe in "Wegmans."


Syracuse native who misses Wegmans, especially the bulk candy aisle

I've moved here from CT and I can tell you that not having a TJ's is a major drawback. I, too, think supporting local is great and I would continue to do that even with a TJ's. But the reality is that TJ's has amazing prices and unique foods that the local places like Honest Weight, Eats, etc don't carry. I love their theory of getting rid of the middle man. This is not like Whole Foods, which gouges you for the same kinds of food. TJ's is more like Honest Weight than not.

Let's get Trader Joe's in the Captial District. Shop locally too, but expand your choice and your dollar.

It's true that Wegmans cannot come more East than Syracuse and Price Chopper can't go more west than Syracuse. They made this agreement years ago. I know a local strip mall owner and he's tried to get Wegmans in the area but was told no.

LOVE the bumper sticker?
You can have one too!
[or a button, canvas tote etc...]

We're not making any profit- just want to spread the word that WE LOVE TRADER JOE'S! : )

Look for new items often!


I'm a member of Bruce's group, and know Honest Weight, Eat, Putnam Market and many of the local farmer's markets well. TJ's would not do anything to hurt these stores. As noted above, TJs would have the biggest impact on PC and Hannaford, since TJs sells mostly packaged, frozen, and ready to eat products, at much discounted prices. The bigger threat to these stores would be a Whole Foods. Honest Weight is in a strong position, especially given their new store off Everett Road.

This is a huge opportunity for shoppers in the CD to break the choke hold that PC and Hannaford have on our area. Both stores sell similar products as TJs at nearly DOUBLE the price. This is no exaggeration. Our local organic/specialty markets will continue to thrive, since their biggest draw is shoppers in a less than 10 mile radius.


Saratoga Coffee Traders, on Broadway across from Wheatfields, as an EXCELLENT bulk candy, and "classic" candy, selection.

Trader Joe's is an EXCELLENT place! We need one here!

I also am a member of the grassroots organization working hard to get a Trader Joe's to the Capital District region! (Actually, it is Bruce who is our fearless leader and is doing all the hard work!)
Currently, I get my shopping fix from Trader Joes while on vacation, when I visit my daughter at college, or if I am willing to travel a few hours as I drive back and forth to the nearest stores.
It would be fabulous to have then right in our own area!
If you want to join in and find out more, contact our leader Bruce at, or check out the website at
Our motto describes it perfectly: "because we deserve better"

According to Bruce Roter's last email regarding Trader Joes moving to the area, the word from the company is that it is no longer a matter of if, but when. This is great news!

Slightly off-topic, but I've been trying to track down some kosher Coca-Cola being that passover is right around the corner. Not because I'm Jewish, but because it is made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup and tastes amazing. Generally comes in two liter bottles with yellow caps rather than red. Does anyone have any idea where I could find this stuff in the Capital District?

I shop at Trader Joes often when traveling for work, and bring back things to fill my own kitchen and fulfill my friends' requests. Their food is affordable, consistantly good and (mostly) good for you!! I still shop locally, too, but I want a TJs here so I can cut the cord with Price Chopper and Hannaford!

And about the PC & Wegmans "gentlemans agreement" - without revealing my very inside source, its true - but now that there's PCs in Syracuse, things might change in the future. Not any plans for a change now, but the unspoken promise has been broken.

If you have never been to a Trader Joe's don't assume it's a bad over priced chain store because it's not. I live in CA and it's my alternative to Whole Foods. Even though I buy most of my groceries at TJ's, I supplement by buying only locally grown produce from my local farmers' market and shop local bakeries. I really hope Albany gets its own Trader Joe's soon so my mother-in-laws can shop there. :)

love honest weight but trader joe's offers more at better prices. i also love most things offered in their own line.

Andy, your best bet for finding Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola would probably be the Price Chopper at 1892 Central Ave. They tend to have the largest Kosher for Passover selection around.

I just got my bumper sticker for Trader Joe's and hope everyone reads it. It wouild be so great to be able to go to one any time I wanted instead of sending my rather long list to my daughter in Long Island to bring the products up to me. Their products are unique, and the prices are great. They would be an addition to my local Price Chopper, not a replacement.

I'm a proud member of Bruce's brigade, and can't wait to have a TJ's in the area.

I also support Honest Weight -- and love them IN THEORY, but, truth be told, I HATE HATE HATE actually shopping there! With stocking going on all through the open hours, with the narrow aisles, awkward layout, and abysmal parking situation, I always feel like I'm in the way, blocking people or being blocked. I wait as long as I possibly can between shopping trips there. Yes, they bought that big new property on Watervliet Ave, but how long before they actually open there? A year? Two years? Longer? They move with the speed of organic molasses. I suppose it might not bother people who love the Japanese mass transit system, but I find the actual shopping experience excruciating.

I would love to have a Trader Joe's in the Albany area. When I went to school in CT, Naturopathic Docs referred to TJs all the time. I would love to have that ability here, at my new practice. :)

Thanks for the head up, Jason. I'll check it out.


I'm also a proud member of Bruce's brigade (in fact... I AM Bruce!). When I lived in Portland, OR, the Trader Joe's we had there coexisted wonderfully with the local health food/organic groceries as well as the more "mainstream" Fred Meyer supermarket chain. They all prospered, and we regularly shopped at all three. This is the model I'm sure our community will adopt when Trader Joe's moves here!


I can't wait until TJ's gets here! What a blessing that will be. I agree w/s/o above that TJ's would be a great ADDITION to Price Chopper. Please stop bashing Price Chopper, you may not like how big they are & the clout they have, but they are a truly local company that employs a boatload of our Capital District population. Imagine if they all closed down - some weirdos would be happy, but thousands would be PC does a LOT for local communities. Sometimes you have to think less narrowly and look at the big picture and not bash things because you only want local produce, etc. There is enough marketshare here for everyone. No I am not in the retail industry whatsoever, but I see markets for everyone - the supermarkets try to cater to all of them the best they can.
Yay Trader Joes, get those Hawaiian shirts here ASAP!!!!! I need more Peanut Butter Puffins!

Re: the alleged agreement between Price Chopper and Wegmans: I know there is at least one PC in Syracuse, and that's in the heart of Wegmans country. I'm part of Bruce's WWTJ group and, wow, is it fun! Our letter-writing campaigns are starting to have an impact, and we gotta believe that Trader Joe's presence is almost palpable at this point. See you all there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are many Price Choppers in greater Syracuse. It looks like the farthest west is the one in Fulton, which is just south of Lake Ontario.

Hey, FWIW my son worked at the Trader Joes in Brookline (Boston), while he was in college, he is young and hip, and I liked the store, but he maintains that the working conditions stunk for the employees and that while its independent and privately owned, the management was evil.... ok, his word, and probably too strong a word. But dont forget Walmart started out privately owned and all cool like, in the south.... So yes, we could use a different kind of grocery store, but the food coop is ok in my book and heck Hannaford is all friendly like... I just think getting all gooey about a grocery store that has almost all store brands is a bit cult- like

Albany has allot of New York City people who relocated due to the cheaper cost of living and better schools as well as higher quality of life and proximity to NYC. Its essentially a suburb of NYC, so why in gods name hasn't this company opened up shop. Its no longer the old Albany, its the New Albany, a wealthier, up and coming Albany. I have the perfect location, Kimberly Square in Loudonville. Everyone hates Price Chopper and wants it out, they would make a killing of the real estate and the Trader Joes/Whole Foods would flourish.

To Bruce and all supporters of "We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District" - every community in America would be blessed to have citizens as generous and active as you. Your investment of time and money to improve the quality of life where you live is truly inspiring. I hope you get what you seek, and continue to advocate worthwhile community improvement issues.

I hope the marketing department of TJ does not get to giddy about the great publicity you are providing their business. Would hate for them to decide it would be better to stay out of the capital area out of fear that opening a store would close down the activities of your group. How will your group roll out the welcome wagon if TJ does open a store?

Where I am in California, we have many TJ stores, a few Whole Foods Markets, and are awaiting the Northern California invasion of a new chain called Fresh and Easy. Sounds like the Capital area has a good variety of grocery choices, I am sure they all will thrive after the arrival of TJ. Pity the people who are locked into the Wallmart for groceries, in parts of Texas and other areas.


I miss shopping at Wegmans and Trader Joe's. Having lived in the Rochester Area with Wegmans stores and Maryland/DC Area with Trader Joe's, I can honestly say that no chain stores in the Albany Area even compare. It would be lovely to have even one store from each chain in the area. I particularly miss Wegmans, as Hannaford, Price Chopper, and Wal-Mart can't touch them on price, quality, selection, service, staff, layout, and cleanliness (yes, cleanliness - even some of the suburban grocery stores in the Albany Area are gross in comparison).

TJ's was one of the first places I checked on when moving to the CD. I had two within 20-30 minutes of my home downstate, and one near my family's home in CT. NONE here! The only time I get there is on the 2/1/2 hour-plus commutes to CT. TJ's is an awesome place, with great food merchandise and great prices. Albany needs to be opened up to this great market. PC and H's are a disappointment, and there are no TJ's or Stew Leonard's or Whole Foods around to compete. We deserve better!

Trader Joe's is the most reasonably priced and high quality grocery store I haveshopped at. I would not buy produce there but for everything else, it works great!
I hope a store opens soon in the Albany area.

I think TJ would take business away from the Honest Weight, especially in the health & beauty section and the processed food section. TJ prices are cheap but there are a lot of ways that our food industry is subsidized that keep some prices artificially low. When you shop at the co-op you can trust that all the products are created ethically. Yeah its expensive but some things are worth it. I am as poor as a church mouse but I manage to shop there because I can trust the products I buy there. I think a lot of people feel this way about HWFC and don't think that TJ would take away enough business to really hurt HWFC. But, there is some overlap, and TJ is dirt-cheap. This would probably lead to Honest Weight losing a few bucks.

Fight to legalize sale of wine in Supermarkets.

It would be easier to get TJ's to the Capital District if the sale of Wine in supermarkets were legalized. TJ makes big money on wine and spirits, generally at great prices from all over the world. They have a famous line of two dollars wines called Charles Shaw (aka 2 buck chuck), which I don't really care for, but also have an excellent selection from the West Coast, Europe and other places.

Wine is such a popular complement to good food, much more so than beer. Hard to believe in 2009 that New Yawkas are not allowed to buy it at the supermarket while shopping for dinner or picnic ingredients.

Costco, like Trader Joes is another great franchise that does not serve the Capital district. Costco is one of the largest wine retailers in our nation. Costco and TJ both serve downstate NY. In my opinion, they would expand across upstate New York if the draconian laws that ban the sale of Wine at supermarkets could be once and for all abolished. These laws make the Albany market much less attractive as a place to invest, even though both companies serve much smaller markets in other states which do not have these restrictions.

It is interesting that a liberal, progressive state like New York, one of the first to decriminalize Marijuana, is so backward on this issue. It is also interesting that the government of NY does not consider the sale of wine in supermarkets as a way to promote NY wines.I would much rather have a grocery store that sold wine in my neighborhood than a liquor store.

NY is a great state, but really backward on this issue.
Sorry for the long post, but it really is time to change this...

I have been shopping at Trader Joe`s for many years.
gas is so darn expensive that I now only go to the store in Hadley, Mass or Orange, Conn quarterly.
The Albany (Capital District) has a great need for a TJ Store. I don`t get it.
With all the schools and hospitals located here, why wouldn`t Trader Joe`s want to locate here?
I love the Honest Weight Food Coop but the prices have increased greatly over the past year---many people can no longer afford to shop there.
I would rather a TJ`s than another large grocery store. We have plenty of them.

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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