The Zen of Trader Joe’s

To say I was happy when Trader Joe’s opened a store near me is an understatement.  And I can’t really explain why I like it so much.  In fact, they do many things that throw me for a loop. Then I started thinking how their business policies sometimes look like Zen practices.

Zen lesson #1: Want what you have (and not the other way around).

They are a specialty grocery store  which means they don’t carry everything a full service grocery store does.   Because I’m not a huge fan of grocery shopping, I make the limitation work.  In order to avoid going to other stores, I get creative when doing meal planning and cooking.  It’s fun and challenges me.

Zen Lession #2: Learn to embrace change.

As soon as I am comfortable whipping around the store and finding everything I need, Trader Joe’s rearranges things.  The dairy case moves to the other side of the store, the fresh produce is now at the back of the store, etc.  I am no longer able to shop blindly.  And the brilliant thing about rearranging the store is I find “new” things.  Of course they aren’t new, I just didn’t see them in their “old” spot.

Zen Lesson #3: Practice non-attachment.

I could go on and on that Trader Joe’s no longer carries my FAVORITE shopping items.  Just as I get comfortable purchasing my standard food products, POOF they are no longer carried.  It requires me to really let go and rethink menus.

Zen Lesson #4: Find joy where you are

And that would be about finding the monkey.  Trader Joe’s mascot monkey is “hidden” in different places around the store and is often wearing a new costume.  I know it’s meant for kids but I love looking for the monkey, it makes me happy!

In closing I’ll say this, I feel sorry for you if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you 😉

4 responses to "The Zen of Trader Joe’s"
  1. Päivi Panttila 10/11/2009 10:16 am Reply

    That is all so true, a wonderful store!! I am so sorry there’s no Trader Joe in Finland! I have to buy as much as I can load in my bag on my US visits…

    • catherinehilker 10/11/2009 13:44 pm Reply

      Hi Paivi, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Do I know you from the Interior Alignment group?

  2. Eileen Kelz 26/02/2010 10:17 am Reply

    Hi Catherine,
    I’ve always wanted to go to a Trader Joe’s..the closest is 3 hours away. Now I’m even more determined to get there.

  3. […] I’m a Trader Joe’s fan and don’t like to grocery shop, I attempt to do all my cooking from only Trader Joe […]

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