photo by Leanne Leuterio
Employees of the Winter Park TJ's on opening day last year.
How do you look in a Hawaiian shirt? Trader Joe's
, the West Coast-based discount specialty retailer, begins hiring for their Dr. Phillips location next week, with a planned store opening April 10.
One thing we can all agree on: TJ's cheap wine is, indeed, cheap.
Trader Joe's stores typically carry between 50-100 employees, organized in a mildly hokey nautical theme – employees use a system of ship's bells instead of a PA for internal communication; the store manager is known as the "Mate" and wears a tagua nut necklace over that flowery Hawaiian shirt. According to the store:
“We wear Hawaiian shirts because we’re traders on the culinary seas, searching the world over for cool items to bring home to our customers. And when we return home, we think grocery shopping should be fun, not another chore. So just relax and leave your worries at the door. We’ll sail those seven seas, you have some fun with our finds at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s.”
Sure, OK, if it means my imported cheese is 20 percent cheaper than elsewhere, I'm all right with the cornball. Trader Joe's is known for its very friendly customer service, however – employees almost always comment on your purchases with a "That's my favorite!" or "I haven't tried that before, how is it?" and will gladly open anything to allow customers to try before they buy – so no grumps, please. We haven't managed to get a comment from the store's spokeswoman or an employee about pay rates, but we'll update this post if we find out. (Also no word on employee discount, but we're willing to bet you're sick of cookie butter by the end of the first month.)
The new store, located in Dr. Phillips at 8323 W. Sand Lake Road, was briefly opposed by area residents
who feared the extra traffic load. Prospective employees can fill out an application online
or at the store, but applications must be presented in person.
Full press release follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Trader Joe’s Schedules Friday, April 10th Opening Date
For Orlando Location
Hiring Set to Begin Wednesday, March 4th at 9 a.m.
(February 26, 2015) Monrovia, CA - Trader Joe's, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, has scheduled a Friday, April 10th opening day for its Orlando store. The 9,800 square feet store is located at 8323 West Sand Lake Road inside Parkside at the Dr. Phillips Shopping Center, and trading hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Crew member applications will be accepted at the store Wednesday, March 4th through Saturday, March 7th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested individuals need to apply in person and can obtain an application on-site or online at http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/employment_application.pdf.
The "Trader" in Trader Joe’s refers to the way the company blazed a distinct trail through the grocery industry, searching the world for great values and distinctive products. Store employees, dubbed "Crew Members," consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Some crew Members sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the friendly and light-hearted air of the store.
Many area residents can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer” in their mailboxes after the store opens. The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products—it’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. Each edition highlights a selection of Trader Joe’s products that the company’s buyers believe are worthy of customer interest, from comfort foods to items that are organic or that boast other special attributes.
Trader Joe's carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, including artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, vitamins, and more. Stores also offer customers the basics, like milk and eggs, at honest, low prices.
Trader Joe’s is truly a grocery store unlike any other. Trader Joe’s is a “store of stories,” meaning that every item in the store has its own virtues, like high quality ingredients, great flavor, or simply an extraordinary price—and many items boast all of these attributes. Another significant point of difference is that all of Trader Joe’s prices are everyday prices. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have “sales” for a few days only to hike the prices back up again. Trader Joe’s prices change only when costs change— there are no fancy promotions, discount cards, or couponing wars.
So how does Trader Joe's offer unique groceries at prices everyone can afford? By offering more than 3,000 items under the Trader Joe’s private label, which includes Trader José's salsas, Trader Ming’s fried rice, Trader Giotto’s marinara sauces, and so many other specially purchased items. Also, Trader Joe’s buys differently than other grocers—they purchase from manufacturers wherever possible, not through distributors. In many cases, they will take a brand-name product, take out the artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and other undesirable ingredients and put it under their Trader Joe’s label to offer it at a price that is a real value.
Trader Joe’s introduces approximately a dozen new items every month, heightening the store’s adventurous appeal. Their buyers travel around the world searching for unique products at great values, and in order for an item to be sold at Trader Joe’s, it must endure the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel. Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that both appeal to the culinary adventurer and the microwave aficionado.
Trader Joe’s is a chain of neighborhood grocery stores featuring high quality imported and domestic foods and beverages at honest, low prices. Trader Joe’s (www.traderjoes.com) began in 1958 in the Los Angeles area. Since then, Trader Joe’s has expanded to more than 430 stores in 39 states.
Related: 21 Things We Can't Wait to Buy from Trader Joe's
Cookie butter: It's like a spreadable gingersnap.
Related: 23 Things YOU Can't Wait to Buy From Trader Joe's