If your family is at all like ours, you spend a lot of time shopping at one of the three Trader Joes stores in Marin. Their combination of good value, great service, offbeat atmosphere, and an eclectic selection of gourmet products keeps us going back. And, let's not forget the family-friendly aspects of the store—mini-shopper carts, free stickers, and rewards for finding Jojo the pony (in the Novato store) help keep children occupied and busy during those grocery shopping trips.
But what's the story behind Trader Joes? Did you know it's owned by a secretive German company? Where do all those private-label products they stock come from? How come many of their products—cheese, for example—are much less expensive than at other grocery stores?
Those of us who subscribe to the dictum that you can never have too many local Trader Joe's grocery stores will be excited to hear that the long awaited Larkspur location opens this Friday, July 24, 2009. No longer will shoppers from central and southern Marin have to trudge all the way to the Trader Joe's in San Rafael's Montecito shopping center, where long lines and challenging parking are the norm (especially on weekends… ugh).
They'll have music, a ceremonial lei-cutting, and, of course, free samples. This is the third Trader Joe's location in Marin, along with the aforementioned San Rafael store and the one in Novato.
The new location, in case you haven't seen the store going in, is the Cost Plus Plaza shopping center on the Redwood Highway frontage road, in the space formerly occupied by Tower Records and a Crown Books clearance center. With Cost Plus World Market and BevMo! in the same shopping center, there certainly won't be any shortage of places to shop for wine and beer! Hopefully the increased traffic from Trader Joe's will be good for everyone's business in Cost Plus Plaza.