I will first mention that I have an appreciation for the fact that my local grocery store has improved with their selection of organic, gluten-free, vegan options. It’s made life a bit easier for those who choose to live a plant-based and green lifestyle. Or for those who have celiac disease and a gluten intolerance. So I will give no disrespect to that what so ever. But with the growing selection of these items in stores like Shoprite, Weis, or Stop and Shop seems to come a new addition to the cluster of fast food places. I personally don’t appreciate walking outside of my local grocery store and seeing a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Dunken Donuts right on top of each other. Am I saying get rid of them? No. I’m not going to be the asshole who sits there and says that something should be bulldozed or be made illegal. People should have the options available to them. No matter what lifestyle they live.

Orgain Organic Almond Milks

But if people who enjoy fast food get to have their options, why can’t I have my favourite brands available to me in my own lifestyle? My closest Trader Joe’s is a half an hour away from where I live. My closest Whole Food’s approximately almost an hour! Sure, I can get almond milk, soy yoghourt, and even coconut whipped cream from my local store. That’s absolutely fantastic. Again, that’s not my complaint. My complaint is the lack of options and the price pain I have to deal with as alternatives to having to go to the actual store that is a long distance drive. Let’s analyze this a bit with the question’s I have been asked.

“Why not just bite the bullet, drive, and buy in bulk” ≣ Good point. And I have done that. But it’s still irritating to have to pay a whopping amount in gas to drive an hour or even a half an hour to a supermarket. Some say it’s worth it. And I would agree if I didn’t use these specific item’s up so fast with my cooking. So that bulk that people say to buy goes rather fast. Especially when you’re cooking for more than just yourself.

“Just buy it all online then!” ≣ Seems simple. But still costly. I love Vitacost, and LuckyVitamin. But there is still a high cost to these products. Though I have not bought from VeganEssentials yet, I still have to pay extra to make sure that my imitation cheese that is not available in my local market is not going to go to waste in the process of shipping. So I have to pay even more to make sure it gets to me and not go off on me. Also don’t forget that they don’t always carry what you’re looking for online.

Are you with me on this? Adding the shipping costs, sometimes sales tax, and the product itself (which can cost more than what it’s priced for in stores) adds up to a huge fucking amount. 

  • UPS Ground (3 Business Days in Transit, $10.99)
  • UPS 2nd Day Air (2 Business Days in Transit, $24.99)

Mind you, when I saw my favourite cream cheese on VeganEssentials.com I was thrilled till I saw it costs more on the website than it does in stores. $8.79 for a cream cheese online or $5.99 from inside whole foods. Hmmm! I wonder which one makes more sense. I’m not sure how much Kite Hill cream cheese costs near you, but for my grandmothers local Whole Food’s it was just $5.99. Which seems expensive to people who just prefer regular old Philadelphia cream cheese. But to people like me who enjoy something dairy-free, and gluten-free, that’s pretty fucking cheap. 

“It costs that much for a reason” ≣ Yeah. I imagine it does. But when you don’t want to spend more than you have to, does it really make sense? Do I really have to? No!


I have a special appreciation for Trader Joe’s due to its affordability and wide variety. Though organic isn’t a priority for me, it is for some, and dairy-free and gluten-free is a priority. I know a few people who have an appreciation for Trader Joe’s because of those reasons. but when I messaged Trader Joe’s twice in the past two year’s I am met with a very dismissive automatic message that say’s

Aloha and thank you for your interest in our stores. Emails have been flooding in with suggestions for new store locations in neighborhoods all over the U.S. We love that!

Rest assured, every email is read and your recommendation will be passed along to our real estate folks.

The best place to find new info concerning which neighborhoods we’ll be in next is the Trader Joe’s Locations page at http://www.traderjoes.com/stores

Call me a princess for acting a bit upset about this, but am I the only one who get’s a bit annoyed at these messages when you email customer service? This is the same email I received last time I messaged them about this concern! I pretty much feel like I am being ignored. “every email is read and your recommendation will be passed along to our real estate folks”? Seriously? How am I sure you’re going to do that? In all seriousness. I would be less insulted if someone called me and told me “Listen, we can’t find the kind of property that we’re looking for in your area”. I’d rather be disappointed by that news than be absolutely infuriated by a message that basically says “Yeah. That’s nice. We’ll look into it”. It’s the equivalent to have someone hanging the phone up on you when you’re trying to get information.

Again, I know I sound like a princess when it comes to this issue. But my area isn’t exactly booming with healthy restaurants like New York City. We won’t have a Candle 79 in Sussex county at any point soon. When I go to my local grocery store, I can’t even get a full fresh pack of bloody strawberries with a good percentage of the pack being rotted. This is an example…

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Yep. That’s right. MOLD! I swear, sometimes I think the people try to hide the mouldy ones so that way it gets sold. This isn’t the first time. It’s nearly EVERY TIME! I’m trying not to act like a diva about this. But I kept my frustration held back whenever I kept thinking to myself “If only a Trader Joe’s was closer”. I kept thinking that I was being a spoiled brat. But at the same time, when I go to my grocery store and I see I only have one option of imitation shredded cheese, but the rest of the more conventional shoppers have more than five, I feel a bit annoyed. I feel like those who are in the Sussex county area should have the same wide range of options the same way conventional shoppers do. I don’t want to have to pay $11.99 for coconut oil when I can pay $6.99 for Trader Joe’s.

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I might live in a small area of New Jersey. But that doesn’t mean I should be limited with my options. And that doesn’t mean I should have to accept the fact that I would have to spend a total of more than an hour driving back and forth to a Trader Joe’s, or more than two hours to drive to a Whole Food’s to get the dairy-free, gluten-free, or even organic self care items for myself. Remember this is not counting traffic. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate either of them at all. But I would rather have one or the other then have another fast food joint like Checker’s, or Pizza hut. We have so many empty properties in our area that has yet to be taken up by anything worth customer attention. A lot of the empty spaces that could be taken by Trader Joe’s are not being taken at all. For what purpose? I don’t know. I’d like to be informed by a human being rather than a machine at this point.

If anyone from Sussex county, New Jersey feels my frustration on this matter please let me know the comments section. I wanted to address this rather than accept it at this point. It’s either that or not nothing get’s done at all. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, organic, or even have celiac disease at this point. I know many people who are none of these things but enjoy the selection that is provided by both of these stores. I don’t know if anyone else has kicked up a fuss the same way I have, but I’d like to know people have my back on this. 

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