Home > Uncategorized > Trader Joe’s in Fortuna?

Trader Joe’s in Fortuna?

Trader-JoesAn email hitting the Humboldt County inbox circuit says grocery store chain Trader Joe’s is considering a move to Fortuna.  According to the author, the friendly city has been under consideration by TJ’s for the past year.

The problem, however, is concern that surrounding communities wouldn’t make the trip to Fortuna to shop there.  And given the plethora of groovy food options in Arcata and Eureka, they may be right.  Not only can outlanders avoid the drive, they don’t have to deal with packaging from shrink wrapped cucumbers.

But oh those cheap cases of 2 Buck Chuck.  That alone could increase sales tax revenues in F-Town.

If you live outside the Friendly City, would you make the trek to shop at Trader Joes?  If so, the emailer suggests you head to traderjoes.com and give them a Humboldt shout out.

  1. June 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Never been to one myself. I know someone who always make a point to stop at the one down in Santa Rosa(?) when he’s driving by there.

  2. June 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I got the email, too, and considered posting it, but won’t since you did.

  3. June 11, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Well, I didn’t post the email itself. And whoever said only one blogger can address any given topic is lying about the rule book.

    Besides, we may have different audiences.

  4. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I would, maybe once a month to get cheap olive oil, cereal and dish soap. Beyond that most prices are not that different.

  5. Hopalong
    June 11, 2009 at 9:03 am

    We’ve discussed this with friends who, like us, are loyal Co-op shoppers. We all agree that since there are tiny handful of things that only Trader Joe’s carries, it’s a mandatory stop when passing through Santa Rosa or other cities that have one. We also all agree that we really don’t want one here. The potential damage to institutions we love that are of tremendous benefit to the community will be irreparably harmed if TJ’s comes in here. No amount of cheap wine can mitigate that fact. So much of the money spent at locally owned and operated stores stays here. Way too much of the money spent at TJ’s would be siphoned off never to be seen again.

    That said, if it’s inevitable, Fortuna’s the best place for it. How’d that Fortuna branch of the Co-op work out though?

  6. June 11, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Trader Joe’s has the finest dumpsters on the west coast. Awesome!

  7. June 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Maybe I will. Not now, though.

    The Fortuna Coop worked out fine until the 1992 earthquakes, then it closed.

    But now with so much growth and building going on, the Friendly City might be a good spot. To me, Fortuna is starting to look like Santa Rosa.

  8. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I can tell you on good authority that there is nothing in the works with regards to Trader Joes and Fortuna.

    This is just a chain email going around after somebody in Fortuna thought it would be a good idea to go the Trader Joe website and get a group of people to sign the online request to get a store.

    Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t TJ’s already reject Eureka (at the proposed Marina Center?) as a potential site, saying there studies indicated there would not be enough shoppers to support a store?

  9. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Fortuna is starting to look like Santa Rosa? How so?
    They’ve added ONE new shopping center in the last 25 years; that’s hardly “starting to look like Santa Rosa”.

    No offense, Carol, but that is a gross exaggeration.

    I am curious in what other ways you think Fortuna is starting to look like the north bay.

    (btw, love your website, C & G.)

  10. June 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

    The potential damage to institutions we love that are of tremendous benefit to the community will be irreparably harmed…”.

    Seems to me, if Winco didn’t irreparably harm the Co-Op, it would be a stretch to think that Trader Joe’s would. I get the impression that people from all over the county go to Winco. It has to be one of the busiest places in Eureka, if not the county, judging by the constant traffic in and out of that place.

    As a slightly off- topic aside, my wife went along for the ride on a trip to Crescent City yesterday. A friend of hers wanted to shop Home Depot.

  11. June 11, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I bet that Winco caters to a different crowd than the co-op. Just guessing.

  12. June 11, 2009 at 9:27 am

    The email stated that T.J’s is looking for a location within Humboldt County. The email writer has been actively recruiting members of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce to send their comments to the link in Heraldo’s post. As far as I know development of the old PALCO Mill Property along 101 has been put on hold. There are For Sale signs on the property.

  13. Eric Kirk
    June 11, 2009 at 9:36 am

    My wife has been bugging Trader Joe’s to open a store in Humboldt County for years, but they repeatedly tell us it won’t happen because the population is too small and the area already “saturated” with natural food stores. Plus, the costs of shipping.

    I should say that I don’t think their produce is anything to write home about. The wine, condiments, breads, cheeses, oils and some dairy items are good deals. Winco offers a better deal for olive oil and dairy products.

    But considering what we’ve been told and what I’ve been told by people trying to move development projects forward, I doubt there’s any validity to the email.

  14. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:42 am

    tsk, tsk, tsk….here comes the SantaRosafication of Humboldt as we all hear too often. Why would Trader Joe’s be considered OK compared to other non-local chains? (et.al Alpha-Beta/Ralph’s) It’s not the cheap wine, folks it’s the style and fashion of Trader Joe’s. May I remind you that a store called Green Living Center is trying to make a go of it in Fortuna. Would they be affected? Would Clendenenen’s Cider Works with their local products be affected? (I’m obviously just using politically loaded businesses as a tool for discussion)

    For the same token, would you travel the same distance to shop at Hoby’s Market in Scotia? Hey, it’s local, why not? I know, I know…..They’re not “Your neighborhood grocery store” as the TJ slogan goes.

    Next discussion….Peet’s Coffee & Tea on the Plaza?


  15. June 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

    what the area needs is a REAL health food shop, the local humdumbs should look to the PUGET CONSUMERS CO-OP for help….terrible quality, poor selection, combined with people who think it was invented here.

  16. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I can state on very good authority that TJ’s in not looking to come to town.

    As Carol said at 927, this is someone who has started an email version of a chain letter, trying to get people to visit the TJ website in order to drum up support for a store in Fortuna.

    If I recall correctly, TJ already rejected an effort to bring a store to Eureka (at the proposed Marina Center?), stating that Humboldt did not meet their required demographics.

    There won’t be any Trader Joes coming to HumCo any time soon.

    I am curious though, Carol as to how you think Fortuna is looking more like Santa Rosa. Is it the new shopping center, the first one in over twenty five years? I don’t mean any offense, but that sure seems like a gross exaggeration to me.

  17. June 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

    The writer of the email is very active with the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, Eric, so I disagree with your comment about it being valid. And there is that large mill property along 101 that will be developed one day.

    Take a drive down Rohnerville Road to see the development that it going on. Every little hilltop and valley is being developed or will be in the future. Fortuna is growing fast in population, even though there is a economic downturn

  18. June 11, 2009 at 9:50 am

    It is my opinon that Fortuna looks more like Santa Rosa. As I just stated look at the recent developments off Rohnerville Road. Yes, the new Strongs Creek shopping plaza could be anywhere like Santa Rosa. Back to work-

  19. Citizenjane
    June 11, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I would definitely go to the Trader Joe’s. TJ has many prepared items and Trader Joe brand stuff that you can’t get other places…Not to mention it rubs me the wrong way getting price gauged at our local community owned establishment.

  20. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 9:56 am

    A few new subdivisions do not equate looking more like Santa Rosa; more like McKinleyville, no doubt, but we aren’t anywhere near looking like Santa Rosa.

    As I said earlier, ONE new shopping center in over 25 years does not equal looking more like Santa Rosa.

    Also, I think you misunderstand Eric’s point about the validity; this is an effort to drum up support for TJ in Fortuna, but TJ has NOT shown any interest in coming here, and as I stated earlier, they already said no to Security National and the Marina Center.

    BTW, Carol, I really enjoy your website – lovely garden you and your hubby have! I also enjoy this conversation – I appreciate how you keep things civil even when disagreeing!

  21. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

    You’d be better off disparaging us with a Redding comparison because Santa Rosa is a nice town… lots of people, but still very livable. If an influx of people are due in this county, I’d welcome Santa Rosa over Redding any day.

  22. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Would anyone want to have their business located at the Marina Center? Arkley and Gans as your landlord?


  23. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 10:43 am

    You mean, like the Security National-owned North Coast Co-op building? Ha! Not sure what the Marina Center topic has to do with a discussion on a Trader Joe’s in Fortuna topic…..but, oh well.

    Try to shop local when you can, folks.

  24. average Eurekan
    June 11, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I’m told that Trader Joe’s business model (high volume, comparatively low prices) prohibits their location in population centers with fewer than 500,000 people.

    We’ve got 132,000 in the county.

    We got a long way to go, folks.

  25. Amy
    June 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I don’t know about your info, Average Eurekan – Santa Barbara’s population is not quite 90,000 and they have three Trader Joe’s in the area. Neighboring Goleta is about 60,000, and the county has about 430… doesn’t really comport with a population requirement of 500,000 for a location, considering they have three.

  26. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Heraldo is, as ever, hopelessly out of touch. Two-buck Chuck became Three-buck Chuck years ago. Get with the program.

  27. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    If you live outside the Friendly City, would you make the trek to shop at Trader Joes?


    As it is my wife and I make sure we stop at TJ’s every trip to SR.

  28. High Finance
    June 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Nobody from Eureka is going to make a 50 mile round trip & 45 minutes of driving time to get groceries in Fortuna. The e-mail is a harmless scam, I deleted mine.

    But how could anybody think Winco hurt the co-op ? I found the co-op to be very overpriced.

  29. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Nobody from Eureka is going to make a 50 mile round trip? Really?

    I drive from Eureka to Fortuna everyday. It is 17 miles and 20 minutes.

    I have friends in Fortuna that drive to Eureka every weekend. They go to Costco and Winco to buy groceries. HighFinance, are you high or what?

    btw – I also know hundreds of folks that drive up to Crescent City for HomeDepot and Walmart on a regular basis.

  30. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Nobody from Eureka is going to make a 50 mile round trip

    Oh really? People from Trinidad drive to Eureka to shop at Winco. That’s precisely a 50 mile round-trip.

  31. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    2 Buck Chuck is still $2 in S.F.

  32. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Hundreds of folks who drive to Crescent City for HD & Walmart?

    There’s the overgeneralized statement of the year

  33. Reinventing the Wheel
    June 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Fortuna and Eureka may not be Santa Rosa. But the sprawl and malls are the same failed development model that creates it. Santa Rosa wasn’t hatched-whole from an egg.

    The thought of an average Eureka shopper driving 5-6 hours in an older car, full of kids, risking life and limb, living on a shoestring budget, to save a few bucks on groceries in Crescent City…. is madness.

    Talk about nuthin to do, and your time being worthless…

  34. Eel River Ernie
    June 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I personally think a Cabela’s would be a better fit in Fortuna. According to REUTERS Cabela’s has just “selected geoVue as a Strategic Partner to Assist in Optimizing Locations for…” A visit to geovue.com yields that “geoVue’s state-of-the-art modeling and optimization solutions help its clients holistically plan store networks and prioritize capital investments based on predictive, multi-factor trade areas. Clients prioritize markets to enter, expand or exit; optimize store networks; and localize marketing and merchandising.” I think the key word here is “holistically plan,” if anyone could use some holistic planning it’s Fortuna.

  35. Larry
    June 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Security National courted Trader Joe’s for the Big Loaf building on Fourth street in Eureka. TJ’s declined. SN then offered to build a store for Wildberries which they declined. The CO-OP was SN’s third choice and they accepted.

  36. Humboldt Politico
    June 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    TJ has the greatest hummus, beating everything at the Co-op or ENF. The produce is so-so. They do have great buys on some of the green items the local outlets overprice. While I would not make the trip ONLY to shop at TJ, the couple times a month I go to Eureka would make a slight detour worth the time.

  37. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    The CO-OP was SN’s third choice and they accepted.

    Is that who we have to blame for the Co-op’s adoption of the Sacramento Valley mini-mall aesthetic? It’s a stain on Old Town.

  38. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Stain? I’d say its more like a permanent scar

  39. Larry
    June 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Security National planned, designed and built the Eureka CO-OP. The CO-OP just leases the building.

  40. average Eurekan
    June 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Or as Charlene Cutler-Ploss was said to have remarked,
    “It’s like Disneyland on steroids.”

  41. Jonesing For Goods
    June 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Grocery Oulet (or Gross Out) routinely has several $2.99 wines that beat the pants off “chuck”. And, they have even better deals for wines in the $6-$8 range.
    There really isn’t anything at TJs that one can’t find at Eureka Natural Foods, Wildberry’s, CostCo, Winco, and places between. TJs may have a few low priced items, but others items are overpriced and available elsewhere.
    This reminds me of the people who want a WalMart even though we have Target, CostCo, KMart, and Sears. We’re a consumer society and we are addicted to the retail trend of the day. Unfortunately, life just isn’t that much better a few hours after we shop and come crashing down from the consumer high.

  42. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    2 buck Chuck is 3 bucks where I shop. Your pricing structures are as nostalgic and misguided as your politics.

  43. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Larry, but the co-op is leasing the building, right? I assume this is voluntary on their part, unless you think they got pushed into it. Ha ha. Get it? Pushed?

  44. Maude In The Middle
    June 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Would I drive to Fortuna to shop at Trader Joe’s”

    I drive to Santa Rosa to shop at TJ’s now so only problem is that the rumor is likey, sadly just that, a rumor.

    I have had lengthy discussions with two TJ’s managers who say that they will never bring a store to Humboldt. It is because of the trucking costs not because we wouldn’t have enough support for one, they know they would because of the zip code survey at the checkout stand. We are shopping there to the tune of tens of thousands now (we are just losing the tax revenue).

    If Fortuna having allowed several retail outlets in the recent years likens them to Santa Rosa you really may want to look at moving off the grid.

  45. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    1:03 – you need to step out of your hermetically sealed jar and get out of all incestuous relationships with only those persons who agree with you. Almost everybody I know and work with goes to Crescent City to go to HD or WM. They don’t do it weekly, but do it routinely. My officemate who is a lifelong dem and a good friend of Carols won’t ever pass up Home Depot. Don’t underestimate your opposition.

    And “Reinventing the Wheel”, the drive for me from Eureka to Crescent City is about one hour not 5 or 6. What, do you walk it or something?

  46. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    2 Buck Chuck is true to it’s name in Marin


  47. average Eurekan
    June 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    The Humboldt Herald: Where folks come to blows over whether Two Buck Chuck is 2 or 3 dollars.

  48. Larry
    June 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    The opportunity for the Eureka CO-OP to move from a 5,000 square foot building into a new 28,000 square foot building was hard to pass up. And so far it’s been positive for Eureka. I wish they could have had some input into the design though.

  49. Maude In The Middle
    June 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    If you had input on the design Larry would it have looked like your throwback to the 70’s record store scabbing up Old Town?

    You would have any expertise on design how?

  50. Bob
    June 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    “Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t TJ’s already reject Eureka (at the proposed Marina Center?)…”

    Larry’s right. As reported in the Journal 2 years ago in “Grocer and Lifestyles :

    “It was Rob and Cherie Arkley of Security National who hatched the plan for repurposing the Fourth Street building, which had once housed the Big Loaf Bakery. And the Co-op was not their first choice for a tenant.

    “I don’t think it’s a secret that they first recruited Trader Joe’s, then Wildberries,” says Rick Littlefield of Eureka Natural Foods. “They finally worked out a deal with the Co-op.”

    No less an authority than Cherie Arkley passes along the bad news that Trader Joe’s — a store that many Humboldt residents clamor for — isn’t interested. “We will probably never see a Trader Joe’s here,” she says. Not that Security National didn’t try, offering “all kinds of gimmies and perks for coming to Eureka.” The bottom line, according to Arkley: “Our market isn’t big enough.”

    Ricord confirms that Wildberries also turned the Arkleys down. “After Trader Joe’s passed, Security National came to me and asked if I wanted it,” he says. “I decided against it.” Ricord says that he felt the location, on the edge of the bad part of town, was less than ideal.

    Of course, part of the idea behind dropping an upscale market into the seedy side of Old Town is to improve the neighborhood — it’s no coincidence that Security National’s proposed Marina Center development is right around the corner. And thus was hatched what might seem an unlikely alliance between a member-owned consumer cooperative and a billionaire businessman.”

  51. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    1:03 – you need to step out of your hermetically sealed jar and get out of all you incestuous relationships with only those persons who agree with you. Almost everybody I know and work with goes to Crescent City to go to HD or WM. They don’t do it weekly, but do it routinely. My officemate who is a lifelong dem and a good friend of Carols won’t ever pass up Home Depot. Don’t underestimate your opposition.

    And “Reinventing the Wheel”, the drive for me from Eureka to Crescent City is about one hour not 5 or 6. What, do you walk it or something?

  52. Larry
    June 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    My name is Larry Johnson. Did you think I was Larry Glass? Not so sure about the relevance of the slur though.

  53. sd
    June 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Southern humboldt need a good health food store, Shittaquwa just doesnt cut it! they are a hole in the wall! We need a trader joes / Co-Op / natural food store in either fortuna / garberville area! I think fortuna would be the best area considering the size of the town and the total lack of natural food stores in the area! And whats with all the fortuna bashing, fortuna is a nice town so what if it has a bunch of uptight conservatives living there. Bitching doesnt change any of that! We need to infiltrate fortuna and put the friendly back in fortuna!

  54. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Comparing the aesthetic of The Works building (although obviously not designed or associated with any of the current tenants) to the Co-op building is laughable. One compliments the historic vernacular and the other represents cheap modern design at it’s worst.

  55. average Eurekan
    June 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Maude’s frothing at the mouth to get Larry Glass, Mr. Johnson. Pardon the spit fleks on your clothing.

  56. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    SD, what’s with the ” fortuna / garberville area”

    This is like saying the “Blue Lake / Burnt Ranch area”
    ENF is 15 miles from Fortuna. If someone were to travel all the way from Garberville to Fortuna, wouldn’t they just drive the extra 15 miles and visit ENF, COOP, Costco, WinCo (and yes these last two do have items sold at TJs – at cheaper prices). And Fortuna people can simply drive 15 miles to Eureka, unless you need to inject a shopping trip every day – most of the shrink wrapped TJ stuff keeps for weeks anyway.

  57. Not A Native
    June 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    The only business that would actually make Fortuna friendly would be a bordello. Even then, the friedship would extend only to full wallets.

    No way will TJ come to HumCo. The most “rural” NoCal TJs is in Redding, population 90,000 and growing. Compare that to Eureka with 25,000 and falling. But the bigger reason is $$. In 1999, median household income in Redding was $34,000 while in Eureka it was $25,000.

  58. Da Man
    June 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Fortuna is a nice town and it deserves the to be called Friendly Fortuna. We stop in Fortuna at least a couple of times a month during our peregrinations and pick up groceries, strawberries (sigh) and recently a really nice lamp. I’d probably shop at a Traders Joes- I’ve never been in one but am told they have a good selection of reasonably prices stuff. If sd feels he/she can add friendly vibes to Fortuna, by all means come infiltrate. The more the merrier!

  59. paving
    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Why would anybody drive out of their way to shop at Trader Joe’s? It’s a generic grocery store. You can get almost all the same products at the Grocery Outlet with a different lable. Buncha suckers!

    As for driving from Eureka to Crescent City to shop at Wal-Mart, you clearly suffer from the same mental defect. At 80 miles each way that’s 160 miles, at 20mpg that’s 8 gallons of gas, at $3/gallon that’s $24. If you are spending $100 at Walmart you had better save 30% otherwise it doesn’t pencil out at all, nevermind the low quality products.

    Also, it’s a three-hour journey, what is three hours of your life worth?

    There’s nothing at a Wal-Mart you can’t get at K-Mart or Target for essentially the same price.

  60. Andrew Bird
    June 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I find it hard to believe Trader Joe’s is considering Fortuna. It just isn’t a good fit for multiple reasons.

    Brian Morrissey, the former SN executive in charge of the proposed Marina Center (which seems to have died after his departure) related a funny story to the Humboldt Association of Realtors a few years ago. Morrissey said when he called about locating a TJ’s in his proposed development, the TJ’s execs told him they wish people from Humboldt County would stop calling and hung up.

    I’m a former TJ’s devotee. I shopped there all the time when I lived near Modesto and in Calaveras County. Would I drive from Eureka to Fortuna to shop at a TJ’s? Probably not very often. Winco sells two buck chuck, if that’s what you like. No, I’d probably continue to spend the large majority of my food dollar at the Co-op and Eureka Natural Foods.

  61. Anonymous
    June 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Maybe Fortuna is beginning to Llok like Santa Rosa because of all the Mexicans there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  62. June 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Da Man wrote, “Fortuna is a nice town and it deserves the to be called Friendly Fortuna..

    Actually, I’ve never understood where that came from. I think Eureka is a lot friendlier than Fortuna. And I used to have some accounts in Fortuna, so I went there regularly.

    When I had jobs down there, I thought the residents were almost freaky, and hostile.

  63. June 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Darn – I had written something brilliant and *poof* it disappeared from the screen. Let’s see if I can reconstruct what I wrote.

    I did not mean anything derogatory regarding Fortuna or Santa Rosa. I like both cities.

    I guess growth is inevitable. Sometimes it just makes me feel sad seeing open fields turn into strip malls and subidivisions. I liked the cows better.

  64. June 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Funny. The one chain store everyone loves, and i don’t think it would succeed here. Wildberries, the Co-op and Eureka Natural Food are already doing an excellent job, so the niche market is not vacant. Trader Joe’s is cool, but it’s also an eh – so what? and the realization that we already have it pretty good.

    It’d be nice if it was here, and I’d wish ’em well, but it’d be a tough go.

  65. average Eurekan
    June 11, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Wow, I’m agreeing with Rose here. Let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya…

    We do got it good. I have been to TJ’s my share of times (dozens) and honestly, how much redundancy of product do you people need up here?

    It’s the reason I think a Home Depot is also superfluous, and thereby, destructive.

  66. High Finance
    June 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Ok, for those people who scoffed & said they would drive a 50 mile round trip every week to shop for groceries, let’s see if it makes financial sense.

    The IRS says the cost (including gas, repairs & maint and depreciation) of driving is about 55 cents per mile.

    50 miles at 55 cents per mile is a cost of $ $27.50. Plus the value of your time to make the 40 minute round trip for 12.46pm is at least $8, bringing the total cost to more than $35. Even if Trader Joe’s has lower prices, they aren’t that much lower.

    And Maude, if you’re driving to Santa Rosa just to buy groceries, you are either incredibly foolish or have too much money and wwwaaaayyyy too much time on your hands.

  67. June 11, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Or you’re there already, high finance, so why not stop in?

  68. Eric Kirk
    June 12, 2009 at 12:10 am

    HF – we don’t drive to Santa Rosa just to buy groceries. But when we visit family we stop in to TJ’s on the way back to stock up on a few items.

  69. Anonymous
    June 12, 2009 at 1:45 am

    If you all read Craigslist rants and Raves, this topic was discussed a few weeks ago. someone posted on boycotting Safeway, saying among other things, that they blocked Trader Joe’s from coming to town. There was mad backlash directed at the poster, who wanted TJ’s so badily that they went right to the Fortuna chamber. Good luck getting Fortuna’s upper-crust to divert from Safeway and Ray’s. This person’s launching this campaign to prove posters on craigslist wrong

  70. anon
    June 12, 2009 at 5:26 am

    No on will ever make a cold ceral better than Trader Joes’ Maple Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats… I wish there was a TJ here, that way I wouldn’t have to cart a case of cereal back with me every time I go south

  71. June 12, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Well, the email made the front page of this morning’s Times Standard. Go figure!

    Anyways – Thank you, to the anonymous commenters on this thread that said they liked our garden pics and our blog!

  72. Babushka
    June 12, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I hate Trader Joe’s because of their hypocritical promotion of themselves as a “neighborhood grocery store” when in reality they are a giant corporation with 322 stores in 25 states. Sally is a nice lady but she’s talking through her hat when she claims “all of Humboldt County ” would drive to Fortuna to shop at a TJ’s. I sure wouldn’t and I only know about four people who would. Shop locally!! Save gas!

  73. mresquan
    June 12, 2009 at 8:11 am

    HF – we don’t drive to Santa Rosa just to buy groceries. But when we visit family we stop in to TJ’s on the way back to stock up on a few items.

    That is exactly why they won’t come in here.What good is it for them to see the sales in Santa Rosa decrease because they opened a store in Humboldt County,one in which it costs a lot more to maintain due to demographics and shipping costs?

  74. anon
    June 12, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I don’t see the charm in Trader Joe’s that so many other people seem to. I used to live just a half mile or so from one for several years. I went there twice I think. Both times they struck me as overpriced, overpackaged, undersupportive of locally produced products, overreliant on cute labeling over quality, and restricted in selection. I went instead for the local market that tried to do the cross between Safeway with a standard affordable staples selection but also with a co-op-type local and organic products emphasis, and the heart of a community market where you run into people you know all the time (and this was in the much dreaded evil city so many of you feel so superior to). A decent local market can be a key part of a well planned and healthy neighborhood. Haven’t found anything quite like it here yet. But Trader Joe’s sure not it.

  75. June 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Heraldo, believe it or not, there IS quite a bit of crossover in the WinCo and Co-Op crowds – especially with what’s happened economically in the last year. I know quite a few people in SoHum who go to the Co-Op for local produce (when it’s off-season for the farmers’ markets), HumCo grass-fed beef, and organic products like shampoo and conditioner, then head over to WinCo for great deals on canned foods and Humboldt Creamery products. And speaking of farmers’ markets – a couple of weeks ago I saw two of the local farmers at Costco, stocking up on green cleaning supplies. For a lot of people, it’s become more about balance and frugality than about making the “correct” political statement.

  76. paving
    June 12, 2009 at 11:25 am

    shopping at Trader Joe’s is trendy among a certain set. there’s nothing else to it.

    The presence of Eureka Natural Foods and the Eureka Co-Op in addition to Wildberries and the Arcata Co-Op speaks volumes about the grocery habits of shoppers in this area. You would be hard-pressed to find that kind of selection anywhere else this small.

    Eureka also has two Safeways, Ray’s Food Place, Grocery Outlet and WinCo Foods (which is enormous!). There are also people who buy groceries at Target, which has a very large selection, or some of the remaining smaller stores.

  77. paving
    June 12, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Oh, I forgot Costco.

    There are clearly more than enough options for groceries in Eureka.

  78. average Eurekan
    June 12, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Cristina’s right, balance is correct.

    It’s a generally acknowledged fact that many, if not most people in Humboldt shop some at Costco, Winco, and one or more of the natural foods stores.

    Others disingenuously use this argument to justify their support for bringing in to Humboldt any and every big-box retailer, under the general battle-cry of “competition is always good.”

    Even Sally Conley was quoted as saying so today in the T-S article that Carol referenced above.

    I respectfully disagree. Sometimes special things need protection. Allowing, nay facilitating, a giant outside corporation to come in and destroy a vibrant local retail culture that already serves its customers well, and more importantly, is a linchpin aspect of what makes this place great, just seems very, very wrong to me.

  79. June 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Yes, but there is no alternative shopping experience in Fortuna. There are Ray’s and Safeway: both carry some organics, but the quality is not as fresh as ENF. I think the folks that would like to see Trader Joe’s, might like to see it go in the new Strong Creek Shopping Plaza. I believe there is still retail space available there. It also houses Redwood Captital Bank, Walgreen’s, Blockbuster, Radio Shack and Starbucks.

  80. Anony.Miss
    June 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Looking purely at buying habits, wouldn’t Arcata be a better fit for a Trader Joe’s and wouldn’t Valley West be the best choice when considering Arcata’s shopping area restrictions?

  81. fg
    June 13, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Rio Dell needs a natural foods store!

    Come on the towns economy is booming!

  82. June 13, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Miss, Arcata already has the Co-op, Wildberries and Safeway.

    fg, isn’t Rio Dell in the process of annexing Eel River Saw Mills?

    I like Eel River Ernie’s idea of opening a Cabela. I agree with him that Fortuna could use some holistic planning, and maybe even a little Feng Shu,too.


  83. June 13, 2009 at 6:53 am

    oops, that would be Feng Shui~

  84. June 13, 2009 at 6:53 am

    A Baskin-Robbins in Loleta might be nice.

  85. Anony.Miss
    June 13, 2009 at 7:03 am

    That new ice cream shop in Arcata across the street from Los Bagels is very busy! I think Bon Boniere is too. Maybe you should get one of those to let you open an outlet in Loleta. Or start your own.

  86. June 13, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Then there is Ben and Jerry’s – mm-hmm

  87. maria
    June 13, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Doesn’t anyone remember that not too long ago there were 2 natural health food stores in Fortuna? Where are they now?
    I know demographics change, but how much?

    On the other hand, you are all making assumptions that everyone lives in Eureka. Most of the county does NOT live in Eureka. Driving time, gas, etc, is calculated differently if one lives in say Bridgeville, or Garberville, or Ferndale (as I do).
    I rarely drive to Eureka so I might shop at a TJ in Fortuna. Maybe there would be less smelly freaked out judgmental hippies in Fortuna who make me not like shopping at the co op or ENF.

    But srsly, how much of a market are we talking about here? The Co Op and the Natural food store in Fortuna were tiny and they still went out of business.

  88. The Monitor
    June 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I just heard that Circuit City is moving into the old Eureka Reporter building. Toyota has secretly purchased a large farm in the Arcata bottoms and will open a new car plant there by 2012. Green Diamond is close to developing a new redwood that will mature in less than 100 years. Just think what it will be like, walking in a fully mature old growth forest that is only 100 years old. However, Trader Joes I’m not too sure about.

  89. Carl Young
    June 13, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    What a great idea…and yes many businesses have started and failed throughout our county. Trader Joes coming to Fortuna is an excellent idea, and geographicly well placed. The purposed location is close to 101, and will have a positive impact for the entire area.

    We would love to have Trader Joes in Fortuna, and their food is outstanding. What a great option for our food buying experiences.

    Carl Young
    Fortuna…the Sunny City

  90. Mike Buettner
    June 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm
  91. The Monitor
    June 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm


  92. onlyslightlyanutcase
    June 14, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Agreed with those that think that Trader joes in Fortuna would be sensational.
    ….those that are grousing?…. I feel your pain.
    Fortuna, Hydsville, Ferndale and South are under-served by Fortuna Safeway and Rays.
    What happened to Co-Op Fortuna? Ask “those that know” about the slight of hand, and bad management of those years.
    What happened to the two Fortuna *health food* stores? Welp….clash of attitudes might best describe it.
    Everyone in the county could benefit from Trader Joes, as they would bring in great foods and low prices that might just bring all other grocery stores into line.
    As to whether or not folks from North of the friendly city would shop in Fortuna at a Trader Joes…of course they would.
    …and there in lies the reason for so much discusion of a Fortuna Trader Joes.
    It WILL make a difference…and I personally think it will be a positive one.

  93. The Monitor
    June 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    THESE RUMORS are just that. When there is some substance is the time to have a serious dialog. At this point it just fun. How many times in the last twenty years have we heard such and such is coming to Humboldt C. I’ll bet you couldn’t count them on all your fingers and toes.

  94. June 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    “Rio Dell needs a natural foods store!”

    Rio Dell has CC Market with the awesome deli, and right across the bridge, there’s Hoby’s grocery and fabulous deli in Scotia.

  95. Buhne Connoisseur
    June 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    So, it’s settled right? We don’t need Trader Joe’s because we have a nuanced balance between the Co-op, Winco, Eureka Natural Foods, and the surprisingly abundant Grocery Outlet.

    God bless us every one.

  96. June 16, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I will frequent their dumpster. They throw away so much food it should be a crime. The way they treat their employees and planet should be a crime as well.

  97. July 3, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I would shop at Trader Joe’s everyday because they are a “every day grocery store”. They have so much more than gourmet food, wine and 2buck chuck. Gosh, even my dogs eat TJ dog food, and biscuits and bones, etc. Also, can we refrain from badgering each other’s cities. It’s Fortuna, not F-town. It’s Eureka, not Eu-eka. Those who want co-op can keep it. Those who want Trader’s can have it. That’s the beauty of FREE ENTERPRISE. We can’t have the freedom of choosing if their are no choices.

  98. July 8, 2009 at 11:50 pm


    Hi everyone, I’m Traitor Joe. Welcome to my one-stop-shop for ocean destruction. Join me for a quick trip through my website.

    Can you see through the green haze I have used to mask the truth about my seafood purchases? You see, I have a bad habit of greenwashing. Instead of telling you how I am destroying the oceans, I bend the truth and tell you that I do everything “green” and look out for the well being of the Earth. But, if you dig a little deeper (and I hope you won’t) you will see that I have a treasure chest (or freezer case) full of red list seafood. Oops. How did that get in my store?

    Red List Seafood Sales: Greenpeace surveys
    found Trader Joe’s sells 15 of the 22 red list seafoods:
    Alaskan pollock, Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon,
    Atlantic sea scallops, Chilean sea bass, Greenland
    halibut, monkfish, ocean quahog, orange roughy,
    red snapper, redfish, South Atlantic albacore tuna,
    swordfish, tropical shrimp and yellowfin tuna.

  99. forevermelody
    October 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    TJ’s is awesome! It’s super affordable. I now live in Sacramento and go out of my way for TJs, and I live right next to a Coop. It’s wonderful!

  100. Wanda benson
    March 25, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I would absolutely drive to Trader Joe’s.

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