Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

‘FREE MONEY,’ DIM SUM & TWO-BUCK CHUCK

Traderjoes3a_2

So who or what is Trader Joe’s?

It’s a food store with rabid devotees that allows customers to taste anything and return anything, no questions asked. The only exception? Selections from the wine department, which carries ‘Two-Buck Chuck,’ the Charles Shaw wine it retails for between $1.99 and $3.49 a bottle.

Kathleen Purvis of the Charlotte Observer took on the ‘who is Joe’ question last month, shortly before the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Piper Glen, N.C.

“People who have shopped there are so excited, you’d think the shelves are stocked with free money,” she wrote. “People who haven’t shopped there have the puzzled looks of confused Airedales.”

Here are some excerpts from Purvis’ take on Trader Joe’s:

It’s a food store, but it’s not a supermarket. In a nutshell — they’d call it a mountain-grown, sun-roasted macadamia shell — it’s a specialty food store.

Trader Joe’s finds small, artisan producers of special foods, then packages it all under its own labels. By cutting the middle man and buying in bulk — there are almost 300 stores nationwide — it sells at steep discounts.

It has most of the departments of a supermarket — bakery, deli, dairy, frozen foods, flowers, meat and produce — but it’s not the place you go for a box of Tide on double-coupon day.

Instead, it’s the place for frozen foods, packaged foods, snack mixes and breads, most of it with healthful or gourmet pedigrees. To fans, it’s a party-giver’s paradise, a short-cut cook’s dream and a gourmet cook’s ticket to nirvana.

The L.A. Times calls it “the kid in a candy store” concept: impulse shopping without guilt.

Trader trademarks

— The chalkboard signs. Each store has an “art team” — two artists have been hired here — but regular staff get to draw, too.

— The brand names, such as Trader Ming, Trader Jose, Trader Giotto and Baker Josef.

— The Hawaiian theme. Think trade winds and trade ships. But also think California surfer, where the store started.

Founder Joe Coulombe has said he got the idea on a vacation, and that he wanted to capture that feeling, because people are more willing to try new things on vacation.

Store employees — look for the flowered shirts — are crew members, the manager is the captain, the assistant manager is the first mate.

It would all be really cheesy, if they didn’t have a good sense of humor about it.

The nearest Trader Joe’s to Red Bank is in Westfield, where a redbankgreen reader tells us that, on the downside, the store is often packed with shoppers, and “the organization of the store is a little off.”

But that’s vastly overcome by the quality of the foods, she says. House-brand sauces, salad dressings and frozen desserts are all “great,” she says, and the prepared appetizers and entrees are both high-quality and easy to get ready for the table.

“The stuff is good,” she says. “It’s almost gourmet, but you don’t have to be a gourmet cook to make it, and you don’t feel like you’re getting Costco quality.”

Email this story

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.
COMMUNITY PROFILES
For Black History Month, Red Bank's Community Engagement and Equity Advisory Committee has been running a series of local profiles on Facebo ...
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...