Monthly Archives: September 2012

Trader Joe’s 4 C-U on WCIA 3 News – Available to View!


Earlier this week I posted about the WCIA 3 news story about the Trader Joe’s 4 C-U movement. Today we were given a link to the news clip! If you’d like to see (and/or share) it, click on the picture above to go to the WCIA 3 news story. You may view the clip from there.


Trader Joe’s 4 C-U on WCIA 3 News


The Trader Joe’s 4 C-U Campaign was on the WCIA 3 News on Wednesday, September 26. To WCIA 3 viewers who just learned about Trader Joe’s 4 C-U, thank you for joining in this community led effort to bring Trader Joe’s to Central Illinois! Please click on the link on the upper right side of the blog or here to sign the petition.

We are so close to reaching 3,000 signatures – let’s make that the goal for this weekend! Keep hanging flyers around town, print out a paper petition form then put on a Hawaiian print shirt and go door-to-door… whatever you can think of to bring more people in. There are still thousands of people in our area that don’t know what we’re doing and would love to sign the petition to bring Trader Joe’s to Central Illinois. It is by working together that we can (and will) get the support we need to succeed!

2,570 Signatures – Let’s Break 2,600 Today!


Update: We just reached 2,600 signatures! This is excellent, but we need to keep moving up… let’s hit 3,000 soon! Continue to pass along information on our movement so we can reach our top goal of 5,000 signatures.

The Bring Trader Joe’s to Champaign-Urbana petition is at 2,570 signatures this morning! Can we get to 2,600 by the end of today? I think we can! If you are just joining our movement to get a Trader Joe’s store in C-U, please click on the link on the top right side of this blog (or click on the image below) and add your name. Every single person counts, and the more signatures we get the more seriously our petition to Trader Joe’s will be taken.

Keep telling your friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers about the big Champaign-Urbana effort to bring a Trader Joe’s store to Central Illinois! Thank you for joining us – let’s keep this movement growing!

Click here to sign the Trader Joe’s 4 C-U Petition!


Developer Proposal #2 – Metro Centre in Urbana


I mentioned last week that we’ve been working with local developers to acquire proposals to include with the official package we are submitting to Trader Joe’s in late fall. Ultimately the decision for a specific site will be up to the Trader Joe’s corporation, but we would like to give them great options and show some of the fine choices for opening a store in Central Illinois.

Today we’re highlighting the next proposal for a possible Trader Joe’s location in Champaign-Urbana. It is from Olsen and Associates Architects who are developing the Metro Centre near downtown Urbana. They describe the Metro Centre as

…a major new office/commercial/residential anchor that will face Vine Street and cover a city block.  The building is located within walking distance of the Federal and Champaign County Courthouse and the Urbana City Building and directly across from the popular Community Farmer’s Market and Lincoln Square Mall, one of the first enclosed shopping facilities in the nation.  It is also walking distance from Downtown Urbana which features unique boutique shops and restaurants.

The new Metro Centre will provide great exposure and traffic (by foot and vehicle) for a Trader Joe’s store. It will ideally house Trader Joe’s along with an upscale casual eatery, such as Panera or Au Bon Pain, and Olsen and Associates also plan to include an ice cream shop. All of these will lead to a classically elegant shopping experience for customers and a wonderful location for our Champaign-Urbana Trader Joe’s.


Trader Joe’s – What, When, and Why?


I stumbled across a CNN Money article about Trader Joe’s which provides insight into the business at the consumer and executive levels. Since we’re broadening our campaign to bring Trader Joe’s to Central Illinois, it seems appropriate to share some of the highlights from this intriguing read.

For those unfamiliar with the store, the initial description of  Trader Joe’s provides an explanation of why many are enamored with this particular grocer:

… Trader Joe’s is no ordinary grocery chain. It’s an offbeat, fun discovery zone that elevates food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience. It stocks its shelves with a winning combination of low-cost, yuppie-friendly staples (cage-free eggs and organic blue agave sweetener) and exotic, affordable luxuries — Belgian butter waffle cookies or Thai lime-and-chili cashews — that you simply can’t find anyplace else.

As we’ve seen in Champaign-Urbana, the fairly recent mainstream grocery shift to natural, gourmet foods is the reason that increasing numbers of people want Trader Joe’s to come to our area. Cost to cost, Trader Joe’s provides value for the consumer on products we feel good about eating. The CNN report states,

The rise of Trader Joe’s reflects Americans’ changing attitudes about food. While Trader Joe’s is not a health food chain, it stocks a dizzying array of organics. It sells billions of dollars in food and beverages that years ago would have been considered gourmet but are now mainstays of the U.S. diet, such as craft beers and white-cheese popcorn. The genius of Trader Joe’s is staying a step ahead of Americans’ increasingly adventurous palates with interesting new items that shoppers will collectively buy in big volumes.

The article goes on to summarize the history of Trader Joe’s for people (like me!) who wondered how the Hawaiian print shirts and tropical theme started:

The retailer’s foodie roots and quirky in-store culture date to the original Joe. Joe Coulombe (pronounced COO-lomb), now 8[2], opened the first Trader Joe’s 43 years ago in Pasadena to serve a sophisticated — but strapped — consumer. He named the store Trader Joe’s to evoke images of the South Seas. He stocked it with convenience-store items and good booze, and at one time his shop boasted the world’s largest assortment of California wine. (Decades later Trader Joe’s would again become famous for wine, specifically its $1.99 Charles Shaw label, better known as “Two-Buck Chuck.”) Coulombe then added health food — a seemingly odd combination that totally worked in 1970s California. By the late 1970s he was operating more than 20 locations.

Trader Joe’s standard benefits and treatment of employees is described (keep in mind that this article was written in 2010). This is what we can expect when we are successful in getting a Trader Joe’s store here – good jobs and good salaries for people in our community. All around, Trader Joe’s is an employer that treats its employees well.

You can’t buy engagement from employees, but the pay at Trader Joe’s helps. Store managers, “captains” in Trader Joe’s parlance — the nautical titles are a holdover from Coulombe (newly promoted captains are commanders; assistant store managers are first mates) — can make in the low six figures, and full-time crew members can start in the $40,000 to $60,000 range. But on top of the pay, Trader Joe’s annually contributes 15.4% of employees’ gross income to tax-deferred retirement accounts.

Finally, the following information shows that Trader Joe’s ethical treatment of employees leads to

…better customer experience. A ringing bell instead of an intercom signals that more help is needed at the registers. Registers don’t have conveyor belts or scales, and perishables are sold by unit instead of weight, speeding up checkout. Crew members aren’t told the margins on products, so placement decisions are made based not on profits but on what’s best for the shopper. Every employee works all aspects of the store, and if you ask where the roasted chestnuts are he’ll walk you over instead of just saying “aisle five.” Want to know what they taste like? He can probably tell you, and he might even open the bag on the spot for you to try.

As we’re fond of saying, Trader Joe’s will be an asset to Central Illinois by providing great products at prices we currently can’t find in our area and good jobs for local people. Thank you for continuing to tell others and growing the petition signature numbers, showing the need in our community. It is up to each one of us to bring awareness to this effort since widespread exposure is ultimately a huge factor in our success.

Read the full article here: Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s – Aug. 23, 2010.

Trader Joe’s Deals, September 17, 2012


This list of coupon deals shows some of the great values you can expect to receive when we have our own Trader Joe’s store in Central Illinois. Prices are from Trader Joe’s in St. Louis and may vary slightly by region.

Trader Joe’s accepts manufacturer coupons! Prices listed are the everyday low prices on items at Trader Joe’s.
Combining everyday low prices with coupons will yield even bigger savings on healthy, delicious foods from Trader Joe’s.

Applegate Farms Roast Beef 7oz, $3.99  (Nitrate/Nitrite-free, grass fed beef)
$1.00 Applegate Farms Organic Coupon
Total Price= $2.99

Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey 7oz, $3.69
$1.00 Applegate Farms Organic Coupon
Total Price= $2.69

Applegate Farms Uncured Ham 7oz, $3.59
$1.00 Applegate Farms Organic Coupon
Total Price= $2.59

Trader Joe’s Organic Rice Microwave Bowl, $1.69
Trader Joe’s Organic Basmati Rice 32oz bag, $3.99
Trader Joe’s Organice Red Quinoa 16oz, $3.99
Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa 16oz, $3.99

Annie Chuns Bowls, $1.99
$0.50 Annie Chuns Coupon (sign up for Newsletter on right)
Total Price= $1.49

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Bagels, $3.49
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice Bread, $3.99
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free French Rolls, $3.49
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rye, $3.79
Trader Joe’s Sprouted Multigrain, $3.49
Trader Joe’s Sprouted Wheat Berry, $3.49

Rudi’s Organic Hot Dog Buns, $2.99
$0.75 Rudi’s Organic Coupon
Total Price= $2.24

McCanns Steel Cut Oatmeal 28oz, $4.99
$1.00 McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Coupon
Total Price= $3.99

McCanns Irish Oatmeal 16oz, $2.99
$1.00 McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Coupon
Total Price= $1.99

Country Choice Steel Cut Oats, $2.99
$1.00 Country Choice Coupon
Total Price= $1.99

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, $1.99
$0.55 Blue Diamond Almond Milk Coupon in SmartSource Insert 7/22/12
Total Price= $1.44

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, $1.99 Buy 2
$1.00/2 Blue Diamond Almond Milk Coupon in SmartSource Insert 7/22/12
Total Price= $1.49 each when you purchase two

Organic Non-fat Yogurt (plain or french vanilla) 32oz, $2.99
Organic Lowfat Yogurt (vanilla, strawberry, vanana, and plain) 32oz, $2.99
Organic Whole Milk Yogurt (plain) 32oz, $2.99
Goat Milk Yogurt 32oz, $5.49

Thanks to Healthy Life Deals for the prices and coupon match-ups used in this post. See here for the full list of this week’s coupon specials.

Developer Proposal #1 – The Pines, Urbana


We’ve been meeting with local developers over the summer, and are pleased to announce that there are currently three companies partnering with us in our big plan to get a Trader Joe’s in central Illinois. The first developer is The Atkins Group who manages The Pines in Urbana (among many others in town). The Pines is at the cross streets of Windsor Road and Philo Road, just east of Meadowbrook Park. It is an idea choice for Trader Joe’s because of the close proximity to homes, apartments, and campus, plus the draw from the new-ish Meijer and Carle Clinic across Windsor. There are other fabulous stores in The Pines already: Frogs & Fairies Boutique, Milo’s, and Cafe Zoho, to name a few. We have a proposal from The Atkins Group in hand – it includes specs of the retail space, aerial maps and views of the development, lease details, and a letter urging Trader Joe’s to take this opportunity to open a store at The Pines. This packet is ready to be submitted with the rest of our materials. Here is a peek at The Pines location: