Monday, October 30, 2006

Berkeley Fights Trader Joe's

I was under the impression that Trader Joe's was one of the darling supermarkets amongst the Left. Apparently not all the Left. There's a fight going on in Berkelely right now to stop a Trader Joe's from coming to town.

Looks like some of the arguments against Trader Joe's are the same as being thrown at Eureka's Home Depot.

82 Comments:

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me
HOT
when you say Eureka's Home Depot Fred.


Ummmmmm Baby!! OOOOOOoooooohhhh.

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

This is ridiculous. These anti-corporate types are often land and business owners who want to preserve their monopoly on poverty here in Eureka.

Eurekans need jobs and Trader Joes is just the kind of thing you need there. I'd also state that you need to focus on tourism. Get the port up to speed AND the railway tween arcata and eureka. Then bring in tourists from cruise ships, build some hotels and restaraunts. Eureka is ripe for the service and tourism industries.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Nick, you closet communitarian you. Those are terrific ideas. How come you post here btw when you live in Nebraska?

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Nebraskas blog scene is dead for one thing. No creativity here either unless its state sanctioned.

I'm moving back to Humboldt soon, I can do more good there.

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Sorry, Nick. I wouldn't try that. There aren't any jobs for you here.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Then I'll have to start my own business.

 
At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:38 Yeah Nick! Welcome back when are you coming so we can roll out the RED carpet???

Rails AND Trails? Can you follow me on this...?

And YEP you nailed it on the head-the noopies want to turn Humboldt into a Bedroom Community so they can expand their grant funded homes for the helpless. Not tax paying, working citizens-No, no no!

Lets all be co-dependants
-we don't need no stinkin Home Depot/Trader Joes-that's for yuppies!

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, Humboldt always needs more dishwashers. Let the boy back across the border.

As for Berkeley, there are already enough locally-owned independent Trader Joe's-type stores there. No need to promote homogenization.

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

I certainly plan on becoming involved in Eureka politics and business. Arcata was a test tube to learn what to do and not do.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Nothing wrong with washing dishes if it pays the bills while one is working towards having ones own business.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

I wonder how Fred would feel if I yanked the local Libertarian party out from under him. Perhaps he and Cobb will have to team up?

LOL!

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:57 - what's a noopie?

thanks

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey don't pick on Fred!

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Fred's blog is my fav...next to mine of course :)

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:30 Are you Mr Spell Check?? I meant to write No-ppie... as in No-way Jose.

No-How, Not-Here, Don't let the Door Hit you in the rear...

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

No-ppie as in the wandering hippies who sing

"me no work, me no work, me no work allllll daaaayyy looooong."

and then of course other favs such as

"we want free stuff", "why am I being arrested", "whattya mean no dogs on the plaza", "Got any change", and so many others.

 
At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Eureka got a Tader Joes all to lumps would be shopping there.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I like Trader Joe's, but I can see why it wouldn't be popular in Berkely. TJ's is owned by a mega-conglomerate based in England. They kicked Wal-Mart's ass out of Germany, and may be Wal-Mart's biggest challenge worldwide.

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

To hell with the anti-corporation people. Humboldt county is poor and in desperate need of financial resuccitation. One thing I noticed in Arcata for example was that whenever the council had discussions concerning businesses it was always the same small group of 5-9 people speaking out against growth and higher employment. The same thing is happening to Eureka, it's the same small groups of people who want a nanny state. Problem is, who's going to fund the nanny state when jobs are few and far between and taxpayers have to work two low wage jobs just to put food on the table? The Marina is Humboldts ticket to economic growth and its being squandered by fools who know nothing about economics!

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

And another thing. Stop whining about Arkley, Stillman, and all the other business people in the area. Learn from them and then you'll one day replace them, or at least have as much wealth as they do.

and while yer at it, take a friggin Basic Economics course.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

Why, nick, you closet communitarian you. That's just what our Heartland Project is all about.

Instead of bashing existing corps, use the corporate system to restructure itself, e.g., our Heartlands plan to create an employee-owned diversified Palco. Apparently, no one in the anti-Arkley, anti-Marina Center, has even thought about approaching Arkley with a local employee-owned home building supply center alternative to anchor his Marina Center around.

Our Heartlands plan calls for using Palco's Fortuna site not for a Walmart or Home Depot but for a Palco Emporium, all Palco employee-owned and run. Why not the same kind of deal Eurekans in the Marina Center?

But of course that would take actually working with Arkley instead of getting political mileage off of bashing him.

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

I agree with you on that steve. The only way we as individuals and communities can become wealthy is by learning from people like Arkley. Hell, I'm sure he'd donate money to cleanup the marina in exchange for a prime location for a business. Course many of the anti-corporate ingrates won't understand that it takes money to make money. And if someone doesn't like the way Arkley and others do business then maybe they should start and run their own damn business.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

I have talked with employees of Trader Joes in Santa Rosa and was told that the population was not yet large enough to support a Trader Joes in Humboldt County.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Employees know a lot but not as much as say....management. Have you asked someone at their corporate office about it?

And why not create our own style of Trader Joes in Eureka?

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kinda see the co-op and Wildberries as very much like Trader Joes. I'd heard all kinds of raves about TJs and when I walked out I said I guess the reason I'm not so wowed is that we already have most of this stuff - but it is funny that all the corp haters like TJs, sorta the same way I like Home Depot.

Here's to MORE CHOICES and LET the FREE MARKET DECIDE!

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carol Anne,

Kind of like Costco isnt big enough for Humboldt County? Or Target?

Who did you talk to, a stock clerk?

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the Local Control buffs here is a question-why do we have a local emporium for Humboldt products at the Mall at Xmas time and the CoOP and Eureka Natural Foods stock all kinds of stuff from all over the place.

Yes, we could have our own trader joe place-if we want to support local business and give them space to produce enough goods to stock a whole store...how about Marina Center entertaing the idea of a 'value added lumber products' store too?

And how about a 'produced in Humboldt County' type mail order catalog?

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arkley printing-how about it??

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who ever said Trader Joes would want to come here?

 
At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's one in Chico now.

rumor to be one in Redding soon.

Humboldt ......... with DUHC and crap like that who would want to spend the money in HC ?

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

I talked with an employee who checked with management. Trader Joe's is not like Costco or Target. Lot's of organic food.

However, I found the article regarding Berekely from Fred's link to be intriguing: land use issues and what kind of housing to be built upon TJ. I lived one summer in Oakland at Holy Names College and getting without a car around seemed difficult. I would think a TJ in Berkeley would be quite handy for students at UC Berkeley, especially if they do not have a car. I have a child attending UCSC and it is quite handy to ride a bike to TJ for good organic groceries.

I agree we have some nice stores in HC like ENF and Wildberries. We I shop both stores often. We are lucky to have such an abundance of quality fresh produce available here.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Costco sells organic food now as well. So does Winco.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why bring a chain organic store to a city filled with locally owned oragnic stores? What could you hope for except to see most of the locally owned stores go out of business and reduce your shopping choices?

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

3:59. it's called competition.Its how the big world outside of Humboldt operates.

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Eric. I've had the "fresh" produce at costco, wal-mart, and other huge chains. There's days I long for salad from one of the places in Arcata or Eureka.

Heck the prepackaged salads at safeway deli are heads above the ones at wal-mart.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

"Costco sells organic food now as well. So does Winco. "

Ray's sells organic too.

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ray's is lousy. horribly high prices.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The question is moot. TJ's has said they won't be coming to Humboldt. Population's too small. They won't look at the particular demographics.

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, you are right. Trader Joe's isn't looking at a particular demographic. They are looking at how much product they can sell.

Don't you think that is why Safeway is turning to organic lines of product? Northern Californians desire the choice of organic products and are willing to pay extra for it. Even Ferndale dairies are now going organic. There is a market for it.

But what happens when General Mills and Kraft/Phillip Morris and other giant food producing firms make buying organic commonplace. And I believe it will happen. Will those shoppers who want to stray away from the mainstream American buying trends also find other food buying avenues? Perhaps they will learn to grow their own food and learn the skill of canning and preserving like our mothers and grandmothers of rural descent had to do.

My teenage daughter and I love going into new era grocery stores and look at the shelves stocked with alternative foods and the packaging. We always get a chuckle at the brand names. It's a wonderful marketing stategy. 7th Generation toilet paper. Rain Forest Kids breakfast cereal. Annie B's macaroni & cheese. Terra Chips. Earth's Best baby food. Muir Glen and Cascadia Farms. With bucolic little scenes on the packages depicting tiny organic farms ran by mom and pop farmers.

SUCKERS! Wake up. You're American consumers. Hain Celestial has you by the wallet and are luring you into a state of product contentment. Wait until Kraft enters into the scene. Will you fork over the money for Indigenous People's Spring Water, Omaha Natural Farms organic beef and Berkeley Square pasta & cheese?

Remember when the Co-op opened a store in Fortuna? What on Earth were they thinking? No market there.

Excuse me, as I turn back to my breakfast of Dorito's and Mountain Dew. With a Rel's Burrito chaser.

By the way, don't buy Paul Newman's candy bars. I paid $1.99 for a peanut butter cup one and had to spit it out. It was God-awful. But, I was suckered into thinking that if it had Paul Newman's name on it...it had to be the right and righteous purchase. Should have stuck with the Reese's at 65 cents.

 
At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's wrong with people in Fortuna - - groing thier own organic food. Man, what is hte world coming to?

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Nick have you actually ever done anything in whatever the hell town you live in in Nebraska? Are the tweakers in your town really cleaner than tweakers on the plaza?Corporations have made Nebraska into probably the most prosperous state in the nation,true or not sir. Its unreal the wisdom you posess about a place thousands of miles away from your current home. You're analogies of this place are so awesome, depite your presence here, that you should just stay right where you are.

 
At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do what everyone else does from Fortuna to Trinidad. Shop at Winco once every week or two. Even for a family of two, you more than make up for the cost of gas. If there's anything Humboldt needs, it's more Winco stores. Put one in Fortuna and McKinleyville and you'll see several competing stores close.

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's is a privately owned firm based in Monrovia, just east of Pasadena.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trader_Joe's

As someone who has shopped at Trader Joe's for the past 23 years, it would be a huge hit here in Humboldt County.

Trader Joe's was started as a grocery store for schoolteachers on a budget (this from founder Joe Coulombe who spoke at my Rotary Club).

From Wikipedia, "Trader Joe's pays better-than-union wages, generous bonuses, and contributes an additional 15.4% of each worker's gross pay into a company-funded retirement plan. As of 2004, pay for entry-level part-timers was $8 to $12 an hour; first-year supervisors average more than $40,000 a year."

Trader Joe's is planning on going to Chico first, then Redding, then hopefully Eureka in the next 2-3 years. Assuming there's not some protest against Trader Joe's.

 
At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Winco was sold recently to Lasorda Industries, could be wrong though.

 
At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BERKELEY - Neighbors say no to popular market
Trader Joe's project hits snag over traffic, low-priced alcohol

Now can someone tell me why the radical left would protest low-priced alcohol?

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:09 Yes you could be wrong. Stop reporting news heard from your dreams.

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

because they'll bitch about anything. they're just little bitchs.

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Costco for a lot of things-BUT...freshness is NOT their forte. I have wanted to return salads, mangos, cheeses all for turning bad the day after I purchased them.

The farmers market and having local produce available is what draws me to the CoOp.

Safeway same story-I have asked for fresher grapes or strawberries when what was out on the rack was unacceptable and someone brought it out-but why aren't they looking more often and tossing the crap?

A merchant who cares-is anyone listening? That is the important thing.

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Eric, you are right. Trader Joe's isn't looking at a particular demographic. They are looking at how much product they can sell.

I spoke to the manager of TJ's in Petaluma, and he said that they look strictly at population numbers with an assumption of a standard percentage of organics consumers. I'm just making these numbers up to illustrate, but let's say the average population of 130 thousand has 10 thousand organic consumers, and ours has 30 thousand (probably conservative). We should be considered as a "standard" population of a half million.

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:56, how could you buy a mango and have it go bad the next day? Do you know nothing about mangos? A bad mango would be obvious upon picking it up.

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and salads? They're no good the next day. Weird.

I know a guy who came here from the Old Country, who shops at Safeway himself, not his wife, because he, even at his age, is thrilled to have the kinds of produce we have here. He'll tell you all about it. The choices, the smell, and yes, the freshness are a delight for him.

So count your blessings.

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd count my blessings if we had a Raleys or a Bel Air. Don't know how they do it but they Always have the best produce.

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah but them some of the low life hippies from Garberville might come to Eureka to shop. They suck.

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Hey, we low life hippies come up anyway. We used to have to drive all the way up to Arcata, but now Eureka has opened up all sorts of avenues.

 
At 3:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Farmer's Market.

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:49 Not mangoes as in whole fruit-mangoes as in slices in a plastic bowl. Its hit and miss: sometimes good sometimes they are already effervescent tasting like they are going to turn bad and you can't eat them. I have also seen whole cases of brown ones and they just leave them ot on the floor like somebody is going to buy them??

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Eric, you're a hippie?

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric said, "Hey, we low life hippies come up anyway. We used to have to drive all the way up to Arcata, but now Eureka has opened up all sorts of avenues."
And now Nick Bravo is threatening to return. The king of low lifes. Wonderful.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/20060915-2.html

bush admits to bombs in the wtc!
KOOKY conspiracy theorists... were RIGHT!

the government (aka : eureka reporter) lies. again

ahhh but you already knew that..
uhh

WE already knew that.

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Jonathan King said...

I live in Berkeley, not far from the proposed Trader Joe's, and am not at all interested in seeing them move into the contested space. I'm so far left I'm far right, and that's got nothin' to do with nothin' when it comes to TJ's. I fail to understand the high regard in which they're held: their food is crap, pretty much, especially the "exotic" canned and boxed items that may have impressed the untraveled shopper of 1975 but are lousy substitutes for the real thing. (With the profusion of ethnic markets hereabouts, there's no need whatsoever to buy pad thai in a box.) Their wine selection is garbage too, pretty much, IMHO. There's a TJ's in Emeryville (about three miles from here) that will do when I absolutely have to have a chili-flavored pistachio ... otherwise, I prefer to shop at our numerous farmers' markets and specialty produce stores. The "we need a supermarket downtown because people are living there now" argument doesn't impress me either. Feh!

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Glad to see you're happy with your shopping choices. Sorry to see you want to limit those of others.

I've never been to Trader Joe's. The wife and her lefty niece has. That's at least two people I know. They seem to really like TJs. I've enjoyed some of the things they've bought there, but don't know that I'd say they were superior to any other store's products.

Each to their own.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

Three words....

Two Buck Chuck.

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

7:35 pm, and 8:18 am. Why don't you come up with some facts or examples to back up your claims in regards to me? Must be nice hiding behind anonymity and throwing stones from the shadows. Once I get to Eureka I'm certain the name calling will continue but neither of you will have the nads to spew this crap too my face.

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

again with the insults. Make your case in a reasoned manner, or cease with this juvenile name calling.

 
At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be much much more excited about Marina Center if it was going to have a Trader Joes! I think HD in that location will be annoying. Not because its home depot, but the traffic. Who wants to go to the hardest part of town to get to, for some screws you forgot?

 
At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Pierson's is easy to get to?

 
At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, yes actually. You can go around Eureka via elk river if youre to the north. If youre to the south its a straight shot. Marina Center would be basically in the middle of town, with no way of avoiding the lights or the horrific traffic at all.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the traffic will be far worse once something is actually their.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Two buck chuck is great, but TJ's also has great selection of French wines.

Excuse me, freedom wines.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Hasn't Piersons cornered the market?

That could be why they're so adamant about home depot, they want to protect their monopoly.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierson's is not easy to get to if you are coming from the north. Neither is Costco, but we do it, and we will survive mile long lines when Home Depot has its Grand Opening.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

You would actually attend the grand opening? I wouldn't go near any store for its "grand opening," but then I don't like shopping. You won't see me near a mall anytime between Thanksgiving and January.

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember the mile long traffic jam when KMart had its Grand Opening in Eureka. These are the new five and dimes.

 
At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beware sinners! I know this is the biggest night of the year for you all. Hallowean is fast approaching the popularity of Christmas with Eurekans! And as the tide of sin rises, the sands in the hourglass of Eureka deplete! Beware, your time to repent your sins is waning!

The lord will not look kindly upon those who prey on children, infecting them with diabetes! Yes, the work of Satan is almost complete. What are you going to do about it? Hold a town hall? Elect a new councilman? No throne of evil will withstand the wrath of the lord! He will open up a fault up and down H street and you will all be consumed by magnificent fire!

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Diadematic said...

Solid reasons HumCo won't see a Trader Joe's in the very near future, from someone who researched in hopes it was a franchise and I could open a branch:

1: Trucking. Trucking is difficult and rather expensive when it comes to driving north on 101. Since all TJs products in Calif. are trucked via Trader Joe's and teleporters have yet to be invented, a drive to Humb. in a TJs truck is not a winning proposition and would cost more than the company is willing to spend. Railway is obviously a problem also.

2: Lack of fiberoptic connectiivity was problematic and expensive until recently (yay fiber for Humboldt). This has been handled both on Corp. TJs side of things and with recent throughput to Humboldt but was another strike against Humco TJs at first blush.

3: Difficult to imagine more than one TJs location doing well in Humboldt although corp. can see the light that 2 and possibly 3 could operate at expected profit margins but it's a stretch due to....

4: Income per-capita is low which is a far larger (and less polite) issue than population as another commenter mentioned. Since TJs is generally marketed for those with expendable income potential (as the foods themselves are non-essential) the demographic projections look grim for their markets being in the required profit margin.

5: Limited buying power as related to income potential and connection to other marketing considerations when looking at HumCo demographics. Humco residents, while cool and having a MUCH larger voice than we did in the 70s, 80s, or even 90s just don't represent a "risk worthy" demographic for most large operations in the non-essential goods markets (like Wholefoods, TJs, and others)

A few comments:

We are still somewhat veiled behind the Redwood Curtain.

Yes, population demographics do play a part. However, when speaking with corporate you can make them see the light in relation to who that population is (organics lovers, health conscious, souther californians having moved, students) as long as other elements of business and profitability projections line up. There are currently too many strikes against HumCo on the bottom line end of things for TJs which is unfortunate as I really was hoping to develop that relationship for Humboldt.

To the "why not open your own style" ranty dude with Humboldt history: The CoOps & Wildberries are as good as it gets and quite excellent options in this general realm of foodstuffs. Most of these stores (like Whole Foods, TJs, and others) rely upon selling their personal brands as a means sustainability and of making money on the corporate end while paying their employees at a nice rate (including healthcare, 401k options, and tuition reimbursement) within the rather more exspensive arena of organics marketing. Because trucking is such an expensive prospect to Humboldt (considering they won't be hitting several towns up the line making this a good business decision) it will be some time before they're able to take that kind of financial loss in comparison to the small gain in brand recognition and sales.

Thanks Fred. I've been wanting to say SOMETHING about TJs forever so thanks for your blog and your forum.

Not all corporate expansion is evil or will damage Humboldt, by the by. It is important to pick your battles, this is one I would have fought for up in these parts but it's not happenin' anytime soon.

 
At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:27 If you want to get the forgotten screws go to Shafer's Hardware in Henderson Center.

Every trip you make to any hardware store is going to take having a list and the sales flyer. If you want one item I would suggest Shafer's since they don't turnstile you through their store-steering you to things that look cheaper and they don't reconfigure their stock to a different location-keeping you in there searching for days (buying all kinds of things you never knew you wanted).

There is room for more choice but you can't go shopping without engaging your brain-weigh the traffic to ease of access, the layout of the store each time you go shopping.

Like when you want just a gallon of milk-you wouldn't probably choose Winco!

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew it!! I knew it! I pegged Eric for a 2 buck chuck guy ! Probably goes go with tofu and brown rice.

 

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