26 Comment

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Will they sell spirits or just beer and wine?

  • Woah, I missed the original news that CH was getting a TJs. Pretty awesome.

  • A few things you all should know about Trader Joe’s:


    Don’t think for a second that your Trader Joe’s labelled food is healthier or environmentally and socially friendlier than what you’re getting at Giant or Safeway.

    Also note that Trader Joe’s doesn’t usually employ store bakers or butchers. A nice thing about Eastern Market: I can ask the butcher or cheese monger what ingredients to use, how to prepare them, where to source special requests, etc. You lose that expertise at Trader Joe’s. At Eastern Market, you can get local, organic food straight from the source and give my money to local small business owners. Not so much at Trader Joe’s.

    I get it if you guys are happy at the added convenience of Trader Joe’s, but don’t act for a second like you’re doing something better for the planet or your neighborhood by shopping there. And stop trumpeting about its affordability! You live in Capitol Hill for goodness’ sake, so I doubt you’re seriously that broke.

    • “At Eastern Market, you can get local, organic food straight from the source and give my money to local small business owners.” Are you saying that you are buying all of Capitol Hill groceries?!? ALL HAIL RYAN S., Hero of Capitol Hill!!!!

      • First of all, the “my” bit was a typo. Sorry ’bout that.

        Clearly I’m not buying all the groceries, as EM is a community endeavor to support local vendors.

    • I think Ryan S works at Eastern Market.

      Don’t get me wrong, I shop there regularly and will continue to do so even once Trader Joes enters the neighborhood, but “local” and “organic” are not words that apply to the majority of what is being sold there.

      • My problem with Trader Joe’s going in at that location is that, as is often the case with gentrification, a large chain is coming in and will probably out-compete local business owners. That means more of our money leaves our neighborhood and we collectively lose ownership (or the ability to have ownership) in said neighborhood. In more concrete terms, it means we consumers are separated from those who produce and have much more trouble (for instance) finding out where our food comes from or (for instance again) lodging any sort of complaint.

        It provides a few low wage jobs while eliminating opportunities for ownership and economic development in the area and gives consumers less recourse when they have a problem. That’s where my issue lies.

        • Good point but when you say “the area” do you mean the DC region or Capitol Hill? I don’t think any of the market hall vendors live in the neighborhood. And the weekend market is not going to be affected, I mean you can hardly get veggies there anymore, almost everything sold on the weekends is crafts or bric-a-brac.

          RIP veggie bag lady 🙁

      • Also, I don’t work there. I live off H and walk about 30 minutes to get there because it’s one of the reasons I moved to NE.

    • I followed your link and found criticisms of trader joes like the fact that they “spend less money on marketing,” have a “more efficient distribution system,” and “not everything is certified organic.”
      and, I looked on glassdoor for employee reviews and found 20 from the DC area and an average star rating of 4.7 out of 5, with reviews like this one (titled “best job ever”):
      “If you qualify for the Insurance – which is only $60 a month – you get: Free gym membership to nearly any gym (multiple gyms if you choose), free dental, free vision, and excellent coverage by Anthem. You get a raise every December and every July – this will vary on your location, but at my store we have received 65 cent raises every 6 months. You also get a bonus in January that is 5% of what you made throughout the year.”
      what’s the problem again?

    • SouthwestDC

      I’ve never heard of Trader Joe’s being healthier, or environmentally or socially better. I thought people went there because they were addicted to the cookie butter or whatever other unique junk food they sell.
      I’ll end up going there for the same reason I currently go to Yes Organic– because it’s really close to where I live. Like you said, convenience.

    • 90% of Eastern Market is various animal products and it’s uninviting to those who abstain (produce on weekends is ok but generally not up to Freshfarms standards). The product focus and shopping experience at Trader Joe’s is far more in line with both my dietary needs and shopping preferences. My biggest gripe with Tj is the company’s level of secrecy on sourcing and GMO. The product lines where get sources ‘outed’ are often ones I would buy in other stores, but I’d like more transparency on claims like GMO-free certification and kosher/halal.

      Like many others, if I didn’t shop at TJ I would shop no more or less at EM. A few EM vendors sell obscure and odd duck products hard to find elsewhere. That keeps me coming periodically despite no liking the shopping experience.

      • SouthwestDC

        Plus it’s hard to shop at Eastern Market because they close so early on weekdays, and are mobbed on the weekends. The crowds at Trader Joe’s might not be much better, but at least it will be possible to stop by after work on a weeknight.

      • So Eastern Market should go out of business because your friends don’t like to look at meat? What about all the vendors outside who sell fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables? You can ask any of those growers face-to-face what goes into farming that food.

        • no, but personally I don’t like the overwhelming stench of it. EM is a dinosaur food wise. It works mostly as a tourist trap. EM suffers from imbalance. Union Market is a different model, but notice the variety of prepared food — it’s vastly more inclusive than Eastern Market, with it’s multiple, butchers, fish mongers, poultry, dairy. EM bakery is also below the line on quality. Even with post-fire HVAC and ignoring the weekend crowds it’s just not that pleasant experience. I’ve lived on the Hill for decades without getting much from the Market and that’s fine. I know lots of neighborhood people who never shop there.

          The outdoor farmers market lineup is just about the only attraction for me. It’s not as good as the Penn Quarter or Dupont Freshfarms markets but it’s ok in a pinch. Whole Foods is coming to the Hill too – they are practically religious about promoting their sourcing, not to mentioned balanced beyond animal based products. I’m more excited about TJ but I’ll shop at WF too.

          • SouthwestDC

            Exactly. I appreciate Eastern Market because it’s a beautiful old building, and I enjoy coming across a wedding or swing dancing or some other event going on in the North Hall (I would even consider having my wedding there). But it’s not a great place to shop for groceries. I live a block away and probably only buy five items there a year. There’s just not much in there that appeals to me.

        • I’m sorry, but what vendors are you talking about? The last few times I went during the summer months, there were maybe three out of ten or so produce vendors that sold local produce, and not necessarily organic. Everything else was stuff straight out of Giant. As much as I love bananas, I don’t go to a farmers’ market to buy them. And the meat selection, which I do consume, is fairly low quality with very few if any local or organic options. I used to go to the Fresh Farm Tuesdays when I was able to get off of work early enough because they did have quite a few local vendors and organic meats, but those same vendors aren’t there on the weekends. Eastern Market has fallen way behind the other farmers’ markets in the city. This is my neighborhood and I would love to support them, but I’m not going to pay for overpriced produce that doesn’t provide me with any additional value. I will say though, that I actually may end up shopping more at Eastern Market with TJ’s coming in since their produce is sometimes not that great, and I might drop by the market on my way out of TJs instead of waiting for a separate trip to Whole Foods or Harris Teeter.

    • I go to Trader Joe’s to get food, not to make a political statement. None of what you write about bothers me in the least.

    • “Don’t think for a second…”
      “don’t act for a second like..”
      Seriously? You need to calm down a little bit. Your tone is quite surly and insulting.

    • Well it’s better for the neighborhood than an abandoned building was…

      • 1) It was a parking lot which was an awesome huge flea market every weekend.
        2) How is killing local businesses better for the neighborhood? We could’ve put a park there, or opened it up to local development…

        • 1) The flea market isn’t huge. Your comments make me think you’ve never been to a flea market or a decent farmers’ market. And I for one prefer the flea market on the street. I think it’s more inviting and feels more social.
          2) The food vendors at the market have been on cruise control for a long time. Markets have popped up all over the city that provide better, higher quality produce and more diverse selection of foods. I would feel bad if they were making more of an effort to compete, but I have yet to see that. And a park would be a terrible idea there unless you had cops watching it 24/7, considering all the hoodlums the metro stop attracts.

          • SouthwestDC

            I already feel a lot safer walking up 8th Street with the Hine gone and better lighting installed. The new development is going to bring a lot of foot traffic and additional security which will help a lot with crime. That, and the additional housing which is badly needed, will be great for the neighborhood.
            I actually like the flea market better now that it’s moved to 7th Street. It’s a shame some vendors had to be cut, but the overall quality of vendors is better.
            And I don’t think TJ’s is going to hurt Eastern Market at all. They attract very different customers.

      • I was somewhat on the fence on the Hine development but getting TJ as an anchor tilts the needle for me. It will likely be the only tenant I’d ever patronize.

    • “stop trumpeting about its affordability! You live in Capitol Hill for goodness’ sake, so I doubt you’re seriously that broke”

      Very funny. If you moved to Capitol Hill in the last decade you have zero disposable income left after paying your mortgage.

  • THIS IS AWESOME. I’m very happy Trader Joe’s is coming to Eastern Market. The store isn’t going to displace the market vendors but will actually draw in more traffic that will be drawn to the market.

    Think about it – I live near EM but would NEVER do all my shopping there because I’m not made of money. And as cool as the market is, I’m not going to make a special trip to EM to buy some fresh fish when I have to go by Harris Teeter anyway. But if I”m getting basic groceries at TJs I’m already in the area and way more likely to swing by the market hall (using TJs free parking) and pick up a few of their pricier items.

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