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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who's Behind Those Trader Joe's Generics? You'd Be Surprised

Posted By on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 6:12 PM

The SOMA store: So much mystery. - KEVIN Y./YELP
  • Kevin Y./Yelp
  • The SOMA store: So much mystery.
Our favorite morsel from the Web.

Mystery washes through Trader Joe's like a tsunami's advance wave. Who, exactly, are the nonagenarian German brothers behind the megachain? Why do hippies in Berkeley and North Oakland show up to fill hemp shopping bags with organic yogurt, when the stores overwrap absurdly small amounts of produce in enough petro-packaging to clog a landfill? And how did TJ's ugly tropical-shirt motif ever survive the '80s?

So many questions. And yet, Tuesday at The Faster Times, Amy Westervelt shed some light on everybody's favorite sample-pimping food store. Like, who makes some of TJ's generic products? Westervelt whipped out a dozen revelations.

Who knew? Turns out Trader Joe's Vienna-style lager is none other than Gordon Biersch Märzen (savings on an unspecified amount of TJ's house brand: $4). The pizza dough? It's from S.F.'s own Il Fornaio. Best of all, Trader Joe's European-style organic yogurt is sourced from Straus Family Creamery in West Marin. Maybe those East Bay hippies are on to something. And they're saving 80 cents per tub by picking up the TJ's generic.

Hmmm, 80 cents ― that should be just enough to buy a single Trader Joe's lemon, cradled in a plastic-foam tray and shrouded in PVC film. Total score.

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