takeasiesta wrote >>
The problem that I had with Sunflower was the price. It was more expensive than Whole Foods which says a lot and it was mediocre stuff. TJ's has their own store brand which is quality and costs less so they would make a killing. TJ's will also try to carry something of name brand if you ask them to since they want to be the only place that you shop.
One thing I loved about Sunflower was their support for local goods and produce. Their cold produce room (I've not seen one before or since) had lots of good looking local produce with mileage marked out on the cards. They also carried Hartzler Dairy milk (which was the only game in town before Snowville) and 2 Silos Eggs in a carton. It was better than WF which used to (and may still) be mostly truck produce.
As for TJ's I'm ambivalent. I'm not sure how TJs can ever be one stop shopping, as they've always had a very limited selection of produce. Back when I worked an office job 7-8 years ago I would head to the one up at 161 & Sawmill regularly since it was by my workplace.. I'd buy cheap wine, bread, frozen dinners, frozen fish, cheese, dried nuts, PB, snacks, cereal and soymilk. I'd almost always buy my produce at Rife's or Wild Goatz for produce.
A few things happened to loosen the hold TJs had on me.
1) I started reading the package of some of those frozen meals.. I'm not a calorie counter, but I don't need 200% of my daily allotted salt in a single serving :-p
2) I cut way back on prepackaged foods. I started cooking in bulk and freezing my food in ziplock bags. I rarely if ever eat anything from a box or plastic container anymore. I've been doing this less now that I don't travel as much, but If I start up again, I'm sure I'll start cooking in bulk.
2a) I cut back on snacks.
Do I miss TJs? Not really. Sometimes I'll go and get some things there. I like the cheese selection although I don't by tons there, and they make an Irish Breakfast tea that's pretty good. On the whole, I think that they sell lots of snack items and frozen food, and not much in the way of produce, which is a way of eating that I've found not to work for me.
Do I think the Short North *needs* a TJ? Not really.
Now I do most of my produce/milk/eggs shopping at the Greener Grocer and farmers markets. The meat I buy tends to come from Bluescreek or NM Poultry and Game. Anything else like flour or other infrequently needed stuff gets bought at WF, GE or Kroger. I've since changed the way I eat and don't really eat the stuff I used to get at TJ anymore.
That said, if a TJ's went in say at 5th and High (or thereabouts), it would probably be packed all opening hours. I'd probably go myself for cheese, chocolate, that one tea I can't get elsewhere, party wine and whatever deals I could score. Like before, it won't be my one stop shop.