Sunday , 22 April 2018

Review: Trade Winds Bring South Sea Grocery Shopping to North Texas

By Brian Bearden, TSB Contributor

Will grocery shoppers in McKinney set their sails for a trip to Plano now that Trader Joe’s has opened on Preston Road?

From Adriatica, the 16-mile trip took 33 minutes. The 22-mile return trip to McKinney’s downtown square after Trader Joe’s Friday morning grand opening in Plano ate up 30 minutes.

The Plano opening Friday is one of four by Trader Joe’s stores across the country. Trader Joe’s is also open Friday in Foxborough, Mass.; Portsmouth/Newington, N.H.; and Sarasota, Fla. Trader Joe’s, where employees wear Hawaiian shirts, has about 370 stores in 34 states.

Grocery wars: Whole Foods anchors a strong shopping center just west across Preston Road. Tom Thumb has long had a neighborhood store just to the south at 4836 West Park Blvd. in Preston Park Village near Patrizio, the Gap and Williams-Sonoma to name a few. Market Street is busy on the southwest side of the intersection, too.

Trader Joe’s opening seems more friendly, as the store will draw new visitors to the area. Even so, competition between the grocery stores at Park and Preston is now under way.

Within five miles reside some of the highest household income ($107,000) in North Texas. Within one mile of the stores, that household income jumps to almost $116,000.

Trader Joe’s doesn’t take up a lot of space in the shopping center. The store covers 14,000 square feet. ALDI, short for Albrecht Diskount, is a frugal relative of Trader Joe’s.

What we liked about Trader Joe’s on our first visit to the Plano store at Preston Towne Crossing:

Besides the South Sea adventure look to the store, the demo area for cooking, the sections for wines and produce stood out.

Go for the coffee, breads and veggies and look around for discoveries when it comes to specialty items for many tastes. The frozen food area has more treasures.

We took the suggestion from California friends and picked up the Cookie Butter, Joe-Joe’s and Two-Buck Chuck. We will leave it for you to discover what’s in those three favorites. No need to give away the plot for your treasure hunt to Trader Joe’s. Notable: Thirty minutes of driving is almost too long to leave the box of Joe-Joe’s alone.

This weekend we’ll try the Trader Ming’s Chinese food one day, and then serve the Trader Giotto’s for an Italian night at home.

Fun facts: In 1913, Aldi was founded in Germany by Karl and Theo Albrecht. Trader Joe’s was founded in 1958 in California. ALDI bought Trader Joe’s in 1979.

Cool breeze from trade winds? The temperature in Plano on Friday is 104 degrees. A day after Trader’s Joes opens in Texas, the forecast calls for temperatures in the 80s.

In the history books: Kroger closed at Park and Preston after 20 years in 2010 and maintains a strong presence in Plano with five thriving stores.

More facts on the shopping center:

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