Originally Published: April 3, 2011 9:58 p.m.
While reading the letters in the March 19 edition, I thought for a brief, weird moment that I had learned something new about myself. In the letter sharing his rather strange (to me) take on Trader Joe's imminent opening here in Prescott, Kyle Anderson stated that "This is a rich person's store. It will be shopped by people who don't want the average area resident alongside."
Since my wife and I have shopped at TJ's for many years, several of them near our former home in Southern California and most recently one in Scottsdale, it occurred to me that according to Mr. Anderson we must be rich! But no, we're not-really! I'm a retired postal worker with a Civil Service pension and my wife is on Social Security.
The reason we shop at Trader Joe's - and New Horizons and the health food sections of our "regular" local food markets - is because we prefer to eat healthy. It may cost a bit more when compared to loading up on cheaper processed and "junk" food, but we feel it's worth it. And as far as we are concerned, the more local availability of and competition for healthier food the better. TJ's has many items not available at those other stores, and its prices are competitive.
I don't know if Mr. Anderson has ever actually shopped at a Trader Joe's, but my wife and I certainly don't recall ever experiencing any arched eyebrows there because we drive a Rav/4 rather than a Beamer or a Mercedes and don't wear designer clothing. To the contrary, we have always found them to be friendly and courteous places to shop. I very much doubt that at Prescott's TJ's "rich" people will predominate, or that there would be enough wealthy customers alone to sustain it in any event.
Frankly, I'm still not 100 percent sure whether it is fiscally prudent of the City of Prescott to subsidize its TJ's, but based on what I have read in the Courier, pro and con, my guess is that it will benefit the city financially down the road. In the meantime, my wife and I - and many other not so "rich" area residents - will be tickled to have a local Trader Joe's where we can buy a greater variety of healthy food at reasonable prices. Bring it on!