Trader Joe's. Had to do it, guys. This little grocery store brings me so much happiness and shopping there is something I look forward to every week. I didn't grow up with a Trader Joe's and only really discovered it about four years ago when I became friends with someone who does her weekly shopping there. Thank goodness TJ's is in my life now!
I could go on and on (and on) about my love for Trader Joe's but here's the highlight reel: there's a steady stream of new and seasonal items, a free coffee and sample station where a friendly employee fills up tiny paper cups with animal crackers or cinnamon letter cookies for the boys, their greeting cards are THE BEST (and only 99 cents!!), they have kid-sized shopping carts, the small store size means I'm not overwhelmed as soon as I walk in the door, great wine at a great price, affordable bouquets of flowers, and the atmosphere is friendly and helpful: employees readily recommend recipes to try with items that you are buying or offer to sample something for you and many of them recognize our family when we shop and come to say hello.
On a recent quick trip Dash pushed a small cart and collected items (looking so proud and taking his job very seriously), both boys got cups of animal crackers and Chris and I grabbed tiny samples of wine. When grocery shopping can be a relaxing and fun family outing you know you've found a great store.