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I find it hard to believe that Trader Joe's was on the favorite grocery store list. I started going to TJ's in California about 30 years ago where I grew up and lived til I was 48. I have been to stores in Illinois and Oregon as well. One thing I have noticed, being a long time regular customer, is that the quality and value per dollar (less for more ) of the items has decreased a lot over the years.
I used to always be happy with their products, however, for a few years now I have found that I am getting things home and they are just not as good as they used to be. I am also a gastronome who has been preparing food myself for many years and I can tell when something is lacking in the quality and taste area. I very rarely visit the stores anymore.
One they missed are locally owned HY VEEs. Some are very good in larger cities but when you come to Brookings, SD the HY VEE here is terrible. The produce is as bad or worse than Walmart and most products cost 20% to 50% more. I go to the HY VEE in Sioux Falls to get most of our groceries as they have mush better produce and better prices. It is the difference between larger cities and small I would assume as the gasoline stations here in this Podunk place are about the same gas sells for .10 to .20 cents per gallon more than larger cities and especially higher than Minnesota and Nebraska.
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