Trader Joe’s opened its Providence, Rhode Island, location early November 2022 as part of a location redevelopment to provide more housing and accessible businesses. It sits in the Fox Point area which is also home to both many younger and older individuals, as well as Brown and RISD students. There’s also many other local businesses in the immediate area, houses and apartments, and even accessible infrastructure like a pedestrian bridge and bicycle lanes. What all of this has accumulated to is a perfect grocery store location for someone who lives nearby to safely and quickly visit.
This leads to how one even enters Trader Joe’s. If you walk, unlike other grocery stores and businesses, you’ll notice that the public sidewalks connect to the location. You will also immediately be greeted by locally made colorful bicycle racks from The Steel Yard. If you drive however, the parking lots you are used to didn’t train you for what you’ll experience! This parking lot here is much smaller but still sufficient, and more importantly, it encourages slow and careful driving which benefits crossing pedestrians and families. This infrastructure is built around having a single flow of traffic immediately flanked by parking spots on both sides which creates a narrow, predictable corridor for vehicles to enter and exit. Trader Joe’s presents us with complete and accessible infrastructure that is seldom found elsewhere.
Now that you’re there, you can grab an offered smaller than average shopping cart and go on in. The atmosphere feels homey due to the wooden aesthetic that’s complimented by the soft and warm yellow lighting. The store isn’t at all big with a few fairly narrow aisles that quickly results in traffic due to the large amount of people often there. Selection wise, Trader Joe’s is famous for its unique snacks and indeed, it does have a snack and quick bites focus which means a lot of produce and homemade ingredients are left out, so plan accordingly! Still, you’ll likely be able to get most of what you need although visiting a larger grocery store may be required.
Compared to other grocery stores, the prices are decent but could be better. They’re cheaper than nearby Whole Foods and Stop & Shop but more expensive than Price Rite, Aldi’s, and Walmart. And, when you do decide to pay, there aren’t any self checkout registers and instead, you’re greeted in a friendly manner by a staff member manning a small kiosk. It all really lends itself to the atmosphere, and from the start to the end, furthers the homey and community aspect that grocery stores often lack.
In summary, Trader Joe’s does a fantastic job creating an accessible and community grocery store that, while may be missing some core goods, will likely suffice for most. Prices are not expensive nor cheap, and the staff are quite friendly throughout. So whether you want to try fun snacks or pickup some basic groceries for the week, Trader Joe’s is a place to check out!