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General Info
It all started in the 50s... Would you believe we started out as a small chain of convenience stores? It's true. Way back in 1958. We were called Pronto Markets. In '67, our founder, the original Trader Joe, changed our name (yes, to Trader Joe's) and the way we do business. We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started putting innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods in the "Trader Joe's" name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does. And that's important, because "Value" is a concept we take very seriously. And by value we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe... How do we do it? * We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you. * If an item doesn't pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else. * We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices. * Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices... so we don't do it. * We keep our costs low — because every penny we save is a penny you save. It's not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.
BBB Rating
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Regular Hours

Payment method
cash, all major credit cards, master card, visa, amex, check, debit, discover
Back Bay West, Back Bay
Grocery Stores, Natural Foods
Other Information

Parking: Street

Bike Parking: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Price Range : Average

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Tom D.



If you are looking for nice items on sale, this store is for you. From time to time they are able to release exciting items.



Provided by Citysearch - 
A Chain is Only as Strong as its Weakest Link

Remember Cartmanland? After Eric Cartman inherits $1,000,000 from his grandmother, he spends it on a failing amusement park, one which he plans on keeping all to himself.

Yes, South Park. It teaches you lessons. Listen.

It's always been his dream to own a theme park, so that he can keep everyone else out and have all the rides to himself, never again to wait in line. His hard-line stance has an unintended economic consequence: A ticket to ""Cartmanland"" is now an ultra-exclusive luxury good. It's a classic example of premium pricing, but taken to the extreme, and suddenly, he's hailed as a business genius. Everyone starts keeping everybody out. No one can eat at this restaurant! No one can see this movie!

It's all about reputation, see; for a brief while, when the lighting's just right, what you don't do can't hurt you. It works better in the cartoon world, of course, because in the real world, doing nothing is in fact doing something. Sometimes you're better off doing nothing, because you are, in fact, doing a lot of things. Not opening up that new McDonalds location on the ground floor of the PETA building. Not selling Michael Richards t-shirts in predominantly black communities.

It's not always that inflammatory. Sometimes it's just about brand image. Wal-Mart isn't going to open a store next to a gas station, because Wal-Mart is all about being larger-than-life. Gas stations are little. It doesn't make sense.

Trader Joe's is an acceptable grocer. They sometimes sell better food than other large grocers, like Shaws or Stop & Shop. The problem with the Trader Joe's on Boylston, though, is that it's tiny and crappy. It's the size of a three-car garage, and is stocked with three main goods: frozen foods, bread, and nuts. If you're in the market for one of these three things, and are within a half-mile of 899 Boylston, you won't be mad at Trader Joe's at all.

This is the most ""downtown"" of the TJ locations, though, and it makes me dislike the brand. Where are the fresh vegetables? Why are there no meat or deli counters? Is this really all you guys have here? With Whole Foods Symphony so very close by, it's somewhat remarkable that this location still exists. I will gleefully admit my preference for that neighboring grocer. I try to be objective, and hey, I think that I succeed. Even the neighboring Shaws has a ""whole and natural"" section that's essentially the size of this entire spot. It's the worst grocery store in the neighborhood, and when you're an image-conscious chain, that's never a good thing.

You should've done nothing, Trader Joe's. You could've been a contender.




This place is very nice. We went here because of my sister in law. She buys the caramalized onion cheese, that is so good. We also find some of their items to be great tasting and good for you.

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