Like any relationship, though, there are some drawbacks. To shop at Trader Joe’s is to sometimes leave with a gripping sense of FOMO. We grab go-to groceries, but panic at bustling aisles stocked with a seemingly endless array of choices. While the cashier rings up our weekly basketful of Greek yogurt and mini brie discs, we have an eagle-eye on the surrounding carts, wondering what treasures they hold. To avoid any Trader Joe’s-induced anxiety and constantly learn about fresh new finds, here’s a trick: Ask the cashiers what they buy.
The helpful team working at Trader Joe’s (especially the ones giving out free samples) know what’s up. They taste, stock, ring up, and are generally surrounded by gems on every shift, so ask them to spill. Besides discovering new products, we’ve learned recipe hacks and cool facts about the products and where they come from.
We asked Trader Joe’s employees from Brooklyn to Bakersfield, California, what they love to buy, and they’ve generously shared their favorites, ahead.
This story was originally published on October 4, 2016.