Is Trader Joe's Liberal Enough for Madison?
Bryan at Sanity in Mad City reports that Trader Joes may be coming to a long-vacant spot in one of Madison's more liberal neighborhoods.
Bryan links to an unintentionally hilarious article on Dane 101 on the topic. While some folks are happy because Trader Joe's isn't "yet another Walgreen's", they're also wringing their hands because it's not as liberal as the local Madison co-ops it would compete with:
The 200-store strong Trader Joe's is less likely to carry the locally produced products currently lining the shelves of the Regent St. Co-op. Madison would be the company's first Wisconsin store, so it would be interesting to see if their website which boasts "more than 80 cheeses includes Cheddars from New York and Vermont" is expanded to include Cheddar from our state.
Trader Joe's is also proud of their selection of coffee beans, although the words "Fair Trade" don't seem to exist in any of the descriptions. How likely is Trader Joe's to carry coffee beans roasted in Madison, such as Ancora? Or to go out of their way to put beans on their shelves from Just Coffee that help support the numerous non-profit organizations in town such as the Madison Area Peace Coalition?
Note to self: don't buy any "Just Coffee". But honestly, I'm just baffled by this. Why do Madison looney lefties feel the need to make political statements with their grocery shopping and why should businesses have to conform to those politics? I remember when Whole Foods first opened in Madison. Despite their crunchy reputation, protestors stood outside the store day after day. Why? Because it's not a union shop. Looney lefties may have the same problem with Trader Joe's:
Much like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's isn't a union shop. While that has been a thorn in the side of Whole Foods, who has been accused of using union busting tactics, Trader Joe's is described by Business Week as paying better than the average grocery union wages, has a generous benefits package and contributes an extra 15.4 percent of a worker’s gross pay towards a company funded retirement plan. First-year supervisors earn more than $40,000 on average to start.
There is also less of a chance of finding the products of major corporations on the shelves of Trader Joe's.
That last comment about the products of major corporations is interesting. Note that the author isn't talking about greater selection here, nope, it's that Trader Joe's just won't sell the products of major corporations. Damn those successful major corporations! The government should ban them and instead we should grow all the food we need on collective farms.
I question why any business would open in Madison now. I think there's a big market for a Trader's Joe here and I know more than a few people who are very excited about the possibility of one opening here. But, is it worth going through all the hoops that the locals are setting up for them?
You'd think that there are plenty of cities that would love to have a Trader Joe's and would respect their right to run their business they way they want to. If I were Trader Joe's I'd be afraid that these Madison looneys would start picketing the store if the ratio of Wisconsin to New York cheese wasn't quite "right".
Posted by at May 3, 2005 01:16 PM
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|# May 3rd, 2005 1:48 PM BrianH|
|At least they'll have a ready supply of "Two Buck Chuck" to drown their sorrows in.
|# May 3rd, 2005 3:11 PM chummer|
|This Dane101 site seems to be big on the stakeholder type of business where citizens and government essentially get board seats to control a company.
The other day, Dane101 wrote that local businesses should voluntarily implement progressive policies so that they are not forced on them by the city. Makes perfect sense - you are free to decide whether or not to implement progressive policies, but if you choose not to, we will make you.
Long term, these types of things will be bad for the business community here. Like you said, does Trader Joe's really want to invest their money, time, and effort into a store in Madison when the city council will ration their cheese sales? Trader Joe's will look elsewhere, and rightly so, if the attitude at Dane101 prevails. The bit about coffee proceeds going to the peace group and the Workers' rights group is definitely unintentionally hilarious.
Thanks for the link!
|# May 3rd, 2005 3:28 PM kris|
|As always, Chummer, you are able to ferret out some of the looniest loons in Madison. |
|# May 3rd, 2005 4:28 PM freedomrolls|
|Oh, I'm not sure on this one. I love Trader Joe's, and this article talks about the plus and minuses expressed in any city that has entertained a Trader Joe. Great prices, treats employees well, but little on supporting local products. Even most major supermarkets carry local produce and meat. Trader Joe's freezes the meat and ships it in. Being from Missouri, I like to know my steak and eggs come from one of the nearby farms. I don't know what you guys have against local farmers.
|# May 3rd, 2005 4:34 PM kris|
|I don't have anything against local farmers. What I object to is the idea that some Madisonians want to throw up barriers to prevent the rest of us from having stores like a Trader Joe's. If they don't like Trader Joe's or Walgreen or wherever, they don't have to shop there. But instead, what these people do is take economic freedom away from the rest of us. |
|# January 21st, 2006 12:54 PM JustCoffee|
|wow! i am soooo excited that our company (just coffee) is (was anyway) being discussed on neo-con blogs!
and by the way, not only do we raise money for madison area peace coalition and other local lefty groups, but also for national orgs like Democracy Now Radio and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. oh, and to the zapatistas in mexico too!
but i will agree with y'all on one count, dems in general are pretty weak at this point. way too wishy washy and conservative for my tastes.
keep up the ranting, it is really fun to read!
peace to you...
|# June 11th, 2006 7:54 AM internets|
|You think its looney to want to have freshly roasted coffee and fresh, locally-produces meat and vegetables? Okay, I am definitely a looney.
By the way, if liberals are so looney, why are all the major money producing cities and states of this country liberal? Like California, New York, Boston list goes on.
ahh, now that's freshly roasted.
|# June 11th, 2006 9:12 AM kris|
|no, i think it's looney to a) only want certain freshly roasted coffee and meats and b) even loonier to try to make it difficult for other people to purchase coffee, meats, etc. that I don't approve of. |