If you are a Trader Joe's groupie (and once you go, you tend to join the following), you come to count on their unique-to-them products when planning a get together. Head into a Trader Joe's and you find all these delicious things that you didn't even know you wanted, like cookie butter, spicy cheese crunchies, or peach bellini jam. So it only makes sense that this is the first and last place you need to go when planning your Independence Day get together which makes it vital to know: is Trader Joe's open on July 4th or will you need to make sure you are there the day before?
Relax! All of the Trader Joe's stores are open on July 4th, but carefully plan your day because they close at 5pm. As their website says, "we have all the fare you need to celebrate the Birth of American Independence. So come and get it, but don’t wait until the fireworks are about to BANG…" Trader Joe's is very well known for being excellent employers and they want to make sure their associates get their chance to celebrate America's birthday, too. In 2017, Business Insider named them one of the 50 best places to work and they consistently get rave reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed, which isn't a surprise given how upbeat and friendly the crew members always seem.
If you are a podcast junkie, you must check out Inside Trader Joe's. It gives you fun facts like the one Fast Company mentions: Instead of throwing food in the trash, they donate 70 million pounds of food to causes that combat hunger. The podcast also gives you an inside peek into how they choose what products to produce under their private label and how their tasting board works. Did you know that their staff members are required to taste everything, even the dog biscuits (which aren't as gross as they sound)? They have people flying around the world to create products they can bring back for their fans in the U.S., including my family's favorite (and one of their most popular products ever), Mandarin Orange Chicken and its cousin, the newly-added Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels. Just listening, you'll get tons of ideas for your barbecue.
While they definitely have hamburgers, hot dogs and other kinds of grillable meats, you can really go crazy on appetizers there. From frozen goodies such as Potstickers, 27 Layer Sesame Crostini, or Mini Vegetable Samosas to cheeses from around the world, chips and dips, you will leave the store ready to party. Looking for side dishes? You can skim through the recipes on the Trader Joe's website and see how to combine their products for the ultimate in yumminess, or go with their prepared salads, such as the Mexican-style Corn and Quinoa Salad or Trader Joe's Giardiniera, a colorful mix of pickled veggies. There is a whole bakery section, both already prepared goodies as well as frozen treats and cake and cookie mixes. Don't forget the drinks. From a variety of seltzer flavors and juices to beer, wine, and hard liquor (depending on your location), Trader Joe's really is one-stop shopping for your gathering.
The other thing to peruse before you go is the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. This combination of sales notice and newsletter will give you the inside scoop into the new products, what's fresh, and what's on sale. If you're a shopping list person, it's a great place to start building.
So now you know how to get ready for the holiday, listen to the podcast, scan the recipes, read the Fearless Flyer, and then be prepared for some impulse buys — especially if you are the kind of person who tastes the samples they provide throughout the store and then must buy what you've tried. You can delay shopping until the big day, but don't go too late or you will have to go somewhere else and do without the cookie butter.