Is It Wrong to Cry at Trader Joe’s?

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 20, 2012

Trader Joe’s, you’re killing me!  Just when I find something I really, really love and it becomes part of my shopping necessities list, you discontinue it.

It happened with the stuffed mushrooms and my favorite frozen pasta meal.  The bread I loved went away and recently the small orange scones also disappeared.  In their place is new bread and big scones.

Not the same.

This morning, I departed early for my closest Trader Joe’s in order to beat the intense pre-Thanksgiving shopping rush.  The store had a mellow vibe and I didn’t even care that the sample lady was offering hot apple cider instead of coffee.  No, I was feeling generous, cordial, content….until.

Until I tried to find my favorite heart-shaped, crispy, frosted lemon cookies.  Back-and-forth I walked down the frozen food isle that features all of the cookies and goodies above the open freezers.

Back-and-forth.  Back-and-forth.  Huh.

My cookies —  the dainty ones, which I only buy for special occasions since I have no willpower and cannot have sweets in my home — were nowhere to be found.

I hailed a store employee, a very nice young man.  Yes, he knew the cookies I was looking for and cheerfully helped me look for them.

Back-and-forth.  Back-and-forth.  Huh.

He couldn’t find them either, but offered to check the computer.  Nice young man returned just a few minutes later with a big smile.  I was encouraged.

“Sorry, those little lemon heart cookies have been discontinued.  However, we have a really great new lemon cookie!”

The new cookie was vegan and gluten-free.  The new cookie was big, cake-like and came in a clear plastic tray, not the sweet little bag that held the cookies I so wanted.  The new cookie looked vile.

Crestfallen, I wheeled toward the check-out.  In my head I said: “Nancy, keep this in perspective, you have so much to be grateful for this holiday season.”

Indeed, I’m grateful for many, many things this Thanksgiving.  My daughter is flying in today from Boston to spend the long weekend.  We’ll be celebrating with my sister, her husband and my mother.  I have good health and no huge worries.  I live in a very cozy, comfy home.  I have some wonderful friends.  I live free of war and oppression.

Then I realized that my world is pretty damn good.  But really it would be so much better if I just had those cookies.

Happy Turkey Day.

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1 steve tanton March 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Dear Nancy,

Any news on the oil? Trader Joe’s is unresponsive – I just checked in with my old store in Los Altos, CA – they still didn’t bring it back.

Any substitutes? (I have used it religiously on my feet; with high arches, I’d often have muscle spasms – the lavender kept ’em feeling good all night.) Thanks.

steve tanton
cazenovia, illinois

2 Your Daughter December 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I’ve read this post way too many times now, and each time, I get to the last sentence and think the same thing: Damn, I really am her daughter.

3 Nancy Wurtzel December 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Ha! Luv you, Mom

4 Barbara December 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

I’d cry about a change in lemon cookies too. I’ve cried unabashed tears of joy over luscious lemon desserts… and when it comes to food favorites, I don’t like change. So my take is, no, it’s not wrong to cry at Trader Joes.

5 paul fenlon November 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

I also hate it when they change the store around and I’m walking down aisles I don’t need to. I don’t need nappies, animal food or women’s things with wings. My big miss is Presidents butter ( no salt ), they stopped it about 3 weeks after I discovered it and now Lurpak (no salt) is getting patchy.
Have a nice holiday with the family.

6 Linda Landers November 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

It happened to me too! I was devastated when they discontinued the pre-cooked frozen penne pasta that my son could microwave on his own every day before practice. Now I had to start boiling the water again. The pasta finally came back almost a year later, so maybe your cookies will be back (with enough customer complaints)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

7 Susan November 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

Is that why they’re called Trader Joe’s, because they’re always trading one item for another? :=)

Looks like they’ll be available on amazon someday.

Loved your post, Nancy. Happy Turkey Day!

8 Susan sweet November 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

They discontinued my favorite chunky apples spiced but I did find a substitute that isn’t bad . Not the same though.

9 Paula November 20, 2012 at 9:24 am

HAHA! Made me laugh because I was just at TJ’s on Friday and they discontinued my fav lavender oil body spray! I was gutted. But appeased with one thing that they didn’t take away (yet) the yummy sea salt caramel choc bar! mmmmmm

Oh and I found a new fav…U must try the rosemary raisin crisps with Irish chedder cheese! O M G sooo good! And the deep choc triple layer torte! Go get one of those for this wkend! You won’t be disappointed. Heart shaped cookies be damned!

Happy gobble gobble day to you and your family 🙂

10 Tracy December 1, 2012 at 7:56 am

They discontinued the Lavender Oil body spray? Are you kidding? I use that stuff religiously. My shins will never be the same =(

11 Spencer May 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

I am so bummed TJ discontinued the Lavender Oil. Boyfriend and I used it all the time. I travel all over SoCal and had stopped at numerous TJ stores looking for the oil. Could not find it and figured they were out-of-stock. Your post confirmed what I suspected – the oil is gone! There’s a new Lavender Hand & Body Lotion (not an oil). Has anyone used the lotion?

12 Nancy Wurtzel May 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

I hear you…not familiar with that lotion, but it is a bummer when they take things away!

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