19 Facts About Trader Joe's I Was Shocked To Learn Given That I Shop There Basically Every Day

Trader Joe's is probably one of my absolute favorite places to shop, and if you've ever been there, you know it's not your average grocery store.

A bunch of Trader Joe's carts slightly out of focus
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From the delicious seasonal offerings to the perfectly portioned meals if you're shopping for one, TJ's pretty much does it all (fresh flowers, candy, and alcohol included!).

Trader Joe's paper grocery bags filled with food
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So, if you love TJ's as much as I do, here's everything you should know about the store next time you're shopping:

1.To start, the very first Trader Joe's opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California — and it's still operating today.

The front of a Trader Joe's cart
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2.And while we all know and love the TJ's name, the grocery chain was originally called Pronto Markets.

3.TJ's was a pioneer of the reusable bag long before they became popular and introduced them to the store in 1977.

Someone holding a reusable Trader Joe's bag
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4.Avid shoppers will notice TJ's classic nautical theme, explaining why employees are wearing Hawaiian-themed shirts.

5.But have you ever realized there's a plastic lobster in every store? Because there has been one since 1983.

Exterior view of a Trader Joe's store with customers walking in
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6.TJ's offers a smaller inventory than the typical supermarket with 4,000 items in stock proving quality over quantity goes a long way.

7.You'll never have to worry about buying too many bananas because they're sold individually at the chain for the unbeatable price of 19 cents each!

A bunch of ripe yellow bananas
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8.If you want to try a specific item, you're in luck because TJ's allows customers to sample things with the exception of raw, frozen, and alcohol offerings.

9.And if you end up bringing home something you don't love, TJ's has a pretty generous return policy and will take back most items for a full refund, with or without a receipt.

Someone holding a shopping basket and walking into a Trader Joe's
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10.If you're looking for the best time to shop, a TJ's manager recommended Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

11.TJ's started carrying their famous fresh cut flowers in 1994. Not to mention, the prices are pretty hard to beat.

Trader Joe's fresh cut flowers in buckets branded with the store's brand logo
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12.If you've ever seen a random stuffed animal in one of the aisles, it turns out it's not by accident at all. A TJ's employee revealed that they're purposefully hidden for kiddos to find, and they'll be awarded with a treat for discovering one.

13.Because TJ's is known for having low prices, you'll never see discounts, coupons, or membership cards while shopping.

An exterior view of a Trader Joe's entrance
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14.Instead of having a traditional PA to communicate updates to staff, an old school bell system is used instead.

15.There's a team of in-house artists that hand-paint the iconic signs you see throughout each store.

Two Trader Joe's employees hand-painting signs for the store
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16.Finding something to cook with all the ingredients you just bought can sometimes be a struggle. That's where TJ's comes in with their library of digital recipes.

17.From Halloween to Christmas, seasonal products are one of the biggest draws to the store (if not one of the best things). But you better shop fast because they're never there for long!

18.One of the coolest perks of being a TJ's employee? You get to try the products before they even hit the shelves.

19.Finally, the company donates unsold items to local food banks instead of letting it go to waste because they're that good. Never change, TJ's!

A variety of fresh veggies on display at Trader Joe's
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What's your favorite thing at Trader Joe's? Tell me about it in the comments!