Everyone has that playlist or soundtrack that gets them psyched. Whether you're planning a night out, or need some extra energy for a morning run, music and podcasts have a way of making things way more entertaining.
While normally you might not think listening to someone talk about grocery shopping would be considered a pump-up jam, you need to reconsider. Trader Joe's is coming out with its own podcast, and it sounds more exciting than any grocery store podcast has a right to be.
Inside Trader Joe's is a new five-part podcast that's basically an audible version of the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. The store's current and oldest employees talk about what it's like to work there, what the best products are, and the history of the company, including the "scarily quiet" first phase when it looked like the store was going to be an enormous failure.
One of the most fun parts is when the podcast sits in on a tasting panel, where decisions are made about new products. A panel of Trader Joe's staff tastes the item and decides whether or not they should carry it. They talk about flavor, packaging, price, and how it compares to other things in the store, and it's a fascinating insight into how Trader Joe's products come into existence and find their way into our hands.
For me, the most envy-inducing part of the podcast is either the big Trader Joe's wine-tasting tour to Napa to pick out wines for the store, or the overseas adventure with the person everyone at Trader Joe's agrees has "the best job in the company." She's the woman who travels all over the world to find cool new foods and flavors that Trader Joe's should carry. She was responsible for the mango sticky rice spring rolls, among other things, and I am utterly furious with my high school guidance counselor for not telling me jobs like that existed. (My guidance counselor told me to be a test pilot or a forest ranger.)
Riffing on a South Asian classic, our supplier takes fragrant, glutinous rice (from Northern Thailand) and simmers it with fresh-pressed coconut milk before bundling it in spring-roll wrappers around pieces of sweet, ripe Nam Dok Mai (Thailand’s most coveted mangoes). The Rolls are fried golden-crisp, then frozen—ready to feed your next snack fancy. 🇹🇭 #stickyricemango
The crew members on the podcast spend a lot of time dishing about their favorite products, and they really do sound more like an excited dinner party conversation about snacks than a bunch of grocery store employees being recorded for work.
"I love that lentil soup. It's an elusive little beast these days," one says wistfully.
"I'll give you a suggestion, one of my favorites right now is in the refrigerated case, it's a split pea soup. An organic, vegan, split pea soup …" another replies, and the first definitely sounds like he's about to go check it out.
The podcast even talks about all the store's food ideas that ended terribly, like their attempt to sell cotton seed butter.
"Cotton seed butter! Who's not going to love this?" the host gushes. "... Apparently no one loved it."
The podcast is definitely reaffirming my belief that Trader Joe's is one of the best places to work — especially if you get to be that lady who spends the whole year flying around the world and eating food.
Would you listen to a Trader Joe's podcast?