RICHMOND, Va. — In a recent poll, Richmonders chose supermarket Trader Joe’s as the only good thing about the Short Pump area.
“We were asking residents about their ten favorite things in Short Pump, so that we could use their answers in an upcoming campaign,” said Robert Windergren, Research Director of the River City Tourism Council. “When we got the results back, every single one of them listed Trader Joe’s as numbers one through ten. It’s unprecedented to say the least.”
Notably absent from the list were retail shopping centers Short Pump Town Center and West Broad Village. Even other grocery stores, such as Wegmans and Whole Foods, failed to make the list. Windergren was somewhat surprised by the outcome.
“I mean, look at all the hubbub around Wegmans coming to Richmond,” Windergren noted. “You’d have thought they were the Beatles or something. It goes to show the power of quality groceries at reasonable prices.”
Founded in the greater Los Angeles area in 1967, Trader Joe’s made its Richmond debut on West Broad Street in 2008. With their Tiki culture motif and unique approach to natural and organic food, it has been a hit with many Richmond residents. They can also count Windergren as a fan.
“I live in Chesterfield, but I shop there whenever I get the chance. Not only are the prices good, but I really enjoy the whole vibe they’ve got going on. The music is great, and I like that they let you try any item there before you buy it. Plus the staff is really cool. They’re really hip, but not too snobbish. I could really see all of us going out for a night of beer and bowling.”
With the surprising interest in Trader Joe’s, the River City Tourism Council is currently looking for ways to capitalize on their findings. Ideas include changing the name of Short Pump to Tradersburg, as well as making Trader Joe the honorary “mayor” of Short Pump. Whatever they decide, Windergren sees one opportunity that should not wait: “Beer and bowling. First round’s on me.”