Trader Joe's plays a special role in our lives here at Food52. Not just because we love the prices, the wines, and of course all of the snacks. (Actually, we love the snacks so much that our editor keeps a bag of them under her desk for meetings and birthday celebrations.)
But like any good grocery store, Trader Joe's is also a one-stop shop for the other useful things we need at home and in our lives, like soaps and shampoos and flowers. (Is there anything better than being greeted at the front by all those flowers?) I asked the team for their personal non-food favorites and, as expected, got a slew of passionate responses.
Here's what they had to say:
"I love the French Liquid Soap. It smells amazing without being a gazillion dollars." —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor
"Their cut flowers are always at great prices! I try to buy some eucalyptus and greenery to liven up my apartment every few weeks." —Annalee Leggett, strategy and finance manager
"I swear by their Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil. It works wonders and is still very gentle. One more for you: the Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm! Awesome for hands, lips, even taming wild hat hair!" —Nicole Murray, customer care
"I use their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo—was recommended by my dermatologist!" —Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO
"+1 for Tea Tree Oil Shampoo! I also picked up their Blueberry and Acai facial scrub recently. It's exfoliating but still pretty smooth and smells great!" —Grace Montgomery, director of brand strategy
"Greeting cards. They're so affordable and cute for every occasion. I almost always grab a card when I'm in line then I have a nice stockpile to chose from when something comes up!" —Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator
"Their candles! Super cheap way to treat yourself, and they smell great but don't make you feel like you're in a Yankee Candle." —Maggie Rouen, customer care
"They're ahead of the game on Dr. Bronner's." —Peter Romero, senior account executive
"I really like their Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash, too. Oh, and all of their paper products: TP, table napkins, and paper towels are so cheap, but thankfully don’t feel like sand paper." —Megan Güntaş, digital designer
"I'm all about the vegetable based pop-up sponges (they come in a pack of 12 and as sponges go, are really lovely). Also their toothbrushes come in cute colors (my only stipulation for good dental care)." —Maggie Slover, copywriter
"I love their Lavender Salt Scrub. It's perfect for dry elbows and heels, and makes my shower smell like a garden (but like, not in a bad way)." —Emma Laperruque, food writer and recipe developer
"It's that time of year where I basically turn into a prune, so I've been stocking up on their Ultra Moisturizing Hand Creams for handy hydration. Bonus, the seasonal ginger scent makes me feel relaxed, too." —Katie Macdonald, assistant editor
What's your favorite non-food product at Trader Joe's? Let us know in the comments below.
Eric Kim is a Senior Editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the Digital Manager at Food Network, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.