Carl’s Fine Films’ Loveletter to Trader Joe’s

Picture 1.jpgI don’t entirely follow the logic of this, but after attempting to shoot a photo of one of Trader Joe’s ubiquitous hand-chalked signs and being shooed off by a manager, director Carl Willat of Carl’s Fine Films was inspired to shoot this charming short “commercial” in praise of all the things you never realized you loved about TJ’s.

Of course, Willat’s store is in SF, but it’s a testament to the quirky nature that the company carefully cultivates that most experienced TJ’s shoppers will relate intimately with Willat’s paean regardless of what location they frequent. Especially the part about tiny parking lots (I’m looking at you, 3rd and La Brea). And while they may be busy rolling out wasabi cashews and $2 wine in all kinds of new locales, let’s not forget that TJ’s started life as an LA-based convenience store chain called Pronto Markets. In fact, the first store to open under the name “Trader Joe’s” is still in operation on Pasadena’s Arroyo Parkway!

7 Replies to “Carl’s Fine Films’ Loveletter to Trader Joe’s”

  1. Nice. In fact, I was just in that original Trader Joe’s on Arroyo Parkway, having nearly that same experience. I was in a TJ’s in Chicago a couple of years ago and took note that they really do an expert job cultivating that quirky, casual experience. Although I was half-way across the country, I could’ve been in any TJ’s in L.A. Well, except for the fact that their parking lot was HUGE!

  2. Just remember…their headquarters are in my little corner of the city. My mayor and others gave perks galore to add them to our local business community. Monrovia…well we have to have something positive to brag about between rounds of gun fire.

  3. Fine film Carl! I’m eating their walnuts as I type.

    At the Traders near me the employees have sweatshirts that read “I survived the Encino parking lot”!
    I’ve started walking to mine, it’s a hike, but I’m always happy by the time I see the traffic backed up.

    And I bring a canvas tote; they have a monthly drawing for groceries if you do!

  4. Fraz, I thought they were headquartered in Monrovia, but I didn’t see anything about it in the Wikipedia profile I linked to or on their official site. Thanks for confirming.

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