Jordan Teske is a Trader Joe’s fan. (“Uber Enthusiast,” in fact — it says so right on her Blogger profile.)
Growing up in Westport near Turkey Hill, she was also well-versed in Martha Stewart-ness. (Like seeing her estate covered in snow in the middle of spring, for a magazine shoot.)
But, Jordan realized recently, in all her life she never saw Martha in Trader Joe’s. What a shame.
“She could have saved a fortune on all of her holiday dinner parties, baking garnishes, household foliage for late-night television recordings, and flowers for garden parties rivaling those at Buckingham Palace,” Jordan writes.
She writes a lot about Trader Joe’s. You could say Jordan is obsessed with the specialty grocery store chain. Since October, she’s blogged about it daily.
She’ll do so every day for the next 9 months, too. “365 Days With Joe” is the 1999 Staples graduate’s paean to her favorite
store thing in the world.
Jordan writes about using Trader Joe’s melted mac and cheese to try to win a guy’s heart. (It didn’t work.) She delves into food history, and her food adventures when she lived overseas.
Mostly though, the blog is filled with recipes. Swiss Cowherd Roasted Raclette Potajoes. Joe’s Caught in a Nordic Blizzard French Toast. St. Joseph’s Gratefully Sweet Garlic Chicken.
It’s mouth-watering. It’s wide-ranging. And it’s limited entirely to ingredients bought at Trader Joe’s.
For Jordan, those ingredients come not from the Post Road store where she first learned to love Joe. She now shops in New York City, at 72nd and Broadway. It’s super-sized (3 levels!). Despite 29 cashiers, it can still take half an hour to check out.
But what really proves Jordan’s Joe-love is that the store is a 3.2-mile roundtrip — through Central Park — from her Upper East Side apartment.
She makes the daily walk partly to burn off calories. And partly because Trader Joe’s prices are half what she’d pay in a neighborhood store.
Saving money is important. Right now Jordan is working on children’s books, so she’s not exactly rolling in (Trader Joe’s phyllo) dough.
In fact, what jump-started her New York obsession with the store was that a family friend — Westporter Nancy Brown — sends her Trader Joe’s gift cards. “Manna from heaven,” Jordan calls them.
She pays the gift cards forward, too. Earlier this fall, at a low point in her life, one of Nancy’s cards appeared. Jordan used some of it to buy food for homeless people.
I wondered whether — with her daily treks to the store — employees didn’t regard her as a bit, well, stalker-ish.
No way. “I see the same people there every morning,” Jordan says. “I’m not the only one.”
The Upper West Side staff is as friendly as those in the Westport store, she adds. People who work at Trader Joe’s are “passionate about the brand.”
Of course, they get paid for their passion.
Jordan earns not a penny for blogging about Trader Joe’s Heart of Darkness Mango Passion Fruit Blend.