If you’re a fan of Trader Joe’s, I totally get why you’re looking up if there is a Trader Joe’s in the UK or London. After all, this food store in America is much more than just a food store to people – it’s a mecca, a lifestyle, a place that makes them happy, and if that’s you then I say – awesome! Keep on with your Trader Joe’s loving self.
Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!
And what’s not to love? With its unusual store locations, organic food selection and all-around good branding, Trader Joe’s is a popular American grocery store that has aquired its own following of fans, much like Publix in Florida (check out if there’s a Publix in the UK as well).
So, here we go, the answer to the question of…
“Is there a Trader Joe’s in the UK or England or London?”
is no. There is no Trader Joe’s in the UK, London, or England, but there are grocery stores and there are some places that may help satisfy some of your Trader Joe’s cravings, but we’ll get into those in a minute.
Before we get too far into talking about Trader Joe’s, I just want to bring your attention to some awesome resources I’ve put together for people who are either traveling to the UK or living here for a period of time.
It takes everything you think you know about the UK and either explains it or shows you what you’re really getting yourself into (major small talk and frequent tea breaks, woo!) It literally changed how I felt and lived in the UK and made me understand what was going on around me so much more. Yay for not being confused as to why everyone is saying sorry a lot.
Also, I’ve got some free resources on things I’ve found important in my expat life here, including how to get over culture shock (and why it’s okay that you feel it), the amazing story of how I learned to drive in the UK and spent a lot of time running into bushes, and more practical information on figuring out UK money and surviving the London Underground.
- Culture Shock: The Things We Don’t Talk About
- An American Girl’s Guide to Surviving the London Underground
- Understanding UK Money: Pence, Not Cents!
- Driving in England as an American: An Apology to UK Drivers
Right, now that you’re all ready for your trip to the UK, let’s move on to Trader Joe’s!
History of Trader Joe’s
Opened in 1967 by Joe Coulombe, Trader Joe’s began its life as a south seas inspired grocery store due to Joe’s trip to the Caribbean.
There, he realized Americans were traveling more often to places around the world and developing tastes for food and drinks that they had a hard time getting back home.
The first Trader Joe’s was in Pasadena, California and it’s still in operation to this day. In 1979, Trader Joe’s was purchased by the owner of Aldi, Theo Albrecht, and it underwent decades of expansion.
It really boomed in the 2000s, and the number of locations in America grew by 5 times between 1990 and 2001. Today, Trader Joe’s has over 450 stores across the US and in 43 States.
The concept behind Trader Joe’s isn’t just that it’s a grocery store, but that it is a grocery story carrying lots of organic products, many of its own branded products, and environmentally friendly products.
It’s the “hipster” place to shop, but also it’s just a great option for people who want something a little different. Some products are exclusive to certain regions, and Trader Joe’s is very open to feedback about its products so it can discontinue less popular ones to introduce more.
The other selling point is that prices are reasonable and not crazy expensive like one might expect of an organic food shop.
Unfortunately for UK residents and those traveling to the UK, there’s no Trader Joe’s in the UK and the company hasn’t shown signs of reaching across the pond.
For now, you’ll have to settle with writing to Trader Joe’s and asking them to come to the UK, otherwise you can check out some of the alternatives to Trader Joe’s below.
Equivalent to Trader Joe’s in the UK
The sad part for Trader Joe’s fans is that there is no real equivalent to Trader Joe’s in the UK. Nothing that’s like, almost exactly the same, like how there’s a TJMaxx in the UK with just one letter changed.
Of course there are grocery stores, but they are more comparable to other American brands like Publix, Safeway and Kroger. Instead, I’ve put together a couple of stores that share some similar characteristics to Trader Joe’s in the UK, even if they aren’t all the way comparable.
If you’re interested in unique foods and organic options, you should know that there is a Whole Foods in the UK and London and you can find many American style options there as well as environmentally friendly products.
The difference, though, is that Whole Foods is much more expensive than Trader Joe’s, so you’ll need to make sure your wallet’s a bit fuller!
For a store that has many of its own brand names and has a bit of a cult-following, try Lidl. This grocery store thrives off of its cheap prices and own-brand products, similar to how Trader Joe’s tries to keep its food reasonably priced for customers.
Lidl isn’t particularly known for its organic options or anything specialty like Trader Joe’s is, but you will get Lidl branded products for cheaper than other grocery stores and that’s something to celebrate at least.
Coming to London Soon?
Hey! Since you’re here I’m assuming you’re intent on visiting this amazing city soon! A great way to really immerse yourself in UK culture is see the sights with the help of a guided tour. I’ve picked out a few highly recommended ones below!
Tower of London Tour with Crown Jewels: One of the best things about having a Royal family is imagining you’ll be a part of it one day… and what better way than to imagine yourself in their jewels! Or at least stare dumbfoundedly. Either way, this tour is a sure fire way to get dazzled by London.
Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise: London is built around the River Thames, and one could even say it’s the most important part of the whole city! As such there’s no better, or relaxing for that matter, way to see the sights than from the view of the river itself! This tour takes you around the city and shows why all Londoners are really still rugged sea voyagers at heart, if maybe just a little more posh now.
Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Londoners would have you fooled, but there’s more to this beautiful nation than just what remains within the confines of London… shocker I know!! And if picturesque beauty is what you’re looking for I really recommend checking out the quaint and historical towns that scatter the outskirts. If nothing else, this tour will give you a break from commuting by the tube, and we all need that eventually!