Food

18 Incredible Things You Didn't Know About Trader Joe's

Clear stomachs, full wallets, can't lose.

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1. Trader Joe's doesn't give out just free samples. If you ask a team member, they will open ANYTHING in the store and let you try it — including the wine, depending on state laws.

HERE. FOR. THIS.

2. Triple Ginger Snaps are Trader Joe's most popular product.

Not surprisingly, Speculoos Cookie Butter comes in at second.

4. You may have noticed Trader Joe's has NO internal PA system in its stores like most supermarkets. Instead, it uses bells.

Flickr: wink

One bell means it is time to open a new register. Two bells, and someone has a question at checkout. Three bells, and it's a request for the manager.

8. Trader Joe's has a no-questions-asked return policy.

You can return whatever you want, for any reason. NO. QUESTIONS. ASKED.

10. Legend has it that the original Trader Joe came up with the idea for the tropical-themed store while on vacation in the Caribbean.

He already owned a chain of convenience stores, but was facing stiff competition against 7-Eleven.

11. The Trader Joe's crew wears Hawaiian shirts because they want to take customers on culinary travels.

They view themselves as "traders on the culinary seas."

12. And Trader Joe's treats its crew REALLY well.

Part-time employees can earn $20 an hour with FULL benefits and store managers can earn $130,000 a year. MONEY IN THE BANK!

13. Many Trader Joe's have a toy or stuffed animal hidden somewhere in the store for kids to find.

Once they find the toy, they can bring it to customer service for a prize!

16. Trader Joe's didn't expand outside California until 1993 and didn't open an East Coast store until 1996.

Michael Nagle / Getty Images

And THIS is what it looked like when the first TJ's opened in New York City in 2006.