There is almost nothing in San Francisco that is more important than being able to buy your food at Trader Joe’s. There is something about Hawaiian shirts, and checkout lines named after their local streets that make San Franciscans feel like every time is the first time they ever fell in love with Trader Joe’s, or held the Trader’s hand, or lost their virginity to a Trader Joe’s pita chip. If San Franciscans love Trader Joe’s so much why don’t they just marry it? Well, that’s what Proposition 9 is about, and it’ll be on the ballot next year.

Not shopping at Trader Joe’s is pretty much unacceptable to San Franciscans, and any mention of Safeway, will probably be met by the San Franciscan you’re talking to actually having to excuse themselves to go vomit.

If companies sponsored lives and not just athletic careers, San Franciscans would hope to be sponsored by Trader Joe’s, and from the way they’re walking around eating those mini mushroom turnovers, many already live their lives like they’re being paid to do it by Trader Joe’s.

Getting in and out of TJ’s in anything under 6 hours is pretty much impossible, but that certainly doesn’t stop San Franciscans from acting like it’s a Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes you just need a box of those delicious little chocolate Cat Cookies, and who but the Trader is going to give them to you? Not anyone at Safeway. that’s for sure.

Even if they had Cat Cookies at Safeway it’s such a literalist grocery store that they would probably be made out of a mixture of feral cat meat and used Swiffer sheets. In fact, the only time San Franciscans will venture into a Safeway is when they are very drunk, feeling pretty damn low, and looking for some cat.

Another reason San Franciscans like the Trader’s is because they are often too busy to put any real time into food preparation, and therefore love the variety of pre-sliced vegetables. Imagine not having to dice your own onions.

In San Francisco they don’t have to imagine it. San Franciscans’ reality is the stuff of other people’s dreams, if those dreams consist of spending hours in a grocery store pondering the purchase of a pre-made guacamole kit.

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  • Seven

    “In fact, the only time San Franciscans will venture into a Safeway is when they are very drunk, feeling pretty damn low, and looking for some cat.” — Must disagree with your generalization. My local Safeway is always packed. Even at 7am. Even at 11pm.

  • Leanna Yip

    Having worked at two different TJ’s in Bay Area burbs, I was and still am constantly surprised at the amount of food that caters to super lazy people. But the pre-sliced veggies are great for parties when you have a nosy cat hanging around the apartment.

  • LibertyHiller

    I have to agree with you. I use the Safeway at Church and Market most frequently, but go to the Potrero and Mission/30th stores often enough to realize that all of them are packed, at any hour of the day.

    I rarely go to the closest Trader Joe’s (9th/Bryant) because it’s inconvenient for anyone who doesn’t own a car. Even when I’m driving, I refuse to shop there for perishables, because I’ve had too many of baked goods and berries from TJ’s go moldy after two or three days.

    But Trader Joe’s is classically San Francisco in some ways: you spend more money than you planned to, on things you don’t need which won’t last, while feeling terribly smug about the whole experience.