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Pomona has Trader Joe's envy (join the club)

April 4, 2008 |  1:21 pm

Traderjoes You can keep your cute tote bag, Trader Joe's. The Goddess of Pomona would prefer an entire store. The blogger from the eastern edge of Los Angeles County bemoans the fact that the popular specialty grocery chain has once again skipped over her town and will soon open stores in neighboring Claremont and Chino Hills.

That hurts. Among the upwardly mobile and status-conscious classes, nothing says your grubby inner-city neighborhood or freshly minted tract has arrived like the opening of a Trader Joe's. But Pomona is far from the first city to have Trader Joe's envy. A message board on the Trader Joe's Fan website is filled with pleas like "Please come to Salt Lake City!!!!" and "Save us in Norfolk, MA!!"

The Monrovia-based chain, with more than 300 stores nationwide, is continuously being wooed by individual residents and teams of economic development executives looking to land a local outlet of Ginger Joe Joes and Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce.

Even Pomona's upscale neighbor, Claremont, had a tough time getting the chain to finally come to the college town. In the early 1990s, Claremont's mayor even took the company's then chairman to dinner. No deal.  Instead, Trader Joe's opened up in neighboring Upland.

So, the Goddess of Pomona is resigned to the fact that it will be a long time before she will be able to pick up a pack of Fat Weasel Ale in her own town. At which point, it might be too late.

"One day our Joe will come, but by then, I may not even want him."

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times