Trader Joe’s in Kits?


Did the title make your heart skip a beat? Warning: This blog post is based on rumour. That being said, here’s what we’ve heard. Our dirt source is OpenFile.

According to OpenFile, a man named Mike Hallatt works with a group of “secret shoppers” to make border crossings and return with Trader Joe’s merchandise. He stocks the merchandise in a Kits shop (address undisclosed) disguised as a Romanian Bakery. Shoppers come for frivolities like choc covered cherries and essentials like canned tomatoes. They also place product requests for his next haul.

You do know about Trader Joe’s, right? It’s the American mecca of upscale yet budget-friendly organic products—the kind that are more expensive over at Whole Foods.

Hallatt tells the OpenFile reporter that he isn’t sure this project is sustainable or the best use of his time. He also isn’t sure why Canadian groceries are so expensive.

Update from reader comments: “Trader Joe’s” goes by “Transylvania Trading.” Check out the Yelp reviews here.

Do you cross the border to grocery shop? Have you been to the Trader Joe’s depot disguised  as a Romanian Bakery in Kits? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

Last modified: January 26, 2012

11 Responses to " Trader Joe’s in Kits? "

  1. Anna says:

    I’ve been there several times and I like the shop. Not sure why anyone would have a problem with this. They buy the items legitimately and sell them with a slight mark up (of course). Not sure if this will cut back on the number of Vancouverites cross border shopping at Trader Joes as the shop is small and doesn’t sell all of the frozen or even refrigerated items I like. But for picking up a box of your favourite cereal or snack, it’s great! Certainly no more expensive than Whole Foods or places like that. I wish them well. The store is a nice addition to a boring(ish) part of Kits.

  2. Taraneh says:

    Thanks for backing this up. We don’t know the address. Will you share?

  3. Anna says:

    Well, it’s not a secret if it’s on the Internet right?

  4. Taraneh says:

    Perfect. OpenFile kept it secret for some reason.

  5. Anna says:

    I don’t feel like it was much of a secret. Anyone that googles “trader joes kitsilano” will find it. : )
    But as I said, I fully support the store. If anything, this should encourage Trader Joes to open its first Canadian store here in Vancouver since there is obviously a market for it! If not, let the little store in kits satisfy the people who want it.

  6. runDRD says:

    the beginning of the end.

  7. Revealed says:

    3474 West Broadway (at Collingwood)
    Vancouver, BC V6R 2B3

  8. Trish says:

    I checked it out over the weekend – it’s a small shop, but they have an interesting collection of products. Bought some chocolate-covered edamame!

  9. cwid says:

    One of the best things to happen in our stretch of Broadway. Very friendly owner. Small collection but has stuff that are good to have. I hope this store sticks around this place for many, many years.

  10. janelle says:

    This used to be my favorite bakery in the whole city! It then moved and became Beyond Bread at Alma/W 4th but the bread was different. Last month it also closed.

  11. Bill Barilko says:

    TJ’s is so decade 2000.

    re: the Rumanian Bakery-it’s reopening Feb 1st according to the sign on the door.