Like the reason they always seem to run out of your favorite things.

By Meghan Overdeep
March 28, 2019
Karen Desjardin/Getty Images

Ah, Trader Joe’s, everybody’s favorite quirky, tropical-print mecca of affordable deliciousness.

At this universally beloved grocery store, it’s not just the Mandarin Orange Chicken and Everything Bagel Spice Mix that keeps fans coming back. It’s the fact that somehow, with nearly 500 locations nationwide, employees at every Trader Joe’s store just can’t seem to stop smiling—even when fights break out over the Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels.

What’s that about? Are they all really that happy?

Well, according to one Trader Joe’s employee, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread, the New York City-based user who goes by the name semblanceofafeeling revealed that it’s a combination of things: excellent health insurance and above-average pay combined with a strong sense of community that feels a lot like a family.

“I know that sounds sappy and fake, but I swear on my grandfather’s grave that I have met some of the most amazing, caring people at Trader Joe’s in my time there,” semblanceofafeeling wrote.  “I love that I can make a living, but I don’t know if I would stay if I was miserable. My coworkers make it a beautiful place to work. I’ve met some of my closest friends in the Company, and we go out every week. It’s nice to know someone always has your back.”

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The Redditor also discussed Trader Joe’s extreme consciousness of food waste and how the stores order new products based on a system called “truck to shelf.” Basically, what you see on the shelves is what could fit in the truck from the warehouse. If that means they run out of certain things, so be it. semblanceofafeeling revealed that the priority is limiting waste.

“Sometimes we end up with too little. But for us, that’s better, because it’s less waste,” the mystery employee explained. “It helps keep prices down.”