The best Trader Joe's store in the Seattle area is the one on 17th & Madison: wide aisles, pleasant staff, relaxed atmosphere, very wide selection of groceries. Wish this one were on Queen Anne instead of on Capitol Hill.
The selection of breakfast cereals is very good, unlike the kiddy stuff found in your typical supermarket. Trays of combo hummus, sushi. Bags of pre-washed collard and mustards greens. Very nice boxes of fresh basil, all-year-round I believe. Beer and wine. Pet food/litter.
In other words, basically everything you could find in a supermarket.
Some sub-standard groceries like the all-purpose Italian salad dressing (plenty of sugar, could be used as a topping for ice cream) but half the price.
The store on Queen Anne is FREQUENTLY out of stock of certain products. In other words, what you found two weeks earlier, you may not find again for a while, which may lead to a certain "hoard" mentality. If you see it once, go for it!
One can never be sure if the national management is going to decide to "cut" a particular product because it is not selling well enough--no advance warning given at all. Quite a disappearing trick..
If you don't see something that you see two weeks ago it may not only be NOT on the shelves, it may have been discontinued completely. Ask at the customer service desk just to be sure!.
(I was crestfallen when their wonderful buttermilk, not Ranch, salad dressing was discontinued).
But the staff is as hardworking and friendly as one could possibly hope for (I don't know how they do it, but they frequently rotate jobs). There is nary a let-up in the aisles, whatever the time of day.
Going to the one on QA is like going to a Friends of the Seattle Public Library semi-annual book sale: you rush into a crush of people and hope to get out as soon as you grab your groceries and get through the line at the cash register.
But in an era of airplane-hangar supermarkets like the Harvard Market QFC. any Trader Joe's is somewhat of a victory for the consumer.