When Trader Joe's first opened its Jacksonville Beach store last fall, I was less than impressed because I didn't see enough gluten-free products.
But as time passed, my opinion changed as Trader Joe's seemed to get more and more products. When they introduced their line of gluten-free hamburger buns and bagels in April, I was sold. Their buns and bagels are generally cheaper than any other brands, and the quality is pretty good.
So when I needed to replenish my supply of gluten-free buns, of course I went to Trader Joe's on Monday. And what did I find? Nothing. Not only were there no gluten-free buns available, there wasn't even a shelf tag for them, so I wondered if they still even existed. There were gluten-free bagels on the shelf.
When I got home, I went to Trader Joe's website to see if I could find any information on this, and I found they were still promoting the gluten-free buns. So now I was wondering what happened.
I went back this morning intending to find a manager to talk to about this, but I was surprised and pleased to find a shelf full of gluten-free hamburger buns this time. So I got what I needed.
On the other hand, I noticed there were no gluten-free bagels (and no shelf tag for them) but since I didn't need bagels, I let that slide.
But here's the problem: I live pretty close to Trader Joe's so it was no big deal for me to make two trips this week. But since this is the only Trader Joe's in the Jacksonville area, what about people who make a special trip from a longer distance to buy their gluten-free products? It's quite irritating to not find what you need.
So I'm back to where I was in the beginning, not willing to recommend Trader Joe's as a gluten-free shopping destination. If you're in the neighborhood and want to stop in, you'll probably find something you like. But you can't count on this store.