A couple of years back I did a story on a new local farmer's market, and, in interviewing the founder, learned something. To his way of thinking, a Trader Joe's -- despite its cool reputation among the hipster clan -- was as much of a rival as a Safeway.
Turns out that for a local community, his antipathy is based in fact. A Trader Joe's, which, despite its folksy, Hawaiian shirt look, is a part of a multinational conglomerate, is no better for the local economy than an other big corporation, whereas a small local store is demonstrably better. To wit:
h/p: Andrew Sullivan