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What do Fredericksburgers want? Trader Joe's, of course
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BY CATHY JETT
Roger and Dorothy Bourdon toss a cooler in the back of their SUV once a month and head to the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market in Springfield.
They started shopping there several years ago when Roger Bourdon, now a retired University of Mary Washington history professor, needed to switch to organic food for health reasons.
They fell in love with the way the foods tasted, and Bourdon's health improved. The fact that they also could pick up a case of Trader Joe's famous "Two Buck Chuck" wines didn't hurt, either.
"It's a nuisance. It's a pain, but we figure its worth it," Roger Bourdon said of the drive. "I would love to have [these stores] locally."
The Bourdons, who live in Fredericksburg, aren't alone.
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods once again topped the list of new businesses that nearly 60 readers of The Free Lance-Star say they'd like to see open in this area. Trader Joe's came in first--just as it has since the paper's Wish List started in 2003. Whole Foods, also a Wish List perennial, tied for fourth with Barnes & Noble and Macaroni Grill this year.
"I am certain that Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's would flourish here," said Susan Abramowitz of Stafford County. "There's hardly a week that goes by that I don't get on the topic with a neighbor, colleague or friend regarding the lack of such an establishment."
The argument she's heard from friends--that the Fredericksburg area doesn't have the demographics to support the grocery chains--just doesn't wash, she said.
"According to the U.S. Census, the 2004 median income for Stafford was $78,498 which, believe it or not, is higher than Alexandria's $60,715 for the same year," according to Abramowitz. "If our population and demographics can support a Mercedes car dealer and have attracted the attention of Wegmans, then why not Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market?
Alas, although previous Wish Lister Wegmans will open in Celebrate Virginia South by February of 2009, readers will have to continue going out of town for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, as well as many of the other retailers and restaurants that made the 2008 Wish List.