It makes sense, right? I'm a food writer, and I spend an inordinate amount of time at my local Trader Joe's - it's only a few blocks away and, when my kids are restless or I just need one final ingredient for my dinner, I'll run over there with the boys in the stroller. I have my camera with me everywhere I go, and I've been known to snap a photo or two.
It hadn't occurred to me to be secretive until the whole dust-up over DC Foodie's camera phone pictures of his meal, but I suppose I have been. Because on Wednesday I was shopping for ingredients for the gardiane (neither Trader Joe's nor New Seasons had beef stew meat, btw), and as usual I had my camera. I decided to take a few photos of the organic cereal, thinking how much I could have used that as an illustration for my post. I continued snapping a few photos here and there, and pulled out my camera at the checkstand. The checker looked panicked.
"What are you taking pictures of?" she asked, holding her hand up like I was the paparazzi and she was J. Lo.
"What I'm buying?" I said, nervously.
"Because we aren't supposed to allow cameras in here! And no, I don't know why," she said.
I can think of a couple of reasons... maybe, Trader Joe's doesn't want the competition recording their processes, or prices, or maybe their contracts with suppliers (who often remain anonymous for fear of diluting their more expensive brands available elsewhere) preclude photographs. Who knows.
I can only imagine, though, in this age of camera phones and tiny digital cameras and the constant madhouse feel of Trader Joe's, they have a hard time enforcing their policy. Have you taken photos in TJs? And have you been asked (in the nicest possible way) to cease and desist?