December 11, 2014

Beautiful Acts of Kindness: Flowers from Trader Joes

Brighten your week for WAY cheap! 
I stumbled across this story on Facebook this morning and was touched by the struggles of a mom to handle her mid-tantrum autistic toddler with a baby strapped across her chest at Trader Joe's. It's definitely worth reading because this family is AMAZING!

The Trader Joe's employee recognized the struggles of  this family and took the time to hand her a bouquet of flowers and offer a few kind words. So very touching.

It brought back my own memories of standing in the checkout lane at Trader Joe's with a few groceries and a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my now husband's mom, who was in the hospital. The chatty cashier asked who the lucky recipient was and I told her about Jeanette and her battle with cancer that was coming to an end. She put a sticker on the outside wrapper of the bouquet and said that the flowers were free. A small gift from Trader Joe's to help us and help brighten her day.

I had completely forgotten about that day until I read about the Casper family. I started wondering if Trader Joe's has a policy about giving away flowers? Or if they just have a multitude of really fantastic people that work there... I'm pretty sure the latter is true, but is there a flower policy?

Hitting Google brought up a bunch of stories. There's a blog called The Happy Flower Day Project where apparently Trader Joe's is a frequent donor of day old flowers. I love the pics of all of the happy senior citizens with their bouquets!

Then there's this pic on Tumblr with the note "Did you know that if it's your birthday and you're at Trader Joe's, you get free flowers? Now you do! Happy Birthday to me!"

I sent a message to a neighbor who happens to be an employee at TJ's and asked her if there is a policy in place, but I haven't heard back from her yet. 

Meanwhile, there are SO many more stories! There's a post on from a woman who was visiting TJ's for the first time. She was in the area for a consult for her thyroid cancer and after she paid for her groceries the cashier chased her down with a free bouquet. 

There's this post on Flickr from a woman who received free birthday flowers from her TJ's cashier.

Then there's this post on reddit.
"The lady at my N. Austin Trader Joe's asked me how my weekend was...when I told her that honestly it was crappy because our car broke down (pretty badly), she stuck a little bouquet of flowers into our cart as we were walking out, and said 'I'm sorry about your car...I hope your week gets better!'."
When you scroll down a bit on the same thread, someone else says:
"I had a very similar experience on Saturday. I checked out right after a friend of mine, and the girl checking me out noticed that I only had chocolates and wine compared to my friend who just bought fruits and veggies. When I told her not to worry, that the chocolates and wine were for a girl, she ran over and gave me a free bouquet of flowers." 
And a bit further down:
"Yesterday my car broke down in the Trader Joe's parking lot off of Bee Caves and as it was being towed away, an employee brought me out a bouquet of flowers. I wonder if it's just a coincidence or part of a wonderful policy?"

So I'm not the only one who has gotten wind of their conspiracy to spread joy!

On Chowhound...
"3 years ago, I was walking through the La Jolla Store, and looking at Chianti and put it in my cart and a nice young man (who worked there) walked up, said he saw me looking at the Chianti and that this other one, which was a dollar more, tasted better. I said I was making an Italian meal, and since it was my birthday, I could afford the extra dollar.
I continued my shopping and he brought me a small bouquet from the flower section, told me to tell the cashier that it was a gift from Eric and that it was paid for. I went to pay and told the cashier and she wished me a happy birthday also.
It was so unexpected. and so nice. I love TJs"

AND even though there's no mention of free flowers, I just had to share this one from Babble because it's hilarious.
"Listen up Trader Joe’s. You’re on my list. And don’t bother giving me those puppy dog eyes either; the ones that say “who me? I’m just trying to wuv you! Won’t you give me a scratch behind my ears and sample some free Belgian waffles with soy ice cream on top plus a Nyquil sized cup of our special Winter Blend coffee? No, I don’t mind if I do sample your wares. But, can’t you just once give me something to bitch about? 
How much are they paying you there to act so sincere? Why do you have to make my f-ing day by asking if you can help me find anything and MEANING IT? I like to complain, don’t you get it, people? When I walk through the aisles, why the smiles? Are you trying to make my shopping experience enjoyable? Why must everything be so tasty and inexpensive that I want to punch your purchasing department in the face for being so great? Is that what they want? A black eye? You know you’re simply asking for one by selling your produce so cheap. Tasty green grapes for 99 cents a pound? Are you smoking crack?"
There's more, so you might actually want to click through to read the whole thing. Just in case the stories of free flowers were making you a little too sappy for the day.

Completely unrelated: I made my wedding bouquet and Dave's boutonniere from a few bunches of flowers that I purchased at Trader Joe's and I loved the way it turned out!

And yes - according to my neighbor it IS as I suspected. Trader Joe's employees are allowed to give free flowers to brighten someone's day. To quote her...
"We can't go too crazy, but if a moment calls for it..." (smiley face emoji)
What a fabulous policy! They have really touched a lot of lives with this small act of kindness. It makes me love shopping at TJ's even more. Now if only they'd bring back the Hekla pastries. Please? Pretty please? Don't make me wait until Easter!


  1. I got flowers yesterday for free after the cashier noticed I was pregnant and we talked about it being my first, that its a girl and what I was naming her. I was in total shock. It was so nice! They said congratulations and handed me the pink flowers.

    1. Awww... That's awesome! Congratulations!