What Waco Still Really Needs


What Waco Still Really Needs

Waco is finally moving up in the world! When we were thinking of moving here almost four years ago, anyone I asked with connections to the city or Baylor didn’t have many suggestions to the question of “Where should we go or eat when in Waco?” The responses I received ranged from “a Vitek’s gut pak” to the Baylor museums or bears. 

A few short years later, we now live here and have witnessed firsthand the insurgence of new life and entrepreneurship in this growing cityscape. Just stroll down Austin Avenue, and count the number of new shops and restaurants, and you’ll run out of fingers to count on! If you scan the downtown horizon, you will still only see a handful of tall buildings: the Alico and Silos being the most distinct. Some already in progress, soon there will be taller hotels and increasing diversity of restaurants and businesses.  Not sure when La Madeline will ever open, but we have recently seen the pop up of PF Changs and Hat Creek Burger.

There is still so much potential – between the available downtown real estate and the developing Uptown stretches of Franklin, Austin Avenue, Washington and Columbus. But when we REALLY hit our pinnacle, we will know it. I feel it in my bones that there will be one tell-tale sign: Trader Joe’s! Do you agree that we need one? I think TJ’s will be the official beacon of hope to bring in more big name retail.

Reasons why I believe this? Trader Joe’s will come when we have the necessary demographics, and I believe we already do:

  1. College kids – quick and easy meal options
  2. Mamas – so many snacks and dinner prep foods, not to mention healthy lunch packing items
  3. Lunchtime workforce – they have delicious lunch-ready salads and sandwiches
  4. Millenials – lots of organic and gluten free choices
  5. Tourists – quick shopping options, a benefit to having a small store 

And just in case some of you readers don’t know what Trader Joe’s has that is so amazing, I’ll tell you a few of my family’s TJ brand favorites:

  • Pretzel bagels

Pretzel Bagels product in packaging

  • Salted Crunchy Peanut Butter 

Peanut Butter - Creamy Unsalted, Creamy Salted, Crunchy Salted, Crunchy Unsalted product in packaging

  • Various cereals (cheaper than store brands)

Honey Nut O’s Cereal product in packaging

  • Salsas (so many yummy varieties)

Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa - product in packaging

  • Seasonal Goodies – pumpkin everything in fall and peppermint everything in winter

Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies - product in packaging

  • Orange Chicken (in the freezer section)
  • Asparagus Risotto (frozen)

They also have a great beer and wine selection, great plants/flowers, and yummy treats of all the sugary variety! For Mamas with littles, each store has its theme animal that they hide a stuffed version of daily in a different place. When the kids tell the cashier, they get a reward (usually a lollipop or sticker)! It gives kids something to do while you’re shopping and a goal to be good until you’re done!

So who’s with me to keep petitioning Trader Joe’s to come to Waco – anywhere walking distance to downtown and the burgeoning riverwalk would be a great success! This link to their webpage is where to recommend/beg them to come! 

While we’re on the subject of dreaming big, let’s throw in that a Costco would be great too! Maybe a HomeGoods? And why not shoot for the moon and get a Nordstrom Rack?

*all images borrowed from the Trader Joe’s website


  1. While we are dreaming could we get a Whole Foods or Central Market? I am assuming this is a place for Waco wishes 🙂

  2. Yes to all of these suggestions! I’ve been pining for Trader Joe’s for a long time now since everyone is singing it’s praises!

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