In the back of the book the author, Chih-Yuan Chen talks about traditional Chinese stores and convenience stores.
Although it is a stretch...and even though Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are both very convenient in many ways... I thought I'd share these lines from the author since the feelings of our experiences are so similar (for me, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Farmer's Markets feel like the traditional stores the author writes about). It is as much about the people and the atmosphere as it is filling a need to buy food for your family.
From the author:
"Today when I looked out my window I saw a little girl carrying a bag of eggs. She was coming out of a traditional store. There are modern convenience stores nearby, but...there are still many traditional stores, quietly doing business...
When I was little I would hear my mother call from the kitchen, asking me to buy salt, soy sauce, or eggs from the traditional store. I would always see neighbors and friends in the store. It was a place that was much more than a shop for buying and selling.
It is nice to see that even though times have changed there are some things that remain the same."