Joe Coulombe, founder of Trader Joe’s, died after a long illness.
By News Desk
Coulombe opened the first Trader Joe’s in 1967 on Arroyo Parkway and Pico Street in Pasadena. The business grew to more than 500 stores in over 40 states. Born in San Diego, Coulombe graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics, and earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Coulombe’s son, Joe, told the Associated Press that his dad demanded the store sell good value:
My sisters and I remember him bringing home all kinds of things for us to try.
Trader Joe’s was sold to Aldi’s in 1979. Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe’s the second-best supermarket chain in the United States in 2009. In 2020, Glassdoor ranked the company #14 among best places to work in the US.
Joe Coulombe died Friday evening after a long illness. He was 89. The store on Arroyo Parkway remains in operation to this day.
> Watch a video of “Trader Joe” telling his methods of starting and selling items at his stores, and what led to being a “green” store:
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