Trader Joe's Company History Timeline

(467 Jobs)

In 1958, Coulombe launched a small chain of convenience stores in the greater Los Angeles area called Pronto Market, but after realizing that competition from a burgeoning chain called 7-Eleven would likely drive it into the ground, he decided to introduce a new concept.


From the time he opened his first store in Pasadena, Calif., in 1967 until his death Feb.

The first Trader Joe's opened in Pasadena in 1967.

The tiki trend was in full swing, so in 1967 he opened the first Trader Joe’s, a play on the name of popular tiki restaurant chain Trader Vic’s.


After selling Trader Joe’s to German grocery retailer Aldi in 1979, Mr.

In 1979, Coulombe cashed out and sold the company to German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht, who also owned the German supermarket chain Aldi Nord; Trader Joe's is still owned by his heirs today.


Coulombe remained its chief executive until 1988, when he left to launch a second career as what he called a “temp,” coming in as interim CEO or consultant for several large companies in transition.


In 2002, they introduced one of their most notorious products: a $1.99 bottle of wine, produced by Charles Shaw, that was actually decent.

Company Founded
Monrovia, CA
Company Headquarter
Joe Coulombe
Company Founders

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