• There is a real “Joe” behind the name Trader Joe’s.
  • In a podcast where Trader Joe’s employees reveal company secrets, Marketing Director Tara Miller and Vice President of Marketing Product Matt Sloan explain the story behind the first Trader Joe’s store.
  • Here’s the story of Joe Coulombe, the actual “Joe” behind Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s has been a household name for years, and it turns out there is a real “Joe” behind the beloved grocery chain.

In 1958, Joe Coulombe took over a small chain of convenience stores in the Los Angeles area called Pronto Markets. As Trader Joe’s Vice President of Marketing Product Matt Sloan put it in a podcast about the grocery chain, Pronto Markets was the 7-Eleven of its day. The stores sold everything from cosmetics to ammunition, according to…