UNITED STATES—Founder and retail giant of Trader Joe’s, Joseph Coulombe died on Friday, February 28, in his home in Pasadena. Coulombe opened the first Trader Joe’s establishment in Pasadena in 1967. There are over 500 Trader Joe’s stores throughout the United States.
Coulombe was born on June 3, 1930, in San Diego. He attended college at Stanford University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in economics and a Master’s Degree in business. He was also an Air Force veteran.
He sold Trader Joe’s in 1979 to German market retailer Aldi. Coulombe kept his position as the market’s CEO until 1988. He later became a consultant for several large companies before retiring in 2003.
He is survived by his three children, Joe, Charlotte and Madeleine, and his wife Alice Steere of 67 years. He also leaves behind six grandchildren.