Reflecting on History of Trader Joe’s

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THROWBACK THURSDAY – The above photo, proudly displaying his cupped hands filled with coffee beans is Doug Rauch. He was a coffee buyer for Trader Joe’s Markets in South Pasadena in the 1980s. Today the local market frequently offers free samples of coffee to enjoy while you shop. Originally called Pronto Markets in 1958 the original “Trader Joe” was its founder Joe Coulombe. He changed the business model of the Pronto Markets chain to reflect a South Seas atmosphere specializing in a variety of high quality hard-to-find products. And for the next 30 years, Trader Joe’s corporate offices were located in South Pasadena. During our city’s centennial celebration in 1988, Trader Joe’s also celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Fearless Flyer, a newsletter whose cartoons and puns helped advertise the market’s many specialty goods.

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