Joe Coulombe, founder of the popular Trader Joe’s grocery chain that brought affordable wine and unusual food to millions of Americans, has died at 89.
In a statement, the company said Coulombe passed away Friday in Pasadena, California. “Joe was an extraordinarily smart and accomplished entrepreneur who built a company that introduced something welcomingly different in the grocery retail space,” the statement said.
Trader Joe’s helped change the way Americans shop for groceries, introducing markets stocked with staples and novel food items from private labels, with most packages carrying the Trader Joe’s moniker. Some items became so popular they earned their own nickname, like “Two-Buck Chuck,” the Charles Shaw brand of wine that sells for less than $3.