Trader Joe’s,  based in Monrovia, California, is a chain of specialty grocery stores named after its founder, Joe Coulombe, who began it in 1958 and first operated under its current name in 1967. Coulombe began the store as convenience store using Pronto Markets brand. The current motif of the chain of the South Seas was developed when he was on holiday in the Caribbean. In 1979, Theo Albrecht took over Trader Joes through a family trust, together with his brother and fellow German businessman Aldi Nord.

Rankings and Awards

The supermarket chain has made its way in various rankings and awards. For three consecutive years, from 2008 to 2010, the chain made it to Ethisphere Magazine’s  “most ethical companies” list. Fortune also gave an estimate of the stores sales per square foot to be $1,750, which was double that of Whole Foods Market, one of its competitors. In 2009, Consumer Reports placed the store as the 2nd Best Supermarket Chain in the country. They came in second after Wegmans. It also ranked 2nd in customer care in the same year after survey results by MSN Money in its Customer Service Hall of Fame third annual report.

Private Labels

Some of the private labels include; Trader Giotto’s for Italian food, Trader Jose’s for Mexican food, Trader Joe’s for Middle Eastern food, Trader Ming’s for Chinese food, Trader Darwin for health supplements and vitamins, Joe’s Kids for children’s food, among others. The chain is also known for paying above-union wages.

Employees: over 10,000

Number of locations: 367 stores.

Headquarters: Monrovia, California.