Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores based in Monrovia, California. By 2015, it was a competitor in “fresh format” grocery stores in the United States. As of October 12, 2017, Trader Joe’s had 474 stores nationwide in 43 states and in Washington, D.C.. The first Trader Joe’s store was opened by founder Joe Coulombe in 1967 in Pasadena, California. Starting in 1979, it was owned by German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht, until his death in 2010, when ownership passed to his heirs. Focusing on private label (products with “Trader Joe’s” name on them) simplified a lot of things, and removed a lot of costs—no more slotting fees, marketing fees, middlemen fees. We passed along those savings to our customers (still do), because the value of Value is invaluable.