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Trader Joe is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores that began in Pasadena, California and are now peppered across the United States. The first store, then called Pronto Markets, opened in 1958. In 1967 as the business expanded, founder Joe Coulombe changed the name to Trader Joe’s and began the trademark Hawaiian themed decor, complete with staff all wearing Hawaiian shirts. The stores specialize in private label food and grocery items, many of them certified organic and sustainable. Foods are labeled in whimsical accordance to the ethnicity of the products, i.e. “Trader Giotto’s” for Italian, “Trader José’s” for Mexican, “Trader Ming’s” for Chinese, etc. This direct supply method allows them to pass savings onto customers by keeping costs low. If an item doesn’t sell well, it is (often to the consternation of some customers) discontinued. A maritime bell is used as a means of communication (one bell = assistance at the register, two bells = a general call for assistance, three bells = call for any manager to assist a customer) between staffers, who are trained in providing top-notch customer service and engaging in conversation in the check-out line. 
Many of the stores feature their own wine shops, which are a mix of private label and standard brands specializing in California and New World wines. One of the most successful wines to be sold at Trader Joe’s is Charles Shaw, the price of which starts at $1.99, famously known as “Two Buck Chuck.” 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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