How Trader Joe's Got Its Name

That explains the Hawaiian shirts, too!

Trader Joe's Grocery Store
Photo: ablokhin/Getty Images

Trader Joe's sure has a way of rolling off our tongues (and making our stomachs growl). But who, exactly, is Joe, and how did the popular supermarket get its name?

Let's solve the first mystery. The "Joe" in "Trader Joe's" is named after Joe Coulombe, the founder of the company.

"In 1958, Coulombe launched a small chain of convenience stores in the Greater Los Angeles area called Pronto Market, but after realizing that competition from a burgeoning chain called 7-Eleven would likely drive it into the ground, he decided to introduce a new concept: The Tiki trend was in full-swing, so in 1967 he opened the first Trader Joe's, a play on the name of popular Tiki restaurant chain Trader Vic's," explains Dan Myers on The Daily Meal in an article on the history of Trader Joe's.

From the staffers Hawaiian shirts and nautical decor pieces to the store's flower logo and occasional leis, it's still easy to spot the Tiki inspiration throughout the store.

WATCH: The Sweet Reason Trader Joe's Bananas Are 19 Cents

Now, Trader Joe's is a nationwide empire that we can't imagine our fridges and pantries without. If all this talk of grocery stores has you hungry, here are the best after-school snacks from Trader Joe's to give you some inspiration before your next TJ's run.

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