Joe Coulombe

  • Born: June 3, 1930
  • Died: February 28, 2020
  • Location:


Joe Coulombe

Founder of Trader Joe's

Joe Coulombe was the founder of Trader Joe's, the budget-conscious grocery store chain that focuses on unusual prepared foods, gourmet goods, and produce. For full obituary and coverage from, click here.

Condolence & Memory Journal


I just found out about Joe's passing. My condolences are sent to his family. He will be remembered by millions of people throughout the United States. My thoughts and prayers for his remaining family members and friends are with you all.

Posted by linda dillon - Granbury, TX - acquaintance   August 31, 2020


Posted by VALENDA NEWELL - INDIANAPOLIS, IN   April 16, 2020

The family has my condolences for what seemed like a fantastic humane being. God be vwith you.

Posted by - AL   April 12, 2020

Mr Coulombe was a man who cared about his employees and demonstrated it. My condolences to the family for your loss. God be with you.

Posted by HV    April 12, 2020

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

Posted by A friend   March 22, 2020

The brightest star in the Coulombe family. What a loss, but, on the other hand, what a great life lived to the hilt!
He sent be $80.00 many years ago, so that I would continue to write the "Coulombe Family of North America" book I worked on for many years. He and his son bought books. My sincere best wishes. He was a 7th cousin to me. I am proud to have him as a relative.

Posted by Paul Coulombe - Gorham, NH - family   March 19, 2020

Nice to see the face of the person who found Trader Joe, a very popular place for my family,my condolences goes out to the family, he will be remembered may you be comforted by the God of all comfort in this difficult times

Posted by New York    March 17, 2020

My condolences to the family. I love Trader Joe's, it's the kind of store, you can go into and find all sights of delicious items. It's good to know who the founder is.

Posted by A friend   March 11, 2020

Sincerest Condolences to the Coulombe Family and friends , Trader Joes is an Icon of California , thank you for such a great contribution to community and to the people of California

Posted by Michael Crismani - LA, CA - Friend   March 10, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Coulombe family and business family/friends. I am a frequent shopper at Trader Joe's. May God and fond memories provide comfort, peace, and endurance to the family, today, tomorrow, and always.

Posted by A friend   March 09, 2020

created a lot of jobs that raised a awful lot of families . a good man

Posted by mick scanlan - dublin, IL - friend   March 09, 2020


Joe graduated one year ahead of me from San Diego High School in 1947. He opened Trader Joes in Pasadena, Ca. but was raised in San Diego, Ca. He was always friendly & kind. We were all proud of his accomplishments. My condolences to his Family..Joe was a "GOOD JOE".

Posted by Barbara Monroy Urso - San Diego, CA - Classmate   March 07, 2020

Condolences to the family,

Your dear ones has left a full legacy that can never be forgotten. From the many endearing words on this site he was not only an exceptional person to work for but a good human being.

You are not alone. Please lean on family and close friends for support. Draw comfort from the many encouraging scriptural texts on this site too.

Posted by Linda L. - NY   March 07, 2020

Robert "Bob" Gjerde

Posted by Bob Gjerde - Vista, CA   March 04, 2020

My deepest condolences to your family. May your hearts be filled with the memories of your loved one.

Posted by A friend   March 04, 2020

Joe had a very generous spirit. A wonderful quality and much needed in this world. My condolences to you for your loss and may the God of all comfort be with you.

Posted by A friend   March 03, 2020

My sympathies to the friends and family of Joe; my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Posted by A friend   March 03, 2020

My condolences.

Posted by A friend   March 03, 2020

My heart goes out to the Coulombe family, so very sorry for your loss, may God be with all of you to give you comfort and strength as you go through this time of your sorrow.

Posted by A friend   March 03, 2020

Love Trader Joe's, so sorry to hear of the loss.

Posted by Ann Stokman - Greendale, WI   March 03, 2020

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by A friend   March 02, 2020

Thank you Joe, for a wonderful life, my husband has worked for Traders for 45+ years, the company has been our life! I remember having parties at your home. It was truly a pleasure knowing you and watching your success over all the years! Thanks again for all your wisdom and making our lives so wonderful!

Posted by Ilene Seaward - Snohomish, WA - coworker   March 02, 2020

Though I never met him, I love the legacy of the grocery story. I am happy every time I enter one of the stores. He was a contemporary of my father and that charms me. I hope they meet on a celestial plane.

Posted by A friend   March 02, 2020



Posted by MEGAN BONNIE HENLEY - WARWICK, RI   March 02, 2020

I am so sorry about the loss of Joe. I love Trader Joes!! The Coulombe family has my deepest condolences. As the days, weeks and months pass during this difficult time, may you continue to be surrounded and comforted with the love and support that is needed and by fond memories of Joe.

Posted by Emlyn    March 02, 2020


I , HAVE GONE TO TRADER JOE'S A WHOLE LOT TO BUY LOTS OF FOODS AND SNACKS FOR MY HOUSE ........ ADIOS AMIGOS TO YOU !!!!!!!! JAMES 2:15 ........JOHN 2:07-2:25 ????????? MATTHEW 26:12-26:71 .......... HOSEA 3:02 ....... & PROVERBS 4:10 ..........


We love Trader Joe. Our deepest condolences to the family. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort you all during this difficult period.

Posted by A friend   March 02, 2020

Loved shopping in Trader Joe's!
Now you can rest in Heaven.
Condolences to family, friends and all your customers.

Posted by A friend   March 02, 2020

Family Album

Joe Coulombe