BRICK-The long-awaited Trader Joe’s in Brick Township opens tomorrow. Brick Township Mayor John Ducey said when it comes to the many new businesses his administration has drawn to Brick Township, Trader Joe’s has been at the top of everyone’s list.
Trader Joe’s addition to the Brick Plaza comes as part of an overall revitalization project that included a new facade, a “boardwalk” rest and relaxation space and businesses to replace the large void left by Sports Authority on the southern side of the complex.
According to the company, in 1958, Joe Coulombe took over a small chain of convenience stores around the LA area. These were called Pronto Markets. The whole idea was fast. Pronto – quick, right? And they were convenience stores, before we really even know what convenience stores were. The kind of place where you could get anything from, say, a pack of gum to some pantyhose.
“In 1988, when Joe retired, Trader Joe’s had 19 stores. John Shields took over as CEO, and saw the opportunity to transfer this grocery store concept across geographical boundaries, starting with entry into Northern California. Then came Arizona, followed by the Pacific Northwest, and… by 1996 we had opened our doors on the East Coast. John understood that de-centralized and aligned decision-making would help to facilitate our growth. Nearly a decade later, there were 150 Trader Joe’s stores across the country,” the company said. “In 2001, Dan Bane assumed the role of Chairman and CEO and focused on making us a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores. Today, we have 488 stores in 41 states and the District of Columbia, and counting.”