Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sailing the (air)waves in Salt Lake

Trader Joe's will open a (wine-less) store in Salt Lake in a few months, and I had fun chatting with Jennifer Napier-Pearce, who hosts the daily 'City Views' show on the local NPR affiliate. If you'd like to listen in, clicking on this radio will take you to KCPW's web site...


  1. It's "Pronto Market," not "Pronto Mart" and there were never 18 of them. There were 18 T.J.s and Pronto Markets combined in January of 1979 when they were sold to T.A.C.T. Corporation (Theo Albrecht Charitable Trust.) At that time, T.A.C.T. was owned by Theo and Berthold Albrecht.

  2. Hi Aesop,
    I misspoke during the interview, sorry. In the book, I use the correct 'Pronto Market' name, and say there were a maximum of 17 stores. That's based on the 'history' of Trader Joe's published in the current Crew Member Handbook, which reads, "We called ourselves Pronto Markets. By 1967 we had 17 stores."
    The existing handbook glosses over the Albrecht connection; as recently as a couple of years ago, Trader Joe's still refused to publicly acknowledge the fact of Albrecht's ownership.
    Dave Gardetta, who wrote 'Enchanted Aisles', a very good profile of Trader Joe's that appeared in Los Angeles Magazine in 2011, says the chain had 27 stores when it was acquired by Albrecht in 1979. Although he doesn't name a source for that statistic, I think it came from Hoovers, a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet.
    I don't believe that any Pronto Markets survived into the late '70s; I'm curious, however, about the source of your information. There is a contact form elsewhere on this blog. Why not shoot me your email address, so we can continue this discussion?