Trader Joe's is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. And, in addition to sharing its top products from throughout the decades (we see you peanut butter pretzels), the cult-favorite grocery store is also serving up a major dose of nostalgia.
A press release commemorating the occasion explained that the store opened up its first location back in 1967 in Pasadena, California. Since then, the brand has grown to include 467 stores nationwide. While all of that is pretty impressive, the best part is that Trader Joe's shared some photos from the early days. We love a good before and after and that's just what we got. Above are two photos of the very first location from 1967 and 2017. Aside from the lack of that iconic red color in the sign's logo, it actual looks pretty similar to today's snapshot. The brand also shared an image of the original store's wine selection, which was pretty extensive back in the day. Consumer interest in affordable bottles has since spawned separate Trader Joe's wine stores.
Perhaps the most interesting photo is the below shot, which shows some of the original food. The branding has clearly changed a lot over the years. We wouldn't necessarily have known this was a Trader Joe's had it not been for one particular identifying factor. Can you spot it? Yes, it's the Hawaiian shirt! "Since the 1960s, the Hawaiian shirt has been the trademark Trader Joe’s attire. Store employees, dubbed “Crew Members” sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the friendly, inviting atmosphere and feeling of adventure in the store," reads the photo's caption.
Since no anniversary is complete without a celebration, Trader Joe's is offering just that to its customers. On Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, there will be in-store parties throughout the country including activities such as product tastings and giveaways. There's also a limited-edition 50th anniversary reusable bag available for 50 cents. We can't wait to see what Trader Joe's outposts look like 50 years from now (will there even be stores then?!) and are ready and waiting to try all the new specialty snacks that hit store shelves in the interim.