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Bon Voyage, Joe

August 28, 1988

On the shaky premise that one person can make a difference, I lament the passage of the real Trader Joe, Joe Coulombe, from helmsman of Trader Joe's to whatever enterprise he goes into. (Aug. 12, "Trader Joe's Founder Again on a Solo Path")

Notwithstanding Coulombe's high praise for his successor, one can only feel apprehensive about the future. Will our supplies of Shortbread Bobbies and Psyllium Husks continue unabated? What about the luscious Twining's Earl Grey tea--at about half Safeway's price?

But price and exotic foods are not the whole picture for me and, I'm sure, hundreds of other customers. It is, perhaps, the unfailing courtesy and swift attention by the crew; the congenial atmosphere; the joy of browsing through all the tempting gastronomic surprises (an unopened jar of Chinese chestnuts in syrup still sits in my cupboard--a monument to my curiosity and cowardice); the passionate prose of the Fearless Flyer newsletter, and the style of the man at the top.

Of course, I shall continue to shop at TJ's and sample the curious fare from the far-flung corners of the earth as I have done for the past 10 years or so. But will it be the same?

RITA DUPREE

South Pasadena

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