Interesting question. Trader Joes actually started out in the late 1950s as a convienent store, similar to 7-eleven. However, they transitioned away from that format in the mid to late 1960s. Organic food was not initially part of their philosophy, but it became so with time. Whole Foods, which started in the 1980s was created because a few natural food stores in Austin Texas felt that organic, natural foods was ready for a super market model–and Whole Foods was borne. So, organic foods were part of Whole Foods philosophy from the beginning. They are both quite well known now, but also both started in California, and were slow to migrate to the east coast, and even slower to populate the middle of the country.
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