The Trader Joe's Adventure
Okay, "adventure" isn't the first word that comes to mind when we think about groceries, either. But turning a small business into a 237-store retailer without bowing to supermarket brands? We'll bite. Billed as the "first book to go behind the scenes" at the famously private company—Trader Joe's did not work with the author on the book—Adventure describes how to build a strong culture, negotiate prices, and succeed in an industry crowded with giants.
Not many people have heard of Wayne Henderson, but among professional musicians, he's a legend. Over the past 35 years, Henderson has crafted just 300 of his unique guitars. Journalist Allen St. John tells the tale of Henderson's life's work and the passion and patience required to create the "perfect instrument." Crafted from materials like black ebony and Appalachian spruce, Henderson's guitars run $1,500—though, like Eric Clapton and everyone else, you'll wait 10 years for one. We say skip the wait. Read the book.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.